UFC Fight Night 135 results: The real winners and losers Bleacher report



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    Josh Hedges / Zuffa LLC / Getty Images

    UFC Fight Night 135 hit Lincoln, Nebraska and the Pinnacle Bank Arena on Saturday and Justin Gaethje did a show.

    The highly regarded lightweight came back in the win-column with a thunderous one-punch knockout over James Vick. In less than 90 seconds of work, Gaethje announced to the division that he is back in the race.

    However, the action did not only come from the right hand of Gaethje. The UFC had five additional attacks on the main card and seven skirmishes on the prelim-lei for a full night of fisticuffs in the backyard of the Cornhuskers. Nine of the nocturnal battles ended with a knockout or entry, which made the crowd come home satisfied.

    But who will leave Lincoln with more than a profit bonus? Who are they for real winners? And what about that for real losers?

    Let's answer those questions with a look at the UFC Fight Night 135 bill.

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    In case someone has forgotten: Justin Gaethje throws with dynamite.

    James Vick enjoyed a height and range advantage, but he was found at the wrong end of an overhand right stove. Gaethje set it up perfectly and tossed it with one clean shot. It was something beautiful.

    There are two main reasons why Gaethje was a big winner on Saturday.

    The first is that he ended his slip and would end up in the fight again. It is a huge stimulus for his career and for the UFC to involve him in the title hunt. He called Tony Ferguson in his interview after the fight and although he might not get that matchup right away, it's the kind of game everyone wants to see him in.

    The second is that he has not suffered much damage. He does not mind being hit, but that demands his career. Unharmed hatching is great for its long life.

    Gaethje gave everyone the desire they wanted, with the exception of Vick. It was short and brutal and it will leave a lasting impression.

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    Josh Hedges / Zuffa LLC / Getty Images

    There is no reason, none of them, that these events would be such a hindrance.

    MMA is exciting. It was built on excitement. These elongated events that last more than six hours suck the blood of fans. By the time it arrives at the main event, there is little concern in a person's body.

    It is much worse if the battles lead to a decision. Worse, because some of those fights are not terrible, but after four or five hours they will not catch fans who are just ready for the night to finish. Shorter events are the keywords.

    Other sports try to limit events to a respectable three hours or so. MMA throws that out of the window.

    The organization must watch how fans respond to these events and make appropriate changes. In the end it will bear fruit for everyone. It generates more interest in a full event when fans know that it is compact and action-oriented and that anyone who wants more can subscribe to the service of the UFC.

    In the current state, fans carry their almost lifeless bodies while they are unable to call a shout for their favorite hunter in the main event. Total exhaustion.

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    To be honest, this was originally a place where Ellenberger was a loser. But that changed when he called it a career.

    He was once a threat to the title, but in recent years it was almost a foregone conclusion that he would be eliminated. There was little hope that this struggle would have a different result. And that did not happen.

    Bryan Barberena cuts him off and ends the fight in the first round. It was no different.

    Perhaps the UFC has taken the blame to keep it on the roster and book it. Some might say that he could have called it a career earlier and saved himself a punishment, but all athletes want to get stuck. It is that self-belief that has brought them that far.

    It is commendable that he called it a career and acknowledged that it would not be possible to run again. It is a good conversation, and there is room in this sport for his knowledge. Ellenberger could be a valuable coach in the future.

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    Josh Hedges / Zuffa LLC / Getty Images

    The UFC could have earned itself a "winners" tag for this matchup, but he must take a back seat to Anders as a for real loser coming from UFC Fight Night 135.

    Otherwise, the biggest favorite was on the card, by OddsShark. He came from a competitive loss for MMA legend Lyoto Machida and he got favorable matchmaking from the UFC. It seemed that everything was in line for a big show and that he would go back to the upper part of the division.

    That did not happen.

    He got the highlight-reel KO, but only after 15 minutes of exhaustion to a complete unknown.

    Tim Williams had his moments and made that Anders looked countless unrestrained during the fight. Otherwise, performance did not inspire hope for bigger things. He lost some steam from this fight, which was not what he, or the UFC, wanted to happen.

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    Josh Hedges / Zuffa LLC / Getty Images

    Do you remember when Warlley Alves first entered the UFC and looked like a future title candidate?

    Do you remember when Alves defeated Colby Covington without too many problems?

    Yes, those days are over. Anyone who still had shares in Alves can sell, sell or sell. James Krause put an end to this with his TKO performance in Lincoln. Alves never found the next level and seemed almost to go backwards. It is disappointing, but not too surprising. We often see it in this sport.

    Alves would become one of the next big Brazilian stars. Instead, he is just someone who fills in an undercard and will be forgotten.

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    Josh Hedges / Zuffa LLC / Getty Images

    Mickey Gall got the quick victory and everything seemed fine. Until he picked up the microphone.

    Gall stepped into the UFC by winning quickly and calling out CM Punk. That was good because it was logical. He backed up that mess. Call-outs are generally fine and welcome. But not Gall's last attempt.

    Gall called for a rematch with Sage Northcutt or a fight with Diego Sanchez. He has already defeated Northcutt and Sanchez is only a shell of his former self. These call-outs do not look good, especially for a hunter who has just returned to the win-column.

    If a hunter has opponents in mind, they must be logical. The two did not come close to that, making it seem like Gall is looking for an easy fight. That is not what the fans want, nor what they deserve. It's cheap. Hopefully Gall can do that well and look at bigger and clearer things because he is a real prospect to watch.

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    Mike Roach / Zuffa LLC / Getty Images

    Let's not take anything away from Joanne Calderwood, who did a great job in Lincoln, but the real winner of the flight outfit of those ladies was her coach, John Wood.

    Wood and its staff at Syndicate MMA in Las Vegas have proven to be one of the top destinations for female hunters. Calderwood is his newest achievement, and it is a sight to see.

    Roxanne Modafferi has lived and trained in Japan for many years. Her solid jiu-jitsu game was worth mentioning, but she never seemed a big threat. After a losing streak of six fights she made the switch to the States and Syndicate MMA. Suddenly her stand-up game became a factor, and she returned to the winning number and eventually fought for the Invicta and UFC flyweight titles on various occasions.

    Calderwood was also in a rut. After making the change, she earned her first entry win on Saturday.

    Wood's work was not only a blessing for the hunters, but also for the fans. Modafferi and Calderwood are fan favorites, and Wood's technical work has enabled them to be more successful at the highest level.

    Calderwood is ready to fight in this new flyweight division, and John Wood is a big reason why.

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    Josh Hedges / Zuffa LLC / Getty Images

    Rani Yahya may never be a champion, but he has quietly put together a solid career. And the victory victory of 90 seconds was just a new one in a long line of quiet successes.

    The win meant seven of his last eight to go in the W-column and put him on a three-fight win-range, where he has filed each of his opponents.

    The victory should give Yahya another chance against a top-class bantamweight to see if he can get into the fight. However unlikely that is, he has earned the opportunity. The lack of fanfare should not be at the expense of the CV that he has built within the Octagon-11-3 and a no-contest is a fantastic record.

    Winning Yahya's last entry should give him greater fights and more respect.


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