After the much publicized heavyweight championship fight in which Junior dos Santos dethroned Cain Velasquez in an anti-climatic 1:04, fans watching the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) for the first time could be excused for thinking there's not a lot of depth to this MMA.
No one who had the pleasure of seeing the incredible back-and-forth masterpiece that preceded the title fight came away unsatisfied though. Lightweight contenders Ben Henderson and Clay Guida delivered 15 minutes of fast-paced, hard hitting action to the fortunate few who knew enough to log in to the UFC's Facebook page or Fox Sports' site.
The far far larger crowd that saw dos Santos vs. Velasquez has no idea what they missed. Where the heavyweights offered only a few tentative early exchanges before dos Santos hurt Velasquez with a single right hand behind the ear, Henderson and Guida ran through the entire range of tactical options presented by MMA: punches, kicks, knees, take downs, grappling for position, and submission attempts.
If you find yourself talking to someone who only saw the headliner tonight, try to get them to watch the lightweight title eliminator fight. They'll see Ben Henderson use predatory timing to hurt Guida early. They'll also see the indefatigable Guida hang on and come back to very nearly steal the fight with a vicious choke attempt. But in the end Henderson was able to escape and ended the fight on top.
That fight should've represented MMA in the Fox broadcast, too.