Post-UFC 178: And the Bonus Goes to…

Tim KennedyUFC 178 was live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Saturday night (Sept. 27, 2014) with 11 scheduled bouts and produced a night of incredibly exciting fights, six of which resulted in entertaining finishes. After the fights concluded, the UFC handed out four $50,000 checks; two for ‘Fight of the Night’ and two for ‘Performance of the Night.’ Yoel Romero and Tim Kennedy earned ‘Fight of the Night’ honors for their very entertaining war, which lasted just a little over two rounds of action. This was a very fun fight that saw both middleweights have their moments, though it was the Cuban who controlled the action on the feet for the majority of the bout. However, Kennedy did have a big outburst at the end of the second frame, which hurt Romero, and ultimately ended up resulting in quite a bit of controversy. The controversy was due to Romero taking an extra 0:28 seconds to rest between rounds two and three, as his corner left his stool in the cage. The cut-man had also applied too much Vaseline on him, but that was not the fault of Romero’s corner, as pointed out by UFC President Dana White during the UC 178 post-fight press conference. Regardless of half a minute of extra rest or not, the bottom line is Romero knocked Kennedy out, and he did so in impressive fashion. It is another third round TKO in the books for “The Soldier of God” and he is now one step closer to a title shot, as he is now 5-0 in the Octagon. Other noteworthy fights: – Donald Cerrone vs Eddie Alvarez was a very entertaining, back-and-forth fight that saw Cerrone get the better of Alvarez for two out of three rounds to pick up a unanimous decision victory on the judges’ scorecards and ultimately his score fifth win in a row. I think that was the best performance of Cerrone’s UFC career, because not only did he come back from being hurt in the first round to win the next two, but he did so against very tough opposition and in arguably the biggest fight he’s ever had. He shined with bright colors and fight fans everywhere look forward to seeing him in his next outing, which will definitely be much sooner than later. – Cat Zingano vs Amanda Nunes was an entertaining bout in the UFC’s Women’s Bantamweight division and it was Nunes dominating Zingano on the mat with her vicious ground and pound for the majority of the first frame, nearly having the fight stopped on a couple of occasions. The Brazilian was on her way towards earning a 10-8 first round, then she made the mistake of diving for a leg-lock, which Zingano quickly escaped from and earned superior position on the mat. That was it for Nunes as Zingano survived the onslaught and persevered, closing out the round strong. She started the second frame the same way she closed the first; dominating Nunes on the mat. She broke the Brazilian down in the second round, and finished her with a ground and pound TKO in the third to pick up her second consecutive victory inside the Octagon. After an extended injury layoff, it was an impressive return for Zingano, who will be looking to challenge champion Ronda Rousey for her title in early January. Conor McGregor earns ’Performance of the Night’ honors for his first round TKO victory over Dustin Poirier. The Irishman predicted and promised a first round knockout, and then he went out and delivered. “I don’t just knock ‘em out, I pick the round,” was the quote of the night in his post-fight interview. With the win, McGregor moves to 4-0 inside the Octagon and becomes the first man to ever knock Poirier out. He will be flying out to Brazil to sit cageside for UFC 179 and is rumored to be the man to challenge the winner of that evening’s main event, Chad Mendes vs reigning UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo. Dominick Cruz earns’Performance of the Night’ honors for his much unexpected and brutal first round TKO of the very durable and resilient veteran Takeya Mizugaki. It was an incredibly impressive way for Cruz to make his return following a three year long layoff due to multiple injuries. With the victory, he snapped Mizugaki’s five-fight winning streak, while simultaneously earning his first UFC finish. Cruz could not have looked better, and he certainly did more than was expected to set himself up for a shot at what he believes still belongs to him: the UFC Bantamweight title. UFC President Dana White confirmed during the UFC 178 post-fight press conference that “The Dominator” is infact next in line to take on TJ Dillashaw and his 135-pound gold. Other noteworthy finishes: – Cat Zingano’s aforementioned third round TKO over Amanda Nunes, who was 2-0 inside the Octagon heading into the bout. – Yoel Romero’s aforementioned TKO of Tim Kennedy, who was riding an impressive four fight winning streak heading into the middleweight contest. – Manny Gamburyan made his bantamweight debut taking on Cody Gibson, and the wrestler Gibson was getting the better of “The Anvil” on the feet for the majority of the fight, dropping and hurting him a couple of times. Gamburyan displayed nothing but heart, as he persevered and ended up taking the fight back with a takedown in the second half of the second frame. The Armenian was in top position, controlling Gibson on the mat, and as Gibson slowly began to find his way back up to his feet, Gamburyan locked up a very tight guillotine choke and squeezed with all his might. With only four seconds remaining in the round, Gibson had no choice but to tap, giving the veteran his first victory as a 135-pounder. – Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson was successful in his fifth UFC Flyweight title defense, dominating Chris Cariaso as expected, ultimately submitting him with a kimura halfway into the second stanza. Another impressive outing by Johnson, who did exactly what he was supposed to.

Written by Gabe Killian

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