If the UFC wanted to go out with a bang after a turbulent year, they certainly got their wish.
While there were some lacklustre fights early on the main card, UFC 155 will certainly be remembered for the best main and co-main event combination in a very, very long time.
Here’s my look at the lay of the land after Saturday.
There’s no sweeter feeling than redemption and for all of those who doubted this man, including myself, we will be eating nothing but our words long into 2013.
It’s easy to forget that although Velasquez is 30 years old, he is actually an inexperienced fighter. The scary prospect, especially for Junior dos Santos’ battered face, is how much better this guy could get after just his 12th fight.
Jim Miller and Joe Lauzon
We knew it was going to be good, but I don’t think anyone thought it would be this good. These two top lightweights gave us perhaps the best (and bloodiest) fight of 2012 and although it was dominated by Miller, Lauzon’s heart made this fight memorable.
Lauzon’s flying leg lock attempt in the final ten seconds was just incredible. What a fight.
The UFC hype train got behind this young Mexican bantamweight and it’s now clear why. An exciting performance from ‘El Goyito’, which proved he will become a top contender at 135lbs in 2013.
Junior Dos Santos
There are no two ways to look at this. Junior dos Santos got annihilated in Las Vegas and the worst thing for ‘Cigano’ was that he had no idea it was coming. The Brazilian just looked utterly helpless in the face of Velasquez’s onslaught.
But hey, this time last year the situation was reversed and it was Velasquez who had to regroup and go back to the drawing board. Who says Dos Santos can’t do the same thing and reclaim his crown in 2013?
While I firmly believe Boetsch has been more fortunate than impressive in 2012 and was not as close to a title shot as he wanted to believe, he did cop the rough end of the stick in Las Vegas.
An accidental headbutt and eye-poke pretty much blinded ‘The Barbarian’, ending any hopes of him continuing his four-fight win streak.
Keep a straight face and tell me you don’t love watching this guy fight. For the first time in ages, Garcia actually looked relevant in a fight. Also for the first time in ages, Garcia was on the wrong end of a decision.
Bad luck but, as always, I’ll definitely be tuning in for your next fight.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. For too long now Okami has got away with grinding out decision wins and although that may be great for his record, it does nothing but further entrench him in Josh Koscheck-UFC limbo.
If Okami is happy playing gatekeeper for the rest of his career then he can keep fighting how he is, but if he wants to challenge top contenders and even for the belt again, it’s time to add some new strings to the bow.
Big mouth, does nothing to back it up. Time for a stint in the minor leagues for a fighter with so much talent and potential but no clue how to use it.