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27th Jul 2015

Monday morning awards: UFC Chicago’s best performers

And still...

Darragh Murphy

This card sort of crept up on us, didn’t it?

The Fox shows can often slip under the radar in between pay-per-view events but we’re bloody glad that we stayed up to watch the UFC’s first trip to Chicago since January 2014.

Here are the warriors who’ve earned our appreciation this week.

Knockout of the Night – Joe Lauzon

In case you weren’t a fan of Joe Lauzon already (how on earth could you not be?) then you’ll have fallen for him after his performance last night.

It was the first time we can remember that a fighter decided that his opponent had had enough punishment and called the fight before the referee had a chance.

After completing the perfect entry on a takedown, J-Lau took Takanori Gomi’s back and pounded away before he decided “that’ll do it” and walked away.

Submission of the Night – James Krause

It’s not like we had a barrel-load of subs to pick from with just the one fight finishing by way of tap-out but James Krause’s rear naked choke wasn’t too shabby at all.

He made Daron Cruickshank look decidedly average on the mat after he threw the taekwon-do black belt to the canvas, easily took his back and threw on a choke that wasn’t defended at all.

Performance of the Night – TJ Dillashaw

It wasn’t too long ago that many people were calling Renan Barao the most dangerous pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

TJ Dillashaw has single-handedly made those people look like utter buffoons… on two occasions.

Dillashaw pulled off the biggest upset in octagon history when he claimed the bantamweight title from the Nova Uniao fighter last year and he somehow topped that performance on Saturday night.

The Team Alpha Male standout put on a clinic in elusive movement and accuracy of strikes as he never let Barao into the fight and when he felt the time was right, Dillashaw unloaded his gas tank on the chin of the Brazilian to solidify himself as the best active 135lb-er on the UFC roster.

One to Watch – Ben Saunders 2.0

Hard to call anyone on the UFC Chicago card an up-and-comer because not one fighter who competed is under 27 years old so we’ve decided to meddle with the rules and call Ben Saunders our one to watch.

Killa B looks an entirely new fighter from the guy who went 4-3 in his first stint with the UFC and is riding a three-fight win streak since his return to the promotion.

Saturday night’s clash with Kenny Robertson was his toughest task to date as he had to endure a back-and-forth bloody brawl to earn a split decision but it seems that it’s about time that Saunders gets himself a ranked opponent.