A trio of fighters competing on short notice rose to the occasion Saturday night at UFC on FOX 9 during the prelims, as Ryan LaFlare, Bobby Green and Zach Makovsky all picked up impressive wins.
The three competed over the past month-plus, and agreed to step in on short notice to replace injured fighters.
In doing so, they each made an emphatic statement in their respective divisions.
LaFlare (10-0) earned his third UFC victory, scoring a decision over Court McGee. The Long Island MMA fighter kept McGee from landing any serious shots, doing enough damage with his own takedowns and wrestling skills.
The former NJCAA champion replaced Kelvin Gastelum in the contest and showed why many are pegging him for future greatness in the sport. His all-around skills suit the Octagon very well and he could be in store for quite the career-surge at 30 years old.
Green (22-5) picked up his seventh consecutive victory by besting Pat Healy. Last month, he finished James Krause in the first round under some cloudy circumstances.
Nevertheless, the veteran showed that he is one of the quickest fighters in the division, using his speed to off-set the bigger Healy’s power. He is a perfect 3-0 since coming over from Strikeforce, where he went 4-1.
Makovsky (17-4) had the shortest turnaround, as he won the Resurrection Fighting Alliance flyweight title on December 14. After John Dodson bowed out, the former Bellator bantamweight champion stepped in and topped Scott Jorgensen.
While Jorgensen was making his flyweight debut, he was viewed as a contender within the Top-10 after facing some exceptional fighters at bantamweight.
Makovsky, nicknamed “Fun Size,” did his hometown of Atlanta and fighting hometown of Philadelphia proud by wrestling with Jorgensen. He nearly finished him several times, and could be positioned for a quick climb in the division that is still growing.
All three of these fighters finished off 2013 in perfect fashion and could be in spots to have a big new year.