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UFC 145 offers glimpse into future


While one youngster deservedly grabbed headlines in Atlanta, Jon Jones wasn't the lone sub-25-year-old UFC-signed fighter to make a statement Saturday.

Michael "Mayday" McDonald, 21, and Rory "Ares" MacDonald, 22, left their respective marks on the UFC 145 undercard, further proof that the next generation of fighter -- truly the first to grow up training "mixed martial arts" as its own unique, all-encompassing style -- is quickly going to have a strong say in what happens inside the Octagon.

It's easy to want to compare Mc (15-1) and Mac (13-1), for obvious reasons. Besides impressive records, both fighters choose to be aggressive. "Mayday" is the better striker, but not by much. His speed with combinations and perpetually forward momentum makes a trying mixture to defend against. "Ares" is a tactical, physically dominant mauler, which perfectly suits his grappling-heavy, ground-and-pound tendencies.

McDonald's rise to the top of his division could come faster than MacDonald's, but that's just a byproduct of the contender landscape at 135 (where McDonald plies his trade) and 170 pounds (MacDonald's territory). No matter when it happens, each man will have a chance to prove he's the best in the world at his weight.

Can they come through like Jones did, when he defeated Maurico Rua to claim the UFC light heavyweight title? Only time will tell.

It wasn't just kids who lit up the highly anticipated weekend, and the Report Card is jam-packed.

From A to F, here's how they fared:

Josh Gross covers MMA for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter at JoshGrossESPN.