Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) sent Boston, Mass., into a frenzy last evening (Sun., Jan. 18, 2015), with the Irish crowd buzzing the entire evening for UFC Fight Night 59. After a night full of strange judging and a bevy of violence on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), the Irish fans were treated to an incredible main event in "Beantown."
Conor McGregor earned a crack at UFC champion Jose Aldo by taking out UFC veteran Dennis Siver in the second round via (technical) knockout (highlights here). "The Notorious" one looked sensational during the bout, completely outclassing Siver in every aspect. Moments after his victory, McGregor jumped over the cage, racing towards Aldo in a wild scene that saw the champion stand tall and laugh in the Irishman's face.
Talk about selling a pay-per-view (PPV).
In the co-main event, Benson Henderson felt the cruel sting of bad mixed martial arts (MMA) judging for the first time in his career, dropping a unanimous decision to Donald Cerrone in an uber-close fight. With the victory, "Cowboy" has won seven straight fights, including two in two weeks' time.
Check out the highlights here.
With that quick recap of the night's marquee bouts, here are your biggest winners, as well as the runners-up from Boston.
Biggest Winner: Conor McGregor
Could it be anyone else?
The "Notorious" one may not have been able to finish off Dennis Siver in under two minutes as he predicted, but he put on one hell of a show in Boston last night. Not only did McGregor finish the German in the second round, he made it look almost shockingly easy.
After his outstanding performance? Oh, you know. He just jumped over the cage, went full heel, and shouted in the face of his future opposition, UFC champion Jose Aldo.
As Aldo laughed -- likely aware he is about to make tons of money -- the potential PPV buys skyrocketed.
McGregor is absolutely the real deal, but now he has to take on arguably the greatest sub-170 pound fighter to ever step on this planet.
Does he have what it takes to beat Aldo?
Runners-up: Donald Cerrone
A win is a win, no matter how they come.
Donald Cerrone may not have put forward his greatest performance at UFC Fight Night 59, but winning his seventh straight fight -- and second in two weeks -- is nothing to scoff at. Sure, Benson Henderson probably deserved to win the fight, but it was not exactly a robbery, either.
Sounds familiar when dealing with Henderson's fights, right?
In the end, "Cowboy's" incredible streak continues, his legend grows, and his hopes for a UFC title shot are still alive.
Is Khabib Nurmagomedov next? Or is Cerrone going to weasel his way into another UFC event in two weeks?
With "Cowboy," you never know what you're going to get.
Faced with a "win or be released" challenge at UFC Fight Night 59, Lorenz Larkin shined brighter than ever before in his welterweight debut, knocking out Boston's own John Howard in the very first round.
Following a three-fight losing streak, and a 1-4 UFC record, Larkin got one more chance from UFC brass to showcase his skills at 170 pounds, and boy did it pay off.
Larkin looked outstanding against Howard, unleashing his deadly Muay thai attack alongside his unrivaled speed to stun "Doomsday." The former Strikeforce contender was a man on a mission in Boston, and he put the welterweight division on notice in just over two minutes of work.
Considering "The Monsoon" holds a victory over UFC champ Robbie Lawler, it is not far-fetched to believe a few more marquee wins could see Larkin moving up the division ladder rather quickly.
Biggest Loser: Benson Henderson
Look at it this way Benson, the judges previously gave you at least two hotly-contested decisions (and those were for the UFC championship).
As former UFC champion Frankie Edgar so eloquently pointed out in the UFC Fight Night 59 post-fight show on FS1: If you fight close fights, you risk the chance of losing a bad decision.
"Smooth" looked great last night inside the Octagon against Donald Cerrone, utilizing a wide range of kicks and strikes on the feet, opting for much less clinch work and takedowns than usual. Unfortunately for the former champ, the judges simply did not see the fight in his favor.
The loss is Henderson's second in a row, and will undoubtedly drop him in the rankings. Maybe a move up to welterweight is on the horizon for the former lightweight champ.
Who knows? A change of scenery and no big weight cut may do wonders for Henderson at this point in his career.
Runners-up: Dennis Siver
With the chance to play spoiler last evening in Boston, Dennis Siver fell short as he was completely dominated by Conor McGregor, just as the Irishman predicted in his pre-fight banter.
Unable to stunt McGregor's rise as he did in similar fashion to the much less hyped George Sotiropoulos back in 2011 -- who was one win away from a UFC title shot -- Siver fell drastically short of his goal in Boston.
Ultimately, Siver proved to be no match for McGregor, and his prospects in the featherweight division are dimming by the hour.
It seems pretty cut and dry there is a significant gap between Siver and the cream of the crop in both the 145 and 155 pound divisions. Does the German stick around and beat up some prospects en route to one more shot at a top contender, or could he potentially call it quits at age 36?
Reminiscent of the hometown favoritism in the deplorable Diego Sanchez vs Ross Pearson decision, Sean Spencer was absolutely robbed by the Boston judges last evening.
Spencer beat the absolute pulp out of the Irishman Cathal Pendred, nearly knocking him out in the first round and hurting him several times in the following two rounds.
Somehow, someway, two judges scored the fight 30-27 for Pendred, in a fight where Pendred was as stiff as could be on the feet, getting lit up by Spencer on a consistent basis, and throwing very little effective offense other than leg kicks and a few takedowns.
Hopefully Spencer gets his wish to rematch Pendred in his hometown of Dallas.
That's a wrap!
For complete UFC Fight Night 59 results and coverage of all the night's action click here.