7 Losing UFC Fight Night 48/49 Fighters I Can’t Wait to See Again

Whether they were finished after a spectacular brawl or just victims of blind judges; be they young upstarts or past their primes, there were several fighters on the losing side who I’d love to see fight again soon.

These are plucked from UFC Fight Night 48 and Fight Night 49, which were held within a few hours of each other, due to one being in China and the other in Oklahoma.

These are in no particular order.

Aaron Phillips (Fight Night 49)
Weight: 135
Lost to: Matt Hobar

The judges not only made the right call in giving Hobar the fight, they also apparently made the even more accurate call of giving Phillips the first round. MMA judges, especially in days past, often award a round victory to a fighter who maintains top position. While there’s definitely something to be said for staying on top of your opponent, it doesn’t automatically mean the top fighter should be awarded the decision.


Aaron Phillips was on his back for pretty much the whole first round of the Hobar fight, but was the clear aggressor. In addition to landing four nice upkicks, he threw up submission after submission, coming within inches of locking up triangles and armbars multiple times each. When he wasn’t relentlessly pursuing a submission, he was proving to be perhaps the most frustrating opponent to have underneath you as he lit Hobar up with a barrage of punches, fists, and elbows from the bottom.

Phillips has only just begun training full time in MMA, yet he was able to walk into the Octagon and win a round — from the bottom — against an 8-2 fighter. That’s impressive. I’ve gotta see this kid fight again, once he gets another round or two of these real, full-time training camps.

Tony Martin (Fight Night 49)
Weight: 155
Lost to: Beneil Dariush

Tony used range to land big strikes and win the first round, but ran out of gas in the second. What I liked about him was how he didn’t let his low energy level stop him from, as Dana White would say, “Be(ing) a fucking fighter.” He moved forward, wasn’t afraid to lay it all on the line. I love that in any fighter, and would gladly watch any such warrior again.


Mike Pyle (Fight Night 49)
Weight: 170
Lost to: Jordan Mein

I could talk for a while about how the veteran like Pyle always deserves another chance after a loss, but let’s be honest: I just need to see that mullet walk into the Octagon again, ASAP.



Yao Zhikui (Fight Night 48)
Weight: 135
“Lost” to: Royston Wee

Yao Zhikui spent half his cage time punching Royston Wee in the face, the other half thinking about where to get a good meal after the fight. Wee clung to Zhikui’s back for a substantial amount of time, but genuine submission attempts seemed few, and serious threats even fewer. When Zhikui would get free or work his way to top position, he was raining down punishment on Wee. The whole arena booed when the decision was called, not because the local boy lost, but because everybody sitting there knew Zhikui won that fight.



Clay Collard (Fight Night 49)
Weight: 149
(Would be 145, but Collard didn’t have enough time to cut on short notice)
Lost to: Max Holloway

There’s no shame in losing to Max Holloway, especially on 10-days notice. Despite the disadvantage, Collard was constantly moving forward, bringing the fight right to Holloway. He landed some great shots and even looked to have Max in a bit of danger at some points. Most importantly, this fight was exciting from start to finish. I’d love to see what Collard can do with a full tank of gas and a real training camp for a non-surprise opponent.

Dong Hyun Kim (Fight Night 48)
Weight: 170
Lost to: Tyron Woodley

He may have lost in only a minute, but Kim had been on a tear leading up to this Fight Night 48 TKO. He’d won four in a row and more importantly for fans, his recent fights were among his most exciting, featuring a KO over Erick Silva and a spinning back elbow that put John Hathaway’s lights out.

Tyron came out and caught Kim and definitely earned the victory, but just as I’m interested in Woodley’s next bout, I’m equally excited to see how Kim responds to his first loss in two years.

Cung Le (Fight Night 48)
Weight: 185
Lost to: Michael Bisping


For all we know, the 42-year-old Le could retire after getting bloodied and bruised by Michael Bisping. I hope that’s not the case. I’d love to see Cung heal up, give it at least one more good hard training camp, and step into the cage for a farewell fight. At his age, he’s only going to slow down, but he definitely showed during the Bisping fight that he’s still got a few drops of Whoopass left in ‘im.


As a fight fan, I appreciate his unique style so much, I don’t want to see it leave yet. What Le should do, of course, is whatever he feels most comfortable doing. The conclusion I hope he reaches, speaking as one of his fans and a fan of the sport, is to announce that he’s got one more MMA fight left, then step in and let us see those spinkicks on last time.  If he thinks he can do it, I’d love to tune in and watch.

Throw headkicks at Heath Hindman on Twitter (@TheHeathHindman).