From the opening bell on the early prelims to the climactic knock out in the main event, UFC Philadelphia was a vastly entertaining card.
Philadelphia is notoriously tough as a sports town. It is also one of the most endearing fan bases in all of sports. That being said, there were moments when the fans showed their frustrations during the 13 fight event, however, those moments were few and far between.
Let’s take a look at the biggest winners from the UFC’s second event held on ESPN.
If you happened to catch the reasons to watch piece for UFC Philadelphia, you would have seen the high hopes we had for Hermansson. He delivered in a big way, on the largest platform afforded to him.
Hermansson continues his march towards the middleweight elite. His complete and utter destruction of David Branch should catapult him into the top 15 and a top 10 opponent seems like a sure thing for “The Joker” in his next outing.
Talk about waiting till the last minute.
Scotland’s Paul Craig did it again, behind on the scorecards, in the final round, he managed to pull the proverbial rabbit out of his hat. Well, a triangle choke submission actually.
Either way it is a win for Craig, who, in all honestly probably needed that win to stay on the UFC’s roster.
In a weekend full of feel-good MMA stories, Josh Emmett’s is right up there at the top.
Emmett was a fast-rising featherweight contender before he ran onto the buzz saw that is Jeremy Stephens at UFC on FOX 28 back in February of 2018.
After numerous injuries that included an orbital fracture and partial facial reconstruction, Emmett completed his comeback last Saturday night as he cracked Michael Johnson with an overhand right hand that sent “The Menace” straight to the canvas stiff as a board.
Welcome back Josh.
Besides the fans, there is probably no bigger winner coming out of UFC Philadelphia than “The Highlight” Justin Gaethje.
Once again Gaethje didn’t need to display his wrestling credentials because he only needed 2:30 to find a landing spot for a right cross that sent Edson Barboza careening to the canvas. The former World Series of Fighting champion jumped all over Barboza and closed the show.
Gaethje was already sitting at the No. 8 lightweight in the UFC, with this win over Barboza (No. 6), “The Highlight” could be knocking on the door of the top 5.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/4/2019.