UFC Fight Pass provided a great card on its first day of being a non-trial service. Even with a lack of superstars, the card was home to some of the year’s best performances. Who made the cut for SciFighting’s Top 3 Performers from UFC Fight Night 37? Take a look below to find out.
3. Vaughn Lee
Vaughn Lee dominated Nam Phan from bell to bell in Macao. Phan simply had no answer for Lee’s aggressive gameplan. What made Lee’s performance so great was that he was able to soundly outstrike a great boxer like Phan. Phan usually comes out on top in bouts that primarily stay standing, but Lee was too quick for the Ultimate Fighter veteran. Even though Lee pitched a perfect shutout in his win, he was unjustly robbed of a post-fight “Performance of the Night” bonus. Still, Lee’s performance alone should be good enough for the English based fighter. If he continues to show growth like he did against Phan, he could be a top bantamweight for years to come.
2. Yui Chul Nam and Kazuki Tokudome
While you were sleeping,Yui Chul Nam and Kazuki Tokudome had a fight of the year candidate in Macao. Nam and Tokudome slugged it out for three rounds before Nam was declared the winner by split decision. The first round consisted mostly of Nam knocking Tokudome around the Octagon and nearly finishing the bout on multiple occasions. The second round was far different. Tokudome landed an early takedown and proceeded to punch Nam in the face for the next five minutes of their lives. With Nam likely scoring a 10-8 in the first round and Tokudome possibly scoring a 10-8 in the second round, the fight could have very well been tied up going into the third frame. The third round was so closely contested I scored the round 10-10 on my card. At the end of the day, two of the three judges gave Nam the third round and the victory. The sheer brutality and number of near finishes made this easily the best fight of 2014. It’s hard to see another bout coming close to it. This fight made UFC Fight Pass worth $9.99 this month.
1. Dong Hyun Kim
If you’re unable to tell, the photo above shows the carcass of John Hathaway after he was brutalized by a Dong Hyun Kim spinning back elbow. For a guy who was known as a grinder just a few months ago, Kim has put together back to back highlight reel knockouts. His October knockout of Erick Silva was originally thought to be an anomaly, but after watching him put Hathaway to sleep, I think it’s safe to say that Kim’s finishing power is here to stay. That’s not to say that Kim had an easy fight leading up to the finish. I had Kim up two rounds to nothing but Hathaway was rapidly gaining ground on the South Korean. Kim’s ability to bounce back and not risk the fight going to the judges was impressive. If Kim can keep up the spectacular finishes, he could be challenging for the title by the end of the year.
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