The last time the UFC traveled to Atlantic City, Gray Maynard and Clay Guida didn’t exactly give the New Jersey faithful much to cheer about. The same could not be said of Wednesday night.
Donald Cerrone not only became the first man to knock out Jim Miller, he managed to do it twice in the same round, thanks to a gaffe by referee Dan Miragliotta. Yet somehow that picturesque slice of violence was just the cherry on top of the double-fudge sundae that was UFC Fight Night 45. Edson Barboza and Rick Story catapulted their stock up the rankings with lopsided finishes; John Lineker cemented himself as a viable contender for the 125-pound belt, killing off against a surprisingly game Turkish wildman with seconds to spare; Lucas Martins became the fourth man to emerge victorious in three separate UFC divisions, short-circuiting Alex White’s noggin with a ridiculous one-two… and all that’s not even mentioning Leslie Smith’s super-hyper-combo finish of Jessamyn Duke or Aljamain Sterling’s breakout dismantling of Hugo Viana which set the table for the spectacle about to unfold.
All in all, not half-bad theater for a weekday, eh? And as if you didn’t already know, the pros were right there loving it every step of the way.