10 Things We Learned from UFC on Versus 5

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOOD AND GREAT

Joseph Benavidez

Duane Ludwig used his superior striking to battered Amir Sadollah in the opening bout of the televised card.

A meeting of two Muay Thai practitioners, the veteran Ludwig quickly showed the difference between a good striker and a great striker, beating Sadollah to the punch throughout the opening round and landing with heavy counters every time he came forward. It was more of the same in the second, and while Ludwig slowed a little in the third, he did more than enough to earn the unanimous decision win.

The loss leaves Sadollah in limbo. His record now stands at 5-3 and he has been unable to get over the middle-of-the-pack hump to this point in his career. Normally, being on the business end of a beating like this with a marginal track record is enough to get you released, but having won Season 7 of The Ultimate Fighter, Sadollah will most likely live to fight another day.

Ludwig has now won back-to-back bouts since returning to the welterweight ranks.

JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ: THE UFC’S BANTAMWEIGHT DILEMMA

Promoted leading into his fight with Eddie Wineland on the Facebook stream as a potential future champion, bantamweight Joseph Benavidez poses a dilemma for the UFC.

After getting the better of Wineland in a fight contested wholly on the feet, the Team Alpha Male product has now won three consecutive fights, two of them coming in the UFC. He’s 15-2 overall and universally regarded as one of the top 135 pound competitors in the sport. The only problem is that he’s lost to reigning champion Dominick Cruz twice.

Those defeats — the most recent of which came this time last year — has Benavidez on the outside of the title chase looking in, forced to watch as friend, teammate and mentor Urijah Faber battles former champion Brian Bowles for another crack at the championship later this year, just a few months after losing to Cruz himself.

Many expect Benavidez to drop to flyweight when the 125 pound division opens up in the UFC, but with no official word on when that will happen, the 27-year-old is forced to continuing residing in “The Rich Franklin Zone” until further notice.

HERMAN MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME

After being out of the cage for two years due to major knee injuries, Ed Herman is wasting no time putting himself right back into the mix in the middleweight division.

The former Ultimate Fighter finalist won his second fight in three months Sunday night. Exhibiting an improved submission game off his back, Herman missed on a handful of attempts early before catching Kyle Noke in a nasty inverted heel hook late in the first round.

Back in June, Herman collected a first round technical knockout against Tim Credeur, his first fight since tearing his knee ligaments against Aaron Simpson at UFC 102. This was a very strong showing from the Team Quest talent, and should position him for a move up the middleweight ladder in his next fight.

NEW NAMES EMERGE ACROSS THE BOARD ON FACEBOOK

Edwin Figueroa, Jim Hettes and Ronny Markes all impressed to various degrees in their bouts on Sunday night; so did Jared Hamman in his middleweight debut.

Figueroa dominated Jason Reinhardt to collect the first UFC win of his career. He earned Fight of the Night honors in a losing effort opposite Michael McDonald in March, taking the fight on short notice, and looks to be someone to watch in the 135 pound division.

After a back-and-forth first round that saw countless transitions, Hettes finally sunk in a rear-naked choke on Alex Caceres in the second round to remain unbeaten. The Kingston, Pennsylvania native is now 9-0 in his career; all nine of his wins have come by submission and he’s never been beyond the second round.

Brazilian Markes showed solid grappling in controlling Karlos Vemola over the course of 15 minutes to earn a win in his debut as well. A Nova Uniao product, Markes dictated the tempo of the fight and took his Czech opponent down with ease, much to the surprise of Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg. While far from flashy, it was a good showing for the young light heavyweight in his firs trip into the Octagon.

Last but not least, Hamman showed heart and his heavy hands in dispatching C.B. Dollaway in the second stanza of his maiden voyage in the middleweight division. After going 1-2 in the 205 pound ranks, Hamman survived an arm triangle choke in the opening round, then unloaded on the former TUF finalist in the second to earn an impressive victory.

SHAWN TOMPKINS (MARCH 16, 1974 – AUGUST 14, 2011)

Sadly, we also learned of the passing of one of the sport’s most respected and beloved coaches during Sunday’s event.

Shawn Tompkins passed away unexpectedly Sunday; he was 37 years old. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Emilie, their family and friends, and everyone affiliated with Team Tompkins.

Gone but never forgotten… I’ll miss you, Coach.

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