Darren Elkins bleeds during every fight, and Saturday’s scrap with Nate Landwehr at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida was no different.
In the prelim scrap from UFC Fight Night 172, that could have won Fight of the Night, Elkins had his moments. He seemed to do solid work with his jab, though he was rocked a couple of times during the second and third rounds.
Over the course of the fight, his face looked like five miles of bad road as the scar tissue broke under Landwehr’s punches.
Landwehr got the first win of his UFC career and was yelling Dana Whites now during the second round. He didn’t get a bonus for his trouble, but he almost certainly earned himself another fight. Let’s look at the other memorable images from UFC Fight Night 172.
The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat
You want to see an image that captures the adulation a fighter feels when they get the nod in a close fight and the crushing feeling the loser absorbs on the other end of that decision? Take a look at the image of Dan Ige, the winner on the left, and Edson Barboza, the loser on the right.
To offer some context, this was Ige’s biggest win. Barboza is close to legend status and has only lost to the most respected fighters in his weight region, and he has beaten many of them. Beating him was big for Ige.
Barboza came into this fight on a two-fight losing streak. He’d never lost three in a row in his career. He dropped down to featherweight for the bout, and there was a lot on the line for him. He seemed to win the first round on the strength of a knockdown. The second frame was close, but two judges saw it in favor of Ige, while all three thought he won the third.
It was a close fight that could have gone either way, but it’s easy to understand Barboza’s pain.
As we saw, losing can hurt in mixed martial arts. Some handle it better than others. We saw the negative side when Marlon “Chito” Vera stiffed China’s Song Yadong after their bout on Saturday night.
Song was awarded the unanimous-decision victory from the three judges. It was another close fight with both men having moments.
After the decision, Song went to shake Vera’s hand, and the image above shows the latter snatching away to deny the sportsmanlike gesture. That wasn’t cool. For the record, I scored the fight for Vera, but Song wasn’t one of the judges. Why take it out on him?
In the main event, Alistair Overeem scored an upset victory via second-round TKO over Walt Harris. This was Harris’ first fight since his daughter was murdered in 2019, and almost the entire mixed martial arts community was behind him.
He didn’t come out on top on Saturday, but he deserves credit for his courage and resilience. In the most sportsmanlike way, Overeem consoled his opponent after the crushing defeat.