COMMENTARY | The Ultimate Fighting Championship has put on several action-packed fight cards lately, and UFC 164 was no exception.
Some fighters put on memorable performances that won't be forgotten anytime soon, others established themselves as serious contenders in their respective divisions, while Anthony Pettis realized his dream of becoming a UFC champion.
Here are the biggest winners and losers from the UFC 164 fight card held on held on Aug. 31 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wis:
1. Anthony Pettis
"Showtime" put on a show at UFC 164, showcasing his top notch takedown defense early on in the bout, while Henderson tried to grind him down against the cage. When he eventually freed himself, Pettis landed several hard shots, quickly establishing himself as the better striker.
He ended up on his back after going for a -- perhaps ill-advised -- hand-plant kick, but he handled Henderson's top pressure well, subsequently locking up an armbar that brought the contest to an end with 29 seconds left in the opening round, making him the new UFC lightweight champion.
2. Chad Mendes
Mendes added Clay Guida to his list of victims at UFC 164, outclassing the tough veteran before putting him away with vicious shots 30 seconds into the third round. With four consecutive knockout victories under his belt, Chad's case for a second shot at the featherweight title is starting to look really good.
3. Josh Barnett
"The Warmaster" made a strong statement during his return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, manhandling Frank Mir at UFC 164, putting the former heavyweight champion away less than two minutes into the first round with a vicious knee.
Sure, the stoppage was on the premature side, but Barnett looked like he was on his way to victory regardless.
With the win against Mir, Barnet proves he still has what it takes to compete with the top contenders in the UFC's big-boy division.
4. Dustin Poirier
Poirier has typically struggled against elite featherweights, but he finally overcame that hump at UFC 164. He showed a lot of heart early on and survived a tight triangle choke, and he was surprisingly able to get the better of striking exchanges afterwards.
With the win, Poirier's stock as a featherweight increases significantly, and a few more impressive victories against top caliber opponents should get him a title shot.
Notable mentions: Tim Elliott, Hyun Gyu Lim, Al Iaquinta.
1. Brandon Vera
Vera hoped to rebrand himself with his move to the heavyweight division, but things didn't exactly go as planned. After getting off to a good start, Vera faded during the latter rounds, eventually getting knocked out during the third round.
With only one win in his last five fights, and more losses than victories since 2007 (four wins and seven losses to be exact), Vera's days with the UFC might be coming to an end.
2. Ryan Couture
Couture dropped to 0-2 against Al Iaquinta at UFC 164, getting dominated in the striking and grappling departments from start to finish. Ryan did show a lot of heart during the fight, absorbing many hard shots from Iaquinta, but that won't be enough to save his spot on the UFC's roster if he loses another bout. That is, if he isn't already on the cut list.
3. Jared Hamman
Hamman's woes inside the Octagon continued at UFC 164, getting submitted less than a minute into his three-rounder against Magnus Cedenblad. That's four losses in his last five fights, more than enough to send "The Messenger" packing from the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
4. Benson Henderson?
Henderson controlled the opening minutes of his fight against Pettis, but he ended up getting submitted with 30 seconds left in the opening round, bringing his reign as the UFC's lightweight champ to an end. However, Henderson is still one of the best lightweights in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and that's not going to change anytime soon since he can still beat up pretty much any 155-pounder around not named Anthony Pettis.
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