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UFC Fight Night 135 results: Biggest winners, loser from ‘Gaethje vs Vick’ last night

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Lincoln-Gaethje vs Vick Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to the hurt business last night (Sat., Aug. 25, 2018) with UFC Fight Night 135, which went down from inside Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska. The event saw Justin Gaethje melt James Vick in the very first round with a vicious right hand to put him out for the count (video).

In the co-main event, Michael Johnson scored his first win for the first time on a long time after edging out Andre Fili in featherweight action (recap here).

Biggest Winner: Justin Gathje

After making his presence known in his Octagon debut back in 2017, taking out Michael Johnson in the “Fight of the Year,” Gaethje went on to suffer back-to-back losses to Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier. And just like that, the man they call “Highlight” was facing adversity for the first time in his combat career. Going into his headlining fight against James Vick, Justin was adamant he wouldn’t suffer his third straight defeat, much less to a fight the caliber of Vick.

His words, not mine.

In fact. Gaethje was so confident he would get a win, he teased the possibility of retiring if somehow “The Texecutioner” managed to outclass him. Thankfully for Justin, he didn’t have to live up to that statement as he knocked out Vick with a crushing one-hitter quitter in the opening round. And in the blink of an eye, Justin got his groove back and put the rest of the division on notice that he wasn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.

Runner Up: Michael Johnson

Much like Gaethje, Johnson needed a win in the worse way, as he was going into his co-headlining bout against Fili on a three fight losing skid. To take things back a bit further, “The Menace” had dropped five of his last six in both the Lightweight and Featherweight division, including dropping his first fight at 145 pounds against Darren Elkins.

Usually, a fighter changes division in hopes of finding greener pastures, but for Johnson it was anything but. And while his win over Fili wasn’t dominant, with some going as far as calling it controversial, the split decision victory was good enough to stop the bleeding for the time being and secure his spot on the UFC roster for a bit longer. With a new lease on his combat life, Johnson will head into his next bout with less pressure and a bit more confidence. Which isn’t good news for his opponent.

Biggest Loser: Jake Ellenberger

Look, I’m not kicking a fighter when he’s down, but this slot has to be filled and Jake, unfortunately, fits the bill. The longtime veteran dropped his fourth straight — six of seven overall — after getting knocked out by Bryan Barberena in the very first round. His four straight defeats all came via knockout, with only one of those losses making it out of the first round. Since 2013, Jake had dropped nine of his last 11 fights, signalling that his time in the fight game was nearing its end. And after losing to Bryan, “The Juggernaut” officially announced his retirement after nearly 13 years as a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter. Still, despite his bad stretch, Jake was as tough and game as they came, never turning down a fight and taking on some of the best the fight game has ever seen.

For complete UFC Fight Night 135 results and coverage click here.