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The Scorecard, 'UFC on ESPN 40: Santos vs. Hill'

See which five athletes stood out with their performance at Saturday's card at the UFC Apex.

Saturday's UFC on EPSN 40 event is in the books, and now that the dust has settled in Las Vegas, it's time to go to the scorecard to see who the big winners were at the UFC APEX.

1. Jamahal Hill


On a night when any of the card's winners could be on this list, Jamahal Hill clearly closed the show and earned the top spot with his victory over Thiago Santos. It as a win that wasn't just big on paper, as Hill took out his highest-ranked foe to date, but big in the fact that the Michigan standout had to weather some adversity and go past the third round for only the second time in his career (and first in the UFC) to halt a former world title challenger in the fourth. It was proof once again that potential champions aren't made in easy fights, but tough ones, and Hill raised his stock last Saturday.

2. Geoff Neal


Speaking of raising his stock, Geoff Neal did just that in halting Vicente Luque in the third round. Like Hill's win over Santos, it was a big win on paper, but even more so because "Handz of Steel" got over the hump of stepping up and winning when the stakes were at their highest. In previous bouts against higher-ranked contenders Stephen Thompson and Neil Magny, Neal came up short. Against Luque, he came up with the most important victory of his promising career.

3. Mohammed Usman


When you're the younger brother of one of the greats of the sport and you're competing in that same sport, it's got to be tough to hear the constant comparisons. Of course, you don't hear that out of the mouth of Mohammed Usman, brother of welterweight king Kamaru Usman, but "The Motor" did make a statement on Saturday, as he started carving out his own place in the UFC by knocking out Zac Pauga to win "The Ultimate Fighter 30." Will he match his brother's success? That remains to be seen, but he dealt with a lot of pressure and got the job done last weekend, and that's a positive sign.

4. Bryan Battle

As I wrote last week, Bryan Battle's decision to move DOWN in weight to compete in what many believe is a tougher division than the one he was in speaks volumes about who he is as a fighter. And if his one-kick knockout of Takashi Sato is any indication, not only was that decision the correct one, but one that could lead him to the top at 170 pounds in a few years. Or maybe sooner, given "The Ultimate Fighter" winner's 3-0 start in the octagon.

5. Terrance McKinney

If you're not a Terrance McKinney fan by now, are you really a fan of mixed martial arts? Here we have a young man whose back story is so compelling that he could lay-and-pray for 15 minutes and you would still root for him. But here's a fighter who shows up looking for the finish as soon as the octagon gate closes, and more often than not, he gets it in the first five minutes, and even when he loses, like he did to Drew Dober, it was a must-see for the 3:17 it lasted. Saturday night was another one for his highlight reel as he halted Erick Gonzalez in the first round, and while I don't know if "T.Wrecks" will ever become a UFC champion, I will be watching every step of the way to find out.

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