UFC Fight Night: Luque vs. Dos Anjos – Winners and Losers

Get the lowdown on the real winners and losers of UFC Fight Night: Luque vs. Dos Anjos.

By: Dayne Fox | 2 months ago

Another UFC Fight Night has come and gone and it was an event. The event started with a boom. Not only did none of the preliminary contests go to a decision, only one of them even left the first round. The contests came fast and furious… and had a sudden change of momentum by the time the main card started. The first two UFC fights on the main card took the energy out of the room and even though there were a couple of badass finishes, it never fully recovered. 

Khalil Rountree scored a spectacular KO at UFC Fight Night: Luque vs. Dos Anjos
IMAGO /USA TODAY Network / Per Haljestam

The main event saw Vicente Luque and Rafael dos Anjos in a wrestling heavy main event that was devoid of many dramatic moments. It was a competitive contest that didn’t see either man blow the other out in any single round, but the swings in momentum were subtle enough to keep the commentators voices at a moderate level for nearly all the contest. In other words, while Luque got a much needed win, he wasn’t one of the biggest winners on the evening. 

In fact, the biggest winners on the evening were mostly from the preliminary UFC fights. Part of that can be attributed to the lack of depth on the card – there wasn’t a contest in which both combatants had a Wikipedia page until the 11th contest – but more can be attributed to the majority of the action coming early. 

But who were the real winners and losers of the event? Sure, 13 UFC fighters officially had their hand raised in victory, but that doesn’t always mean they are the true winners of the night. Same with those who didn’t get their hand raised. Just like not all wins are created equal, not all losses are either. I’ll give you the lowdown on who the biggest winners and losers of the event were. I’ll limit it to three in each category, doing my best to avoid having the same combatants of a contest in both categories. Let’s dig in! 

UFC Fight Night: Luque vs Dos Anjos – Winners 

Khalil Rountree 

There are still going to be doubters of Rountree – many will say Daukaus was a step down from Dustin Jacoby – but Rountree did exactly what he needed to do to silence as many as he could. He and Daukaus were in a solid back-and-forth UFC fight. Daukaus was finding a home thanks to his superior boxing combinations, but Rountree was finding a home for plenty of his punches as well. Towards the end of the first round, Rountree was quick to throw a straight left down the pipe as Daukaus appeared to be reseting, flooring the former heavyweight in highlight fashion. It wasn’t long before the end came. 

In terms of his doubters, at least Rountree no longer has a controversial decision as his most recent contest. Plus, Rountree is being reasonable in his approach. He wants to test himself in a five round contest. If he were in a lighter division, he might be asking for more than what the UFC would want to give him. Given the UFC still seems to believe the heavier weight classes are the money divisions, he might be able to get what he wants. Given he looked like he was a single loss away from the chopping block just two years ago, that’s a hell of an accomplishment. 

Martin Buday 

It kind of feels like there’s an asterisk on Buday being one of the biggest winners of the night. After all, his fight style doesn’t do anything to excite viewers and it isn’t like a win over Josh Parisian is a big deal. However, it isn’t like there is a long list of heavyweights who tend to produce fun UFC fights on the regular. Plus, I get the feeling Buday probably would have preferred a more reputable opponent as well. Despite that, Buday did what he was supposed to do in getting the win. Besides, does anyone think the UFC is protecting Buday the way they were Sean O’Malley? No one thinks that. 

For Buday’s part, it was easily his best UFC fight performance. Despite having considerable bulk, Buday tends to push a hard pace. Even for himself, Buday pushed a hard pace. He smothered Parisian with his consistent volume, wearing down a heavyweight who is known for having a solid gas tank himself within a round. In the process, Buday secured his first finish in the UFC, extending his win streak to four. Daniel Cormier asked him if he wanted a ranked opponent next. Buday kind of blew it by not definitively saying yes, but he’s likely to get one anyway. 

Da’Mon Blackshear 

Blackshear entered the UFC essentially as an afterthought. It officially looked like the UFC viewed him as a stepping stone for their younger talent in his sophomore performance when he drew Farid Basharat. Since then, Blackshear has done everything in his power to offer a huge middle finger to the UFC brass, securing a win in his third UFC fight and absolutely decimating a debuting Jose Johnson here. While he could still end up being someone’s stepping stone, it’s safe to say Blackshear belongs in the UFC. 

If it was just that Blackshear scored a dominant win, he wouldn’t be on this list. No disrespect to fighters lower on the card, but a dominant win on their part isn’t as impactful as those higher on the card. It was that Blackshear accomplished something only two other UFC fighters have accomplished in history: he secured his victory with a twister submission, joining Chan Sung Jung and Bryce Mitchell in that exclusive club. That’s truly rarified air, enough for Blackshear to have the most memorable finish on the card. 

UFC Fight Night: Luque vs Dos Anjos – Losers 

Hakeem Dawodu 

It does need to be said that I believe Dawodu did enough to win. I scored it for him 29-28, awarding him the first and second in my book. But do I consider it a robbery? Far from it. Swanson probably stole the second round in the eyes of the judges when he instigated a brawl towards the end and landed a few good shots. As Dawodu has been wont to do throughout his UFC run, he never did anything to distinguish himself throughout the fight. Dawodu controlled most of the UFC fight, but Swanson had the big moments. 

There’s a part of me that wants to smack the commentary team for continually referring to Dawodu as a young prospect. He’s 32 with 10 UFC fights under his belt. It’s possible he has already peaked. Regardless, it felt like the UFC was handing him Swanson on a platter given Swanson is 39 and his durability doesn’t appear to be what it once was. Dawodu couldn’t capitalize. I doubt he gets cut, but I don’t see the UFC giving him any sort of a meaningful push again unless he pulls an improbable win streak. The hype around Dawodu is gone. 

Francis Marshall 

Marshall is a victim of circumstance. That isn’t to say he doesn’t deserve any blame for his one-sided loss to Isaac Dulgarian. Marshall didn’t get the job done and the L was certainly deserved. But he’s also a prospect who would do better to have spent more time on the regional scene getting some extra seasoning before jumping into the big leagues. But when a UFC contract is being waved in his face which would pay better than the regionals, I can’t fault a guy for wanting to jump all over that opportunity. After all, this is how he is making his living. 

I’ve thrown shade at the UFC for gobbling up these youngsters when they’re still raw. But given how many similar prospects Bellator and the PFL have signed and developed, I can’t blame the UFC for taking a chance on these youngsters before they’re ready. If the UFC could develop an official farm system – something akin to signing them and having them fight outside the UFC until they are ready – that would be ideal. It’s either that, or they could water down the UFC brand by expanding the roster ever more. Otherwise, young talent like Marshall could end up washing out before they peak. 

Juliana Miller 

There have been quite a few TUF winners who have proven to be major busts over the years. Its plausible Miller could end up being the biggest of them all. Miller ended up getting bowled over by a debuting Luana Santos, looking like someone who has never had a striking coach in their life. I won’t ever doubt Miller’s toughness as she was throwing punches – or I should say attempting to throw punches – but she doesn’t look like she should be anywhere near the UFC. The talent is there; the refinement is not. 

Much like Marshall, Miller got signed to the UFC before she was ready. Way before she was ready. In terms of being a bust, it’s possible she could end up having her TUF win being her only UFC win. She wouldn’t be the first to have that happen, but Nicco Montano at least won the title with her win. The other two, Eddie Gordon and Colton Smith, arguably didn’t look as bad in their losses as Miller has. Jesse Taylor is there too, but he didn’t get another UFC fight after winning. Regardless, Miller needs to turn things around in a hurry. If that means a new camp, so be it. 

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About the author
Dayne Fox
Dayne Fox

Dayne Fox is a contributing writer and analyst for Bloody Elbow. He has been writing about combat sports since 2013 and a member of Bloody Elbow since 2016. Dayne primarily contributes opinion pieces and event coverage. Dayne’s specialties are putting together the preview articles for all the UFC events and post-fight analysis. Outside of writing on combat sports, Dayne works in the purchasing department of a construction company, formerly working as an analyst. He is also a proud husband and father. In what spare time he can find, he enjoys strategy games and is a movie enthusiast. He is based in Utah.

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