Antonio Rogerio Nogueira – Little Nog was the biggest winner of the night. Hardcore fans knew Nogueira was a top ten light heavyweight, but here he impressed everyone with his destruction of the talented Luiz Cane. Not only did he impress everyone, but he earned himself an extra $70,000 for KO of the night. He is seriously in title contention now.
Josh Koscheck – We knew Koscheck was talented. Most regard him as a top 5 welterweight in the world. He has improved so much since his stint on TUF 1. At UFC 106 he went against a very tough Anthony Johnson. What impressed me was his heart. He took an illegal knee and a thumb to the eye and he came back stronger. By the way, some question whether there was an eye poke, but I can assure you there was a thumb to the eye just prior to the knee and Joe Rogan and crew missed it. What I am trying to say is Koscheck could have quit the fight and had Johnson DQ’d. He didn’t. He came back and he worked his game and sunk in a choke for the victory. Oh yeah, he earned $140,000 in bonuses for submission and fight of the night. He also is close to a title shot, but I think Hardy gets it before him.
Forrest Griffin – I wasn’t overly impressed with Griffin. I was not as dazzled as his man crush, Joe Rogan. However, I think he won the fight. It was close. It wasn’t 30-27 though. Forrest was not dominant, but he won. Winning does not always make you a winner of the night, but after 2 straight losses it does for Griffin who is back on the winning side.
Ben Saunders – I was very impressed with Saunders. I have to admit I did not think much of Saunders through his appearance on TUF 6. Quite frankly, I was surprised he was still in the UFC. However, he destroyed Marcus Davis. He was the first one to KO Davis. He may have the best knees in the UFC, he gives Anderson Silva’s muay thai a run for his money. Despite a loss to Swick, Saunders moved up big time in the UFC welterweight ranks. He also instilled fear into a lot of welterweights.
George Sotiropolous – He is a guy who has looked really good in the UFC. His overall game keeps improving and he looke dgreat against Jason Dent. Look for George to fight next at UFC 110 in Australia. A win there will really move him up the ladder.
Amir Sadollah – I have always been a doubter of Amir. I thought he was beat up by Gerald Harris and C.B. Dolloway in TUF before securing come from behind wins. He looekd horrible against John Hendricks. However, against Baroni he showed a good chin and great muay thai. This was an important win for the TUF winner and a good night for him as well.
Tito Ortiz – I don’t think Ortiz looked horrible. He didn’t look great either. I think that may be ring rust. I am not a fan, but I think with some more training and fixing his cardio he can be a force again. However, his comeback was spoiled. He thought he won the fight, but that does not matter. The good news is that he may have a case for a rubber match against Griffin and maybe even a coaching stint on TUF. Ortiz will be back. I think this loss can be chalked up to bad luck. I think he would have beaten Mark Coleman, his original opponent who withdrew due to injury.
Marcus Davis – He looked bad in his loss to Saunders. Davis may be done. He was brutally KO’d. We may see him on the next UK card, but he needs to do something drastic to get back on track. Perhaps his age has caught up with him. Or perhaps Saunders is that good. Davis may just be the weltwerweight gatekeeper and Killa-B just happened to break through to the upper level at UFC 106. Bad night for the Irish Hand grenade.
Brock Larson – I once regarded Larson as a top 20 guy in the world. However, back to back losses to unknowns may equate his firing from the UFC. I am sure Strikeforce would love to have him. However, he looked bad against Brian Foster. This really hurt his career. Not a good few months for Minnesota Mixed Martial Arts fighters.