1. Stipe Miocic: Despite a Miocic eyepoke that may have literally touched Daniel Cormier’s thoughts, DC fought valiantly to the end, falling short on the cards. Miocic defended his UFC Heavyweight Championship, and Cormier can go out with his head held high. Maybe not too high, though, I wouldn’t subject that eye to sunlight for a while.
2. Jessica McCaskill: The scorecards may have been disputed and under fire, but here’s what I loved about McCaskill’s performance; she did what had to be done. She knew she was never going to outbox Cecilia Braekhus, maybe the greatest female professional boxer in history, and a technical marvel, so she fought her fight. She brawled, she disrupted Braekhus’s timing, she made it ugly, she made it weird, and she took full advantage of Braekhus taking her sweet time to put her engine into second gear and banked rounds in that time. She essentially fought the fight Marcos Maidana did in his first fight with Mayweather. Too many fighters think they can outbox, or outstrike, or out-technique someone who is absolutely brilliant. How many boxers have we seen try and outbox Floyd? Or try to outstrike Anderson Silva in his prime? Even Maidana tried it in his rematch! McCaskill knew what she was, she fought the only way that gave her a chance to win. Brilliant. Smart. Congratulations to the knew queen of the welterweights.
3. Marlon Vera: Sean O’Malley was doing Sean O’Malley things until his ankle gave way, leaving him easy prey for Marlon Vera. He put up as much of a fight as he could, but Vera eventually finished him on the ground, and then talked like he was Rocky Balboa after toppling Creed, saying it was his kicking defense that caused O’Malley’s ankle to give and that Sean just didn’t have the heart that he has. Brother, you beat a one-legged man, congrats. BUT WAIT! Did Chito actually turn O’Malley’s leg off with a strike? He just might have! Maybe, in a stunning turn of events, Vera earned this W!
4. Israil Madrimov: Despite being robbed of a knockout and Eric Walker suspiciously banking many more rounds than anyone thought, Madrimov still earned a win to improve to 6-0 professionally in the co-main of Matchroom USA’s card from the mean streets of Tulsa.
5. Felix Cash: And still Commonwealth middleweight champion after flooring Jason Welborn twice before his corner had seen enough in the main event of Matchroom’s very entertaining Fight Camp series.
6. Daniel Pineda: How long ago was “The Pit” in the UFC? My man fought on the prelims on Facebook AND Fuel! After a six-and-a-half year UFC layoff, Pineda returned in a big way, grinding down Herbert Burns, not getting sucked in to any bad BJJ positions, and elbowing him until a stoppage, earning a POTN bonus for it.
7. Luiza Monteiro/Junny E. Ocasio: Both are new F2W titleholders after wins at Fight To Win 149.
8. Saemapetch Fairtex: In the main event of ONE: No Surrender II from Bangkok, Fairtex decisioned Rodlek P.K. Saenchaimuaythaigym to face the winner of next week’s fellow Bantamweight muay thai tournament semifinal featuring Sangmanee Sor Tienpo vs. Kulabdam Sor.Jor.Piek-U-Thai.
9. Zelfa Barrett: Claimed the vacant IBF Intercontinental title at 130lbs after knocking down Eric Donovan three times in the co-main of Matchroom Fight Camp, handing him his first career professional loss.
10. Gabriel Almeida: Decisioned Manuekl Ribamar in the main event of Fight To Win 149.
11. Dustin Stoltzfus/Adrian Yanez/Cory McKenna/TJ Laramie/Impa Kasanganay: All five winners of Week 2 of Dana White’s Contender Series were offered UFC contracts after their victories.
12. Virna Jandiroba: The former Invicta Strawweight champ earned her second submission win in a row in the UFC, this time handing Felice Herrig her first stoppage in Herrig’s professional MMA career.
13. Santo Curatolo: Won the vacant Cage Fury Fighting Championship flyweight title with a lightning-handed knockout barely over a minute into their main event fight at CFFC 82 on Wednesday.
14. Elise Reed: After a razor-thin split-decision, Reed is the new Cage Fury Fighting Championship strawweight title in the main event Thursday on Fight Pass.
15. Daniel Cormier: Walks off into the sunset with one eye and a bucket of Popeye’s, his legacy cemented as one of the best to ever put on the small gloves.