Fabio Maldonado emerged from UFC 153 with more fans than he went in with, despite losing to Glover Teixeira and taking a one-sided beating in the process.
Maldonado endured two of the hardest rounds any fighter in the UFC has ever endured, spending most of the fight mounted and taking heavy leather. The first round alone he took 114 shots and landed just 14 of his own.
But any opportunity he got, he returned to his feet and tried to finish Teixeira. One of his 14 punches in the first round was a hue left hook that very nearly stopped Teixeira in his tracks for what would have been the comeback of the year.
In the end though, Maldondo took so much damage that his left eye sealed shut. The doctor stopped the fight before the third round could commence, despite Maldonado’s (untrue) protestations that he could still see. “He’s not human,” said an incredulous Teixeira afterwards, saluting Maldonado’s spirit and toughness.
After the fight Maldonado was taken to hospital and despite Teixeira being part of the Black House/Team Nogueira setup, the Nogueira brothers dropped in to the hospital to see how he was doing. They have a reputation as some of the coolest cats in the sport and its things like this that make you see why.