UFC Fight Night 24: Ten Things We Learned

photo by Tracy Lee for Yahoo Sports


No, it’s not the newest screenplay to come out of Hollywood, but rather the biggest story coming out of Fight Night 24 in Seattle.

In the rematch of their epic 2010 encounter, “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung became the first fighter to successfully execute a Twister inside the Octagon. The rare submission, a combination neck crank/spinal twist, hence the name, has been completed in competition before, but never in the UFC.

After a stirring first meeting, Jung and Leonard Garcia both appeared more measured this time around. While the frequent split decision winner Garcia was still throwing fastballs and exhibiting his trademark aggression, Jung was clearly the better man in this one.

Already wildly popular, Jung’s profile will continue to grow after this performance. As an aside, I might take a slight hiatus from Heavy to write my Zombie Twister script.


Watching Michael McDonald excel inside the Octagon at age 20 reminds me (again) that I really didn’t apply myself enough growing up. While I lumbered my way through a degree I don’t use, the youngest fighter on the UFC roster has already collected his first win inside the Octagon.

Paired with late replacement Edwin Figueroa, the featherweights put on the Fight of the Night, with McDonald dictating much of the up-tempo action. He showcased improved hands and an ability to make Figueroa miss in the first round, then played to his strengths in the final two rounds, bringing the fight to the floor and threatening with numerous submissions.

Soft-spoken and humble, McDonald has a chance to develop into one of the stars of the lighter weight classes. His youth will afford him the opportunity to be brought along slowly, and his impressive showing Saturday night introduced him to a new crop of fans who will surely want to see more “Mayday” in the future.

Don’t be surprised if McDonald is one of the faces of the mighty mites inside of three years.


After his bout with Paulo Thiago was taken off the third UFC on Versus card due a late injury to the Brazilian, Johny Hendricks was eager to get back into the cage as quickly as he could. Unfortunately for T.J. Waldburger, that meant replacing Dennis Hallman on Saturday night.

A former standout at Oklahoma State, Hendricks continued his climb up the welterweight ladder with a blistering first round knockout win. A pair of lefts spelled the end for Waldburger, the first putting him off balance, the second sending him crashing to the canvas. While the Texan objected to the stoppage, it was the right call.

The victory moves Hendricks to 10-1 in his career and gets him back into the win column following his first career loss. With his outstanding wrestling base and heavy hands, the heavily bearded Hendricks has the skill set to be a dark horse contender in the deep 170-pound ranks for a long time to come.


There was almost a packed house for the opening bout of the night. Not the opening bout of the main card, the opening bout period. People filed in early to catch Waylon Lowe and Nik Lentz grind on each other.

WIth a sold-out KeyArena full of raucous fight fans, there is no question the UFC will return to Seattle in the future. The only item that is up for debate is whether they bring another Fight Night/Versus event to the Pacific Northwest or if a pay-per-view is in this region’s future.


Though they’re not coaching on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter as many thought they would, bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and the only man to beat him, Urijah Faber, are officially set to lock horns again this summer.

The UFC announced the bantamweight title bout prior to the start of Fight Night 24 via Twitter, setting off an instant round of early predictions from fans and media. This is a bout that has been anticipated since Faber made the move down from featherweight following his loss to Jose Aldo at WEC 48, and will be sure to generate a great deal of banter in the coming months.

Cruz and Faber have been at odds since the build up to their first meeting at WEC 26. That night, Faber was the defending champion and handed Cruz the first and only loss of his career.Now it will be Cruz coming in with the belt around his waist, attempting to defend the bantamweight belt he won from Brian Bowles for a third time.