COMMENTARY | UFC on Fuel TV 9 turned out to be another decent fight card, even though Alexander Gustafsson was forced to pull out of the event due to a cut sustained during sparring.
Here are the biggest winners and losers from UFC on Fuel TV 9:
Conor McGregor"Notorious" had a lot of hype coming into his UFC debut, and he proved to be as good as advertised, knocking out Marcus Brimage 67 seconds into their encounter. With the win, McGregor (13-2-0, 12 KOs) earned a spot on the UFC on Fox Sports 1 fight card scheduled for Aug. 17, at the TD Garden in Boston and a $60,000 Knockout of the Night bonus.
Mike Easton and Brad PickettBoth men brought their A-games at UFC on Fuel TV 9, displaying their well-rounded skills throughout their bout. They were rewarded for their efforts with the Fight of the Night award and an extra $60,000 a piece, and neither man has to worry about losing their spot on the UFC's roster anytime soon.
Gegard MousasiEven though Mousasi didn't do anything spectacular during his bout against Ilir Latifi, he did exactly what he needed to do given the circumstances. For one, Gegard fought with an injured knee, and a loss against an unknown, last-minute replacement would have been devastating to his MMA career. He fought like any intelligent veteran would, keeping Latifi at bay with his jab, avoiding unnecessary risks, while displaying his world-class striking technique.
Ilir LatifiLatifi was as game as anyone could be at UFC on Fuel TV 9, and he deserves a lot of credit for taking the fight on short notice. He could have easily taken a dive when things got tough in the latter rounds, but he pushed ahead and went the entire 15 minutes. The most inspiring thing about his performance: He never gave up, consistently looking to land big shots until the final bell. I'm sure the UFC will reward him for his courage with a nice check and find him a more suitable opponent for his next fight.
Notable mentions: Matt Mitrione, Reza Madadi, and Tom Lawlor.
Michael JohnsonFor moment it looked like "The Menace" was making a strong push towards title contention, but it's back to the drawing board for him now with two straight losses. He failed to capitalize on an opportunity to end the contest late in the first round, and his grappling -- which usually looks decent -- just wasn't there against Madadi.
Robbie PeraltaPeralta came into UFC on Fuel TV 9 as a 5:1 favorite, but he couldn't get the job done against Akira Corassani. He wasn't able to pull the trigger when opportunities arose to end the fight, bringing his nine-fight win streak to an end.
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