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Maggie Hendricks

UFC 127's Three Stars: Ebersole, Zhang and Hunt


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UFC 127 impressed a sell-out crowd in Sydney, even without exciting fights from the main and co-main events. Instead, undercard fighters made their mark.

No. 1 -- Brian Ebersole: No one can accuse Ebersole of a lack of determination. Since 2000, Ebersole has fought in 60 bouts, but got his big break when Carlos Condit had to pull out of his bout with Chris Lytle due to injury. Ebersole, who is from Indiana but now lives in Australia, turned the opportunity into gold, taking a decision from the always-game Lytle with unorthodox strikes and movement.

No. 2 star -- Tiequan Zhang:"The Mongolian Wolf" had a memorable, if short, UFC debut. He submitted Jason Reinhardt with a guillotine in less than a minute, making him the first Chinese-born fighter to win in the UFC.

No. 3 star -- Mark Hunt: We're a few years removed from Hunt's heyday in the Pride Fighting Championships, and Chris Tuchsherer isn't exactly top-flight heavyweight competition. But Hunt's nonchalant uppercut knockout reminded MMA fans why they loved Hunt in the first place.

Dishonorable mention -- Michael Bisping: Trash talk comes along with fighting. It builds up hype for a fight, increases a fighter's popularity and can make the fight game a little bit more fun, if the fighters don't take it too seriously. Unfortunately, Bisping did take Jorge Rivera's pre-fight smack talk seriously. That turned into Bisping throwing an illegal knee, spitting at Rivera's corner and continuing to yell at Rivera after the bell. He apologized, but then called Rivera's camp classless.

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