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14th Dec 2015

Monday Morning Awards: The performances that most impressed us on UFC 194 weekend

34 fights in three days

Darragh Murphy

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to a very special instalment of SportsJOE’s Monday Morning Awards.

At the start of most weeks, we’ve got maybe 11, often 12 and sometimes 13 UFC bouts to choose from after a weekend of action.

But between Thursday and Saturday, the UFC put on 34 fights so it’s been the toughest MMAs yet.

But we dug deep and managed to pick four fighters who we felt were worthy of special recognition.

Knockout of the WeekendConor McGregor

Was there ever really any doubt who we’d pick for this?

The shortest UFC title fight in history proved that Conor McGregor has the kind of power in his hands that is unprecedented at featherweight.

It took just one short left hook to turn out the lights of Jose Aldo, who had never been knocked out before, and unify the featherweight title.

It was quick, it was nasty and it will be talked about for years to come.

Submission of the WeekendRose Namajunas

There were probably more technical submissions earlier in the bout that could have earned her her second consecutive finish.

Neither a deep rear naked choke nor a tight armbar, that had hyper-extended Paige VanZant’s right elbow, were enough to get the tap but a busted-up VanZant had no option but to bow out in the final round.

Namajunas dominated one of the UFC’s most hyped-up fighters from start to finish and probably could have finished on the feet if she saw fit.

But Rose remained faithful to her ground game and sunk in both hooks, switched to a Gable grip and got the tap with two-and-a-half minutes remaining.

Performance of the WeekendFrankie Edgar

Frankie Edgar never got a first round finish at featherweight before Friday night.

“The Answer” was tasked with closing out The Ultimate Fighter finale opposite Chad Mendes and Edgar looked to be coming off second best in the early exchanges on the feet.

Mendes was slamming leg kicks home in a bid to hamper Edgar’s notorious movement but Edgar, a former lightweight champion, soon got tired of those shenanigans and decided to put an end to proceedings.

Edgar slipped Mendes’ right hand, cracked him with a ripping left hook and finished the job with two short shots on the mat.

Just try to take a title shot away from him.

One to WatchWarlley Alves

So stellar was the weekend of fights put on by the UFC that unknown prospects were few and far between.

It would be unfair to call Warlley Alves an unheralded fighter but we decided to give him this honour because he is likely the least known among all the young fighters who won over the weekend.

Alves is just 24 years old but is undefeated in his four-year fight career, finishing seven of his ten wins.

The latest came when he dirtied the perfect record of Colby Covington by snatching hold of a vicelike guillotine in the first round, taking advantage of a naive attempt to slam out of it before getting the tap.

Definitely one to keep an eye on at welterweight.