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Falling Action: Winners, Losers in Wild Weekend That Was

Some weekends are all about serious MMA action featuring major title fights and top-ranked fighters laying it all on the line for glory and money.

Other weekends are about a 305-pound former champ beating up on a wheezing Polish strongman, while on the other side of the nation a novice fighter makes his entrance to his own rap song, only to be summarily pummeled by a middle-aged Olympic silver medalist.

For better or worse, this weekend was of the latter variety. We might as well see if we can't learn something from it.

Biggest Winner: Matt Lindland
His Strikeforce: Challengers win wasn't the kind of victory that proves he's ready to get back in the mix with top middleweights, but at least it staved off a forced retirement for a little while. Lindland rarely wins pretty, though as long as he can still beat the Kevin Casey's of the world, things aren't so bad.

Biggest Loser: Mariusz Pudzianowski
Pudz should really consider getting some cardio into his workout routine. Maybe a little less time spent carrying Atlas stones and a little more time on the Stairmaster would have helped him at least lose with dignity at Friday night's Moosin event. Looks like it's back to fighting hand-picked punching bags in Poland.

Most Overblown Post-Fight Self-Assessment: Tim Sylvia
After a second-round victory over a 2-0 fighter who's known more for lifting Volkswagens than for knocking people out, Sylvia declared himself officially "back." As if somehow, this was the important win that would breathe life back into his career and land him in the big fights once again. Drug test that man. Immediately.

Best New Prospect: Roger Bowling
Before the fight was stopped due to an accidental eye-poke, Bowling showed the kind of technical skill and raw aggression that must have made Strikeforce salivate over his future potential. Whatever the terms of his deal with the organization, Strikeforce should take steps to lock this guy down for the next few years. Let's just hope his eye isn't permanently damaged.

Worst Performance by an Audience: Portland, Ore.
It pains me to criticize the fans in such a great Pacific Northwest city, but you don't boo a guy who can't continue after an eye-poke. Bowling was winning that fight handily and had no reason to take the easy way out. Why the Portland crowd would shower him with vitriol as if he had just insulted their favorite roller derby team, I have no idea. Maybe they're all just bitter about being unemployed?

Most in Need of a Trilogy: Roxanne Modafferi vs. Tara LaRosa
Yet again, the female fighters delivered the most exciting fight of the night. Modafferi and LaRosa went back and forth for three rounds, putting on a performance that made the Moosin main event look event look like a sloppy bar brawl at 2 a.m. Now that these two women are knotted at one win each, it's time for the rubber match.

Worst Entrance Music: Kevin Casey
Even if Casey didn't walk out to the sound of his own voice, Million Dollar Man-style -- even if it were just a song by someone else that he happened to like -- it's still a terrible song. The fact that it's his terrible song only makes it worse.

Narrowest Escape: Tyron Woodley
After getting off to a good start against Nathan Coy, the former Missouri wrestler almost gave the fight away in the later rounds. I'm not sure if he was tired or hurt or a little of both, but Woodley should consider himself lucky to have escaped with the win over Coy in his hometown.

Worst Moments in MMA Broadcasting: Moosin
Mauro Ranallo showed up with puns in hand, looking haggard as he wanna be, but his Strikeforce commentary didn't come close to the eardrum assault that took place on the Moosin broadcast. Despite having Bas Rutten on their team, the Moosin crew still managed to make their show into an unimpeachable argument in favor of the mute button. Next time, how about hiring some real professionals?

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