1. "Smiling" Sam Strikes Again!
In the prelims, Sam Alvey squared off with TUF 23 fighter Eric Spicely. Spicely, known for his submissions on The Ultimate Fighter, found himself on the receiving end of a standing guillotine choke. Spicely had said he was banged up leading up to the fight, but did not feel that Alvey would submit him, but he admitted, "I left my neck open and he got me." "Smiling" Sam is one of the most exciting fighters at 185, and I look forward to seeing him fight again.
2. Possible FOTY?
In the co-main event of the evening, Tony Ferguson and Lando Vannata went to war. Vannata, who took the fight on two weeks notice, did not disappoint in his debut. He nearly knocked out "El Cucuy" multiple times in the first. And although he did get caught in a D'arce choke, Vannata is definitely someone to look out for as he begins what could be a very promising UFC career. As for Ferguson, he deserves to be given either a No. 1 contender fight or a crack at the newly crowned Eddie Alvarez. He has proven that he is an elite fighter at 155, and I hope the UFC rewards his work in the octagon.
3. John Lineker: Man of Steel
The main event of the first card under new ownership pitted John Lineker and Michael McDonald. It took a mere 2 minutes and 14 seconds for Lineker to get the stoppage victory. In the fight, he had secured his 10th knockdown, one of 16 to do so, with him being the lightest fighter. There is no doubt that he has the heaviest hands in the division, but with his calling out of Dominick Cruz, is he a championship caliber fighter? He is likely a win or two away from a potential title shot, but he has the tools, both standing up and on the ground, to be a contender in the division.