SportsJOE's Monday Morning Awards: UFC 195 got 2016 started the right way with monster card 7 years ago

SportsJOE's Monday Morning Awards: UFC 195 got 2016 started the right way with monster card

"Start as you mean to go on."

You're going to hear an awful lot of that as you return to work after the Christmas break but we'd urge the UFC to latch on to that sage piece of advice.


The promotion's first event of the calendar year took place on Saturday night and it set the bar high, with one of the greatest title fights in history closing out an already phenomenal fight card.

If 2016 continues like this, we've got a hell of a twelve months ahead of us.

Knockout of the Night - Stipe Miocic

After Sheldon Westcott finished Edgar Garcia in the opener of the event, there wasn't a hint of a TKO finish for the remainder of UFC 195.


That was before the big boys took to the octagon in the co-main event.

With the knowledge that a heavyweight title shot was most likely on the line, Stipe Miocic made quick time of opponent Andrei Arlovski.

Miocic landed flush with a short right straight that dropped Arlovski, who was riding a four-fight win streak since returning to the UFC.

Having gone four and a half rounds against Mark Hunt in May, Miocic was determined to get his evening's work done early as he needed just 54 seconds to convince referee Herb Dean to call this one off.


Submission of the Night - Michael McDonald

The returning Michael McDonald looked to have come down with a fatal case of ring rust after being dominated by Masanori Kanehara on Saturday night.

Kanehara easily took the first round and newer fans to the sport were left thinking "what was all the fuss about this McDonald kid?"


And the submission victory looked on the cards for Kanehara when he locked in a tight arm triangle on McDonald.

But 'Mayday' rallied and pulled off a gorgeous escape to wind up on Kanehara's back and needed just a split second to lock in a body triangle, sneak his forearm under the chin and draw the tap via a rear naked choke.

Performance of the Night - Carlos Condit

This is the first time that we've ever awarded a POTN to a losing fighter but, damn it, Carlos Condit deserves it.


We had his welterweight title match-up with champion Robbie Lawler scored for 'The Natural Born Killer' but wouldn't go so far as to call it a robbery like many fans are doing.

The third round was a tight one and Condit definitely deserves an immediate rematch but he earns our recognition just due to the fact that his gameplan was perfect, his technique was sound and it was unqualified judging that led to his losing the main event of UFC 195.

We certainly hope he doesn't retire, as has been suggested, because he's clearly one of the most dangerous men on the planet at 170 lbs.

One to Watch - Brian Ortega

He's not exactly a newbie but the maturity that 24-year-old Brian Ortega showed against veteran Diego Brandao on Saturday was cause for many featherweights to worry.

Ortega was likely behind on the scorecards going into the third round against the heavy-handed Brazilian at UFC 195 when the corner advice of Rener Gracie paid dividends in the final five minutes.

Ortega took advantage of a slowing Brandao to go through a stunning sequence in which he switched between an arm-in guillotine to an anaconda choke to a mounted guillotine before tempting Brandao into a vice-like triangle that earned a tap instantly and moved Ortega to 10-0, 1 NC.