Three fighters outside the spotlight who stepped up at UFC 135

Sunday, September 25, 2011

James Te Huna

The New Zealander picked up an early birthday present on Saturday night, collecting his second UFC victory just five days prior to his 30th birthday.

Fighting outside of Australia for the first time in his career, Te Huna needed just 47 seconds to blast his way through Ricardo Romero in the opening bout of the evening. After landing a big uppercut early, Te Huna landed again shortly after, knocking Romero out cold.

Tony Ferguson

With all due respect to Court McGee, Ferguson might be the most promising talent to come off The Ultimate Fighter in quite some time. After winning Season 13 as a welterweight, Ferguson dropped to lightweight for his post-TUF debut, and delivered an outstanding performance.

Facing tough veteran Aaron Riley, Ferguson demonstrated the punching power that stopped all his TUF opponents, breaking Riley’s jaw with a left uppercut midway through the opening round.

Nate Diaz

Speaking of long and lean lightweights with excellent boxing, Diaz returned from his four-fight welterweight vacation to dominate Takanori Gomi.

The winner of Season 5 of The Ultimate Fighter put together his most impressive performance to date, peppering the former Pride champion on the feet before showing his smooth submission game. Still just 26-years-old, the younger Diaz has all the tools inside the cage to be a contender.

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