I don't think they were really that early, Barnett knee'd Mir in the face and he buckled as if he just got KTFO, just dropped flat on the floor and Barnett was right on top of him, hard to see how he would've recovered from that and thus IMO smarter to let the guy get away with less punishment than bank for that 1 in a 100 longshot. Better for carreer longetivity and shorter layoffs between fights.
Was impressed with the destruction Barnett put on Mir, I'd like to see him fight Browne next for the number one contender slot. Mir is a solid gatekeeper and decent top 10 fighter so I don't think they'll cut him despite 3 straight losses (all of those being against very high level of competition as well), but he desperately needs a win in his next bout to keep him relevant so throwing him in there with Reem might not be the best idea if UFC wants to keep him around.
They could sell him fighting Gonzaga as exciting grappler vs grappler fight, or he could fight Mitrione/Schaub winner or loser depending on how to fight plays out. Should be fights he could win. I'd like to see Vera fight Reem, might seem like easy steamroll fight for Reem but both are guys who are known for their amazing ability to fuck up when the fight seems theirs for the taking. Vera could tire Reem out by running around the cage like he did today, although I don't really see it working as well against someone with more refined striking as even Rothwell, a large and immobile heavyweight was able to stop some of his circling with hooks.
Either way some interesting matchups to be booked and looking forward to seeing how it turns out.
Koch - Poirier was good entertaining scrap, I was little bit surprised how easily Poirier was able to tag Koch over and over as I was kind of expecting Koch to hold the striking advantage here. Mendes - Guida was some of the best entertainment the night had to offer as well, I just really enjoy watching the smaller men keep up such a hectic pace and excecute with proper technique through out the fight. Also very cool flying groin kick by Guida . Mendes is a fucking animal though, would love to see him rematch Aldo or fight Edgar.
The more I think of it, if they could sell Edgar - Mendes as a main event I think that would be one hell of an exciting fast paced action packed scrap, but I don't know if they could do that, maybe for some smaller free TV event but definitely wouldn't sell enough for a PPV. Fight like that would need those 5 rounds to do it any justice though.
Pettis really surprised me with that armbar, Bendo seemed to take it really well considering his arm must've been a little messed up and he'd just lost the belt. Pettis seemed to get the better of the little striking exchanges they had, forcing Bendo to work the takedowns and clinch game, he seemed to be doing fine up until getting caught with that sub. Was little bummed to see it end so early, would've liked to enjoy full five rounds of it...