Surprises and Disappointments is a column featured on MMAOddsbreaker.com after every UFC event, highlighting three fighters who had surprising performances and three fighters who disappointed. Here were the three biggest surprises and the three biggest disappointments from UFC 178. Yoel Romero — Move over everyone else at 185lbs, because there’s a new contender in town and his name is Yoel Romero. The “Soldier of God” put on an epic fight against Tim Kennedy that was capped by a crazy third round knockout win for the Cuban. I can’t even describe how good this fight was — just watch it. I really think Romero is a beast and I can’t wait for him to fight a top-five opponent in his next fight. Dominick Cruz — Not much was expected of Dominick Cruz after a three-year layoff, but he showed exactly why he was the long-time belt holder in his division as the bantamweight smashed Takeya Mizugaki early and often en route to a brutal first-round stoppage. Cruz has never looked so good in the Octagon, and he definitely looks like the next guy in line for a shot at current UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw. Manny Gamburyan — In the first fight of the evening, Manny Gamburyan mounted an epic comeback to defeat Cody Gibson via submission with just seconds to go in the second rounds. Gamburyan was rocked and dropped, hit in the cup, and beat up in the clinch throughout the fight, but his chin somehow held up and his grappling shined once again as he grabbed the highlight-reel W. I was surprised by Gamburyan’s performance and, dare I say it, he makes for an intriguing fighter at 135lbs. Disappointments Amanda Nunes — I know she was the underdog, but there was a lot of hype behind Amanda Nunes and, ultimately, she disappointed me. After a brutal first-round onslaught on Cat Zingano — arguably a 10-8 round — Nunes started to slow down considerably in rounds two and three before finally getting finished with elbows in the third. Nunes knew coming into this fight her cardio needed to be in check to beat Zingano, but she blew her gas tank early and suffered for it. I do think Nunes is top 10 material, but she has a lot of work to do if she wants to be a contender. >John Howard — John Howard had looked very good in his second run in the UFC, but somehow he lost a split decision to elder statesman Brian Ebersole. I personally thought Howard did enough to edge a decision out, but the fight was definitely closer than it should have been and I’m not shocked at all the judges blew it. I like Howard, but he is definitely at the risk of being let go by the promotion. Cody Gibson — For nearly 10 full minutes, Cody Gibson looked like he was in total control of Manny Gamburyan, but then out of nowhere — BAM! With just four seconds left in the second round, Gamburyan somehow managed to coax a tapout from Gibson to win in his bantamweight debut. I still think Gibson looked solid overall, but yeah, that was an ugly ending for him. Gibson’s a good fighter, but he has a lot of room to improve, and hopefully for his sake he does.
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