Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) continued the busy month of March this past Saturday night (March 22, 2015) live on FOX Sports 1 from inside the Ginasio do Maracanazinho in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After a night full of finishes and action-packed highlights -- barring the main event of the evening -- fans in Brazil and around the globe were delighted they tuned in for the mixed martial arts (MMA) showcase.
The card was capped off with Demian Maia and Ryan LaFlare putting on a snoozefest of a fight as the Brazilian grappler handled the previously unbeaten American on the mat for the majority of 25 minutes en route to a unanimous decision victory (highlights here).
In the co-main event, Josh Koscheck's attempt at one last UFC victory fell short as Erick Silva finished The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season one veteran via first round submission -- much like Jake Ellenberger did to "Kos" three weeks ago.
With that quick overview of the night's marquee bouts, here are your biggest winners, as well as the runners-up from Rio.
Biggest Winner: Gilbert Burns
Demian Maia had the "biggest winner" of UFC Fight Night 62 award signed, sealed, and delivered prior to the horrendous fifth round that saw the No. 7 ranked welterweight gas badly and essentially run away from Ryan LaFlare.
Instead, I have opted to hand the achievement over to uber-prospect Gilbert Burns.
"Durinho" was about one minute from being on the "losers" section of this list, but after pulling off an absolutely stunning comeback with about 45 seconds left in the fight, Burns showed once again why he is so highly touted.
The jiu-jitsu world champion was stunted early by short notice replacement Alex Oliveira, as Burns was busted up on the feet and simply looked out of his element in the first 10 minutes of the fight.
In the third round, the Burns that everyone hoped to see from the start darted across the cage, took down Oliveira, and immediately transitioned into full mount. From there, "Durinho" worked an omoplata that he nearly finished before transitioning beautifully into the armbar that forced "Cowboy" to tap.
While Burns didn't have the best performance of his career, he pulled off an impressive comeback for the ages, and kept his UFC run moving in the right direction.
Anyone still interested in the Brazilian take on Josh Thomson?
Erick Silva can finally take the monkey off his back; the Brazilian has earned his first winning streak in UFC with his second straight first round finish at UFC Fight Night 62.
Although he didn't earn another "Performance of the Night" bonus, Silva put on a show against late-notice opponent Josh Koscheck, landing some brutal body kicks early on in the round before latching on to the fight-ending guillotine to seal the deal.
Even with "Kos" not being anywhere near the fighter he once was, the victory was easily the biggest of "Indio's" UFC career thus far. After years of being deemed a prospect, it seems Silva will have another shot to prove his mettle against a ranked opponent, and potential win a third straight fight.
One thing is for certain: as long as Silva continues to put on a show, UFC will continue to feature his violent stylings on main cards.
Amanda Nunes was so close to a UFC title shot last September as she battered Cat ZIngano early on in round one of their UFC 187 pay-per-view (PPV) fight. Had "The Lioness" accrued the knockout over "Alpha" that fateful night, the Brazilian may have been UFC champ Ronda Rousey's latest foe instead!
Jokes aside, Nunes rebounded in a big way at UFC Fight Night 62, taking out Shayna Baszler in under two minutes. Once again the Brazilian showed off her dangerous striking arsenal, battering "The Queen of Spades" in 114 violent seconds.
Currently ranked No. 9 in the women's bantamweight division, Nunes may not be far off from a UFC title shot if she continues to rack up highlight-reel finishes.
Biggest Loser: Ryan LaFlare
Unbeaten no more.
Unless you are the greatest of all time, every fighter will eventually lose in MMA. Heck, even if you are the GOAT, you will more than likely lose.
We all know Ryan LaFlare is nowhere near GOAT-status, and it seems he isn't even ready to be a top-ranked contender following his beatdown at the hands of Demian Maia at UFC Fight Night 62.
The top-ranked Brazilian completely overwhelmed the American wrestler on the mat for the majority of the fight, and LaFlare simply had no answer. Although he tried to turn it on in the fifth round, it was simply too little too late for the Blackzilians product.
In the end, everything went wrong for LaFlare on fight night: His fight was boring, he lost to a fighter he called out, his undefeated record was snapped, and he definitely didn't leave fans itching to see what else he can bring to the table.
Josh Koscheck has been an integral part of the UFC landscape for a decade. The original UFC heel made a name for himself bullying Chris Leben on TUF season 1, and has carved out quite the career since.
Ultimately, Koscheck's UFC career is more than likely over as the former NCAA Division 1 champ wrapped up his UFC contract last night by tapping to Erick Silva's guillotine choke with just 40 seconds left in round one (highlights here).
"Kos" actually looked impressive early on in the fight, but once the Brazilian latched on to his neck, the American was quick to tap -- for the second time in three weeks I may add.
The loss was Koscheck's fifth straight, and his fourth straight loss via finish. Will the TUF veteran retire, or jump ship and potentially rematch Paul Daley in Bellator later this year?
Only time will tell.
Shayna Baszler may retire from MMA without having ever won a UFC fight, but her impact on women's MMA can not be discounted.
UFC Fight Night 62 was just not a good night for "The Queen of Spades" as she was the victim of a vicious beatdown at the hands of Amanda Nunes. The Brazilian far outmatched Baszler on the feet, and the finish seemed inevitable only moments after the initial bell rang.
After several brutal leg kicks, Baszler collapsed to the mat with an apparent knee injury, giving Nunes the (technical) knockout win in under two minutes.
At 34-years old, and riding a three fight losing streak, it may be time for Baszler to call it a career.
For complete UFC Fight Night 62 results and coverage of all the night's action click here.