Category Archives: What or Who's Next?

UFC 115 News & Notes – Who or What’s Next

News & Notes

– Fight of the Night Bonus: Carlos Condit vs Rory MacDonald. Both fighters received an $85k bonus for their effort

– Submission of the Night: Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic. He received an $85k bonus.

– Knockout of the Night: Rich Franklin. Also received an $85k bonus.

– Rich Franklin broke his arm blocking a kick from Chuck Liddell early in the fight, yet continued until he was awarded to KO victory. Man’s Game.

– In an interview after the fights, Dana White guaranteed that UFC 115 was the last time we see Chuck Liddell fight.

– Pat Barry broke his hand in the first round, and a bone in his foot sometime in the second round in his loss to Mirko “Cro Crop” Filipovic.

– UFC 115 was Mirko “Cro Crop” Filipovic’s last fight on his contract, a new one is expected to be worked out shortly.

Who or What’s Next

Rich Franklin – Rich may be on the shelf for a while mending his broken arm, but likely opponents on his return are Forrest Griffin or Lyoto Machida

Chuck Liddell – I’m 90% sure this is the last time we see Chuck Liddell in the cage. He is a legend of the sport, and has nothing left to prove. Thank you for the memories.

Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic – Likely upcoming opponents for Cro Cop are Ben Rothwell, Micheal Russow, or a rematch with Cheick Kongo.

Pat Barry – Honestly, I think some time in the local circuit could do Barry a lot of good. Until he gets some sort of ground game in his skill set, he will never be a true threat in the UFC. He needs to have a gut check, and see if fighting is what he really wants to do for a living. In multiple interviews, he’s openly admitted about his awful diet and it shows when he fights. He completely gassed after the first round, which led to Cro Cop busting him up.

Ben Rothwell – I think a fight with Cro Cop, which was in the works a while ago is still a fantastic match-up for both fighters. If not Mirko, I’d love to see a rematch with Roy Nelson. Their fight in the IFL was really close and highly entertaining.

Gilbert Yvel – Gilbert Yvel should return to K-1 kick boxing. After 2 straight losses in the UFC, he’s likely to get his walking papers this week.

Martin Kampmann – Kampmann exploded in to title contention after his dismantling of Paulo Thiago at UFC 115. With the title on hold for a while, with George St. Pierre and Josh Koscheck off filming the 12th season of The Ultimate Fighter, one or two title eliminator fights are in his future. Dan Hardy or Dong-Hyun Kim are likely choices for his next bout.

Paulo Thiago – Since Paulo Thiago has debuted in the UFC, he’s been matched up against top 10 welterweights for every fight with the exception of Jacob Volkmann. I really think a step down in competition could really do him some good. Possibly someone like Diego Sanchez, Anthony Johnson, or Matt Serra would be fights with big name recognition and still be a step back.

Carlos Condit – Likely future opponent options for Condit may be Dong-Hyun Kim, John Hathaway, or Mike Swick.

Rory MacDonald – Even though I predicted MacDonald to beat Condit at UFC 115, I still thought it was way too high of a jump in competition for such a young prospect. MacDonald will most likely be on a medical suspension for a while, but when he returns I’d like to see him fight a couple guys closer to his experience level. James Wilks, Amir Sadollah, or Jesse Lennox would be viable options.

Evan Dunham – Even Dunham will likely sky rocket into most people’s top ten lightweight lists, after he completely controlled Tyson Griffin for all three rounds. It’s top level guys from here on out for Dunham. I could see Dunham getting the winner of the George Sotiropoulos/Kurt Pellegrino fight, which takes place in July.

Tyson Griffin – With most of the upper-level lightweights already in bout agreements. Griffin will most likely get the loser of the Sotiropoulos/Pellegrino fight.

Mac Danzig – Danzig may not know this, but that fluke stoppage maybe the best thing to ever happen to him. It earns him at least one more nice payday in the UFC, because a rematch with Wiman is likely.

Matt Wiman – Rematch with Mac Danzig is likely.

Mario Miranda – Unfortunately for Miranda, his dominant victory over David Loiseau was not shown due to time constraints. Miranda has a lot of potential, and I hope they continue to give him a few more “warm-up” fights before he takes a big jump in competition. Tom Lawlor, Ryan Jensen, or Nick Catone would be perfect.

David Loiseau – It’s back to the Canadian local circuit for “The Crow”.

James Wilks – Mike Guymon seems like the perfect fit for James Wilks’ next opponet. It’s a fight Wilks is very capable of winning, but Guymon will give him a tough test to see where Wilks is on the welterweight ladder.

Peter Sobotta – It’s back to the European local circuit for Peter Sobotta after going 0-2 in the UFC.

Claude Patrick – In an interview with MMA Fanhouse after his UFC 115 victory, Claude Patrick called out Dong-Hyun Kim. As intriguing and exciting that fight would be, I feel Patrick could benefit from more showcase fights. Claude Patrick very well may be a future top ten welterweight, but a slow rise to the top will be better in the long run. I’d like to see Patrick against someone like James Wilks, Mike Pyle, or TJ Grant for now.

Ricardo Funch – It’s back to the Brazilian local circuit for Ricardo Funch.

Mike Pyle – Pyle had his most impressive showing of his career at UFC 115 with his win over Jesse Lennox. Another B level fighter is likely in the future for Pyle. TJ Grant, Brian Foster, or Matt Serra would be solid options.

Jesse Lennox – Lennox is a fighter that may be getting his pink slip from the UFC, but I hope that isn’t the case. His fight with Pyle was non-stop action, and I believe it earned him another fight inside the UFC. If he does stay, a fight with Renzo Gracie, Mike Guymon, or UFC-newcomer Curt Warburton would work.


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UFC 111: News and Notes/Who or What’s Next

Matthew Riddle vs Greg Soto

Matt Riddle got back to his winning ways after suffering  his first professional loss against Nick Osipczak last August. Using his relentless take down ability and smothering top control, Riddle frustrated Soto for two and a half rounds. Soto never really was able to offer anything offensively, while spending most of the fight on his back. Even on the feet, Riddle was able to get the better of the exchanges using the clinch to deliver big knees to the legs and body. The fight came to an end in the third round after Soto landed an illegal up kick to the jaw of Riddle. The ringside doctor stopped the fight even though Riddle wanted to continue. Matthew Riddle was awarded the disqualification victory, but he was well on his way to earning the unanimous decision victory anyway.

Matthew Riddle – A young talented fighter like Riddle just needs more experience in the cage more than anything. Another low-level to mid-range welterweight is in store for Riddle. Somebody like Jake Ellenberger, Matt Brown, or Brian Foster would be formidable next opponent.

Greg Soto – Usually UFC-newcomer’s get two chances inside the octagon to get a win, but I’m not sure if Soto will be given that second look. He was dominated for the length of the fight, and then had the disqualification to top it off. If he is brought back for another bout, he will most likely be put up against somebody fighting for their UFC career as well. Examples include Daniel Roberts, Julio Paulino, or Ricardo Funch.

Jared Hamman vs Rodney Wallace

Jared Hamman and Rodney Wallace put on a crowd pleasing show from the first bell to the last on Saturday night. The two light heavyweights battled back and forth in all areas. In the first round, Wallace was able to get frequent take downs and throw some vicious ground and pound from the top position. Just when it looked like Wallace was cruising to earn the round, Hamman landed a head kick that sent Wallace to the mat. Wallace recovered and was able to get back to the feet only to be knocked down again with a flurry of punches right before the end of the round. The second round began in Wallace’s favor again with more take downs, but when Hamman escaped a triangle choke attempt, he dropped more devastating punches to earn him the round again. In the third round, it was Hamman with the take down and better positioning. Wallace again attempted a triangle choke and kimura from the bottom, but Hamman was able to stay out of any real danger to secure him the victory. Each fighter earned the $65K “Fight of the Night” bonus for their troubles.

Jared Hamman – Hamman earned another fight in the UFC with his victory in New Jersey. Most likely he’ll get another up and coming light heavyweight to see where his place in the division stands. Kyle Kingsbury, Brian Stann, or James Te Huna are possibilities.

Rodney Wallace – Wallace now falls to 0-2 inside the UFC. He is definitely a possibility to be cut from the roster, but the exciting nature of his fight with Hamman may have earned him another shot. If Wallace does receive a 3rd chance inside the octagon, Igor Pokrajac or Stephan Bonnar would be possible match-ups.

Tomasz Drwal vs Rousimar Palhares

Drwal made a crucial mistake early that cost him the fight against the elite jiu-jitsu artist, Rousimar Palhares. Drwal attempted a head kick that was off the mark, causing him to slip and fall to the mat. Palhares quickly dove in, locked in a heel hook and forced the tap. Controversy ensued after Palhares was late on releasing the hold, even after the ref had stepped in to pull him off. Drwal was left screaming in agony on the mat, but eventually walked off on his own accord. X-ray’s since have shown there are no fractures and an MRI is scheduled soon. Palhares was suspended 90 days for disciplinary reasons.

Rousimar Palhares – I expect Palhares to get a big name fight next after the quick victory at UFC 111. Nate Marquardt, Vitor Belfort, and Chael Sonnen are all without scheduled fights at the moment, and Palhares could offer a solid match-up.

Tomasz Drwal – Hopefully this injury doesn’t keep him out too long. When he does come back, I see Drwal going up against a rising welterweight, ready to make a jump up the ladder. Possible options include: CB Dollaway, Goran Reljic, or Alessio Sakara.

Ricardo Almeida vs Matt Brown

Ricardo Almeida’s first fight at 170 lbs was a successful one. Almeida completely mauled the dangerous Matt Brown by pressing him up against the cage, then dropping him with single leg take downs. Brown never had a chance to release his lethal strikes or knees due to the relentless wrestling aggression of Almeida. In the second round, Almeida opened up a large gash over the left eye of Brown. Soon after another Almeida take down and a transition to mount, Brown tried to scramble to his feet but Almeida took his back and locked in the rear naked choke for the finish.

Ricardo Almeida – Almeida looked impressive in his first fight at welterweight. He showed no signs of fatigue that can be caused by the weight loss, and seemed to be just as strong. I think he can really excel in this division, due to the power and size advantage he will have over most of his opponents. He’ll be able to get smaller fighters down with sheer power, to make up for his lack of wrestling technique. I’d really like to see Almeida against one of the top guys in the division. Perhaps Dan Hardy, Mike Swick, or John Howard.

Matt Brown – This wasn’t a good match-up for Brown at all. As long as he keeps putting on exciting fights, he will probably have a gatekeeper job with the UFC as long as he wants. I’d like to see a fight with Anthony Johnson next for Brown. Two exciting strikers going at it, with the winner most likely getting a large jump in competition.

Nate Diaz vs Rory Markham

Nate Diaz’s first fight at welterweight was a successful one. On Saturday night, Diaz was visibly the smaller fighter but that wasn’t an issue. Diaz flustered Markham early with a flurry of punches, sending him into a retreat. Diaz then landed a knee in the clinch against the cage, dropping Markham to the floor. Diaz quickly surged in on Markham and finished the fight shortly after with another array of punches.

Nate Diaz – Even though Diaz looked really good during his first bout at 170 lbs, I still believe the move up in weight is the wrong decision. Diaz struggled against the top wrestlers in the lightweight division, and they’re only going to be bigger and stronger in the welterweight division. Possible exciting fights for Diaz right now include: Chris Lytle, Dustin Hazelett, or Matt Brown.

Rory Markham – I really don’t see the UFC keeping Markham after this loss. This is his second loss in a row, and he didn’t look good in either one. He came in 7 pounds heavy for his fight with Diaz, which isn’t going to help him make any friends either.

Jim Miller vs Mark Bocek

Two of the best grapplers in the lightweight division, put on a clinic for the UFC fans of New Jersey. Bocek looked like the stronger fighter for most of the first round with his wrestling keeping Miller on his back for a good portion of the round. But then from the bottom, Miller locked in a deep kimura. Bocek gave up top position and Miller torqued the arm even further. Somehow Bocek survived, but the submission attempt stole the round for Miller. Bocek returned to dominating form in the second, ended up on Miller’s back with a body triangle while pinning his right arm inside the lock. Amazingly, Miller fought off any rear naked chokes attempted by Bocek with just one arm available. There was little action in the third round, but Miller ended up on the back of Bocek in the closing seconds of the fight, earning Miller the slight advantage. The judges awarded Miller with the unanimous victory, but the fight was extremely close and could have easily gone the other way.

Jim Miller – With the victory, Miller is now 6-1 in the UFC and ready to face the top of the division. I’d love to see Miller take on someone like Sean Sherk, Spencer Fisher, or a rematch with Gray Maynard.

Mark Bocek – Bocek, even in defeat, showed that he is still one of the top prospects in the lightweight division. A fight with Joe Lauzon or Dennis Hallman would be a solid next step in his career.

Jon Fitch vs Ben Saunders

Ben Saunders was brave to take a fight with Fitch on short notice, but he showed he’s not quite ready to be apart of the top echelon of the division. For three rounds Fitch dominated Saunders with unrelenting take downs, then peppered his face with brutal ground and pound. The only offense Saunders really had was an up-kick that connected flush on Fitch’s jaw late in the first round. Fitch won the one-sided unanimous decision for his 12th win inside the octagon.

Jon Fitch – Fitch is now an unbelievable 12-1 in his UFC career, with his only loss to current UFC champion, Georges St. Pierre. His loss to St. Pierre was almost 2 years ago now, and Fitch is a much better fighter than he was back then. I believe Fitch is by far and large the true #1 contender for the belt, but the UFC seems completely disinterested in a Fitch/St. Pierre rematch. If the UFC doesn’t want to give Fitch another title shot, Thiago Alves seems like the only worthy match-up.

Ben Saunders – Back to the real world for Saunders. He needs more fights against people around his experience level. Matt Brown, Matt Riddle, or Brian Foster would be suitable opponents.

Kurt Pellegrino vs Fabricio Camoes

Pellegrino and Camoes put on probably the most exciting fight on the televised card. After an early scramble, Camoes took the back of a standing Pellegrino. Camoes locked in a rear naked choke, but Pellegrino remained calm. Pellegrino ended up spiking Camoes face first into the mat, which clearly dazed him. From there on out, the fight was completely controlled by Pellegrino. In the second round, Pellegrino was able to get in mount, and in a scramble took Camoes back. He sunk in the rear naked choke deep, and Camoes was forced the tap.

Kurt Pellegrino – Pellegrino has now rattled off 4 wins in a row, and should get a big jump in competition. Clay Guida, Joe Stevenson, or George Sotiropolous would be interesting fights.

Fabricio Camoes – Camoes is now winless in his first two fights in the UFC and usually that means an instant cut from the promotion. But due to the excitement of the fight with Pellegrino, it may have earned him a 3rd chance.

Frank Mir vs Shane Carwin

The two fighters started off very tentative, but Carwin ended up getting the better positioning in the clinch game. Still there was little offense between the two until Carwin landed a left uppercut that stunned Mir. Carwin then followed that up with about 10 uncontested uppercuts that landed to the jaw of Mir before he dropped to the canvas. Mir grabbed an arm for a last minute desperation submission attempt, but Carwin kept on with the attack. After Mir was no longer protecting himself, referee Dan Miragliotta called off the fight awarding Shane Carwin the interim heavyweight title.

Shane Carwin – Well, there’s no doubt on who Carwin will be getting next. Brock Lesnar @ UFC 116

Frank Mir – Frank Mir will probably have to wait awhile to get the chance to avenge his loss to Brock Lesnar. I’ve read Dana White isn’t very interested in a Velasquez/Dos Santos for the time being, so Mir against either one of those guys is enticing.

Georges St Pierre vs Dan Hardy

For five rounds, Georges St Pierre put on a wrestling clinic against Hardy. St Pierre made it very clear early on that he wasn’t going to take a chance striking with Hardy at all. Most of the fight St Pierre was in side control or half mount, looking for opportunities to finish the fight. Midway through the first round, St Pierre sunk in a deep armbar that was fully extended, but somehow Hardy was able to escape right before everyone thought his arm would snap. The other big moment in the fight was in the fourth round, when St. Pierre locked in a kimura that had Hardy’s arm completely trapped behind him. Once again, the British welterweight would not tap, and eventually escape again. For 25 minutes, St. Pierre never allowed Hardy to amount any of his offensive firepower. When it was all over, St Pierre earned the unanimous decision victory, but Dan Hardy won the respect of the entire MMA community for never giving up.

Georges St. Pierre – Like I said earlier, I believe Jon Fitch should get a rematch with GSP. The UFC has other plans though… the winner of the Koscheck/Daley fight is likely to be the next opponent for the champ.

Dan Hardy – Plenty of quality fights await Dan Hardy after he proved he belongs at the top of the division. Thiago Alves, Jon Fitch, and Ricardo Almeida all make for intriguing match-ups.


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UFC on Versus 1: News and Notes/Who or What’s Next?

Jason Brilz vs Eric Schafer

On paper, no one expected a very exciting fight between these two light heavyweights. But the two, surprisingly put on a rather entertaining show. Brilz and Schafer traded punches wildly while on the feet with Brilz getting the better of most of the exchanges. Jason Brilz was able to control most of the fight inside the clinch, pushing Schafer up against the cage. Occasionally, Brilz was able to get a single-leg take down but wasn’t able to keep Schafer down for very long. Schafer sent the crowd in a frenzy in the first round, when he landed a flying knee that wobbled Brilz, but wasn’t able to capitalize. Other than that, Brilz wasn’t in any other real danger for the rest of the fight. Schafer tried to work a few guillotine chokes when Brilz would attempt take downs but to no avail. Brilz earned the unanimous decision victory to earn himself his 3rd win inside the octagon.

Jason Brilz – I’d like to see Brilz get a small step up in competition. Possibly against Matt Hamill, Keith Jardine, or Brian Stann.

Eric Schafer – Most likely this is the last time we’ll see Schafer on a UFC card for some time. Back to the local circuit for “Red”.

Mike Pierce vs Julio Paulino

It was a rough night for the Brazilian UFC new-comer, Julio Paulino. Pierce used his superior wrestling and top control to completely maul Paulino from the opening bell to the final one. On the feet, Paulino had the large reach advantage but Pierce was able to duck under his punches, grab his legs, and send him on a ride with powerful slams. Once on the mat, Paulino did a good job of not allowing Pierce to move to better positions but couldn’t manage to escape back to the feet. For all three rounds, Pierce peppered the face and body of Paulino from top position earning him the lopsided unanimous decision victory. Paulino never gave up throughout the fight, which will most likely earn him another shot inside the octagon.

Mike Pierce – Another dominant performance for Mike Pierce puts his name on the fast track to the top of the division. I’d like to see Pierce go up against someone who could possibly stop a couple of his takedowns or maybe someone who is great on his back. Maybe Dustin Hazelett, Chris Lytle, or against the giant Anthony Johnson.

Julio Paulino – Paulino’s next fight, he will likely be fighting somebody for his UFC career. I’d like to see him go up against somebody in the same boat. Possibly Ricardo Funch, Phil Baroni, or Rob Kimmons.

Brendan Schaub vs Chase Gormley

As predicted in an earlier blog of mine, Schaub had a short night of work in Colorado. It took all of 47 seconds for Schaub to get the TKO victory over Chase Gormley in front of his hometown fans. Gormley moved in early, but was knocked down with a right hand from Schaub. Gormley recovered quickly but only to recieve more punishment from the former NFL player. Schaub would knock Gormley down two more times before the referee would call the fight and save him from any more punishment. Great showing for TUF Season 10’s runner-up.

Brendan Schaub – Schaub needs more tune up fights before he steps into the higher ranks of the UFC heavyweight division. Possibly Anthony Perosh, Marcus Jones, or Paul Buentello.

Chase Gormley – After two losses in a row to start his UFC career, it’s likely back to smaller shows for Gormley.

John Howard vs Daniel Roberts

John Howard came in to Colorado 3-0 inside the UFC, but very well could have been 0-3. Howard eked out two split decision victories against Tamden McCrory and Chris Wilson, who many people believe he lost those fights. In his 3rd fight inside the cage, he was being completely dominated by Dennis Hallman before KOing the veteran with just 5 seconds left to go in the fight. For his fourth fight against Roberts, he left no doubt inside the cage. Early in the fight, Roberts used a couple submission attempts to get himself in top position. Howard scrambled to his feet, then used his superior strength to throw Roberts down to the mat. From the bottom, Roberts attempted an omoplata but Howard escaped. Howard stood over Roberts then leaped in with a looping left hand that knocks Roberts out cold. Howard then landed another shot for good meausure before referee Tom Johnson throws him off his downed opponent. An exciting fight with a great finish.

John Howard – After 4 straight wins, Howard will get a step up in competition. I know he still probably wants his grudge match with Anthony Johnson.

Daniel Roberts – Roberts was incredibly exciting in his loss to Howard. I hope they give him somebody at the bottom of division to increase his confidence. Possibly Ricardo Funch, Julio Paulino, or Rob Kimmons.

Duane “Bang” Ludwig vs Darren Elkins

Another Denver native, Duane Ludwig, didn’t have a sucessful night in front of his hometown crowd like Brendan Schaub did. UFC new-comer went in for an early shoot and Ludwig stuffed it initially. Elkins stayed persistant and eventually earned the take down. Suddenly, Elkins backs off Ludwig and referee Tim Mills waves off the fight. Replay shows that Ludwig’s leg doubled under him and twists his ankle badly. Darren Elkins earns the TKO victory in his first UFC fight, but surely not the way he wanted it to go. Ludwig was helped out of the cage by his corner.

Duane Ludwig – Hopefully it’s just a sprain, and nothing is too badly hurt. If he can comeback quickly, i’d like to see a rematch with Elkins. I don’t think Elkins would mind.

Darren Elkins – See Above.

Eliot Marshall vs Vladimir Matyushenko

Eliot Marshall, another Denver native, came into the cage with a 3-0 UFC record. I my predictions blog for this fight, i said Marshall would use his speed advantage to earn a decision victory. On Sunday night, Matyushenko was a step ahead of Marshall for all three rounds. Matyushenko used solid counter-punching techniques to frustrate his opponent all fight. Marshall never seemed to find his range against the much more experienced Matyushenko. The two engaged in a kick boxing match for most of the fight with Matyushenko landing the heavier shots. Matyushenko also succeded on a couple single-leg take downs, but wasn’t able to amount any real offense while on the mat. Two of the judges scored the fight 30-27 for Matyushenko, while one judge saw it 29-28 for Marshall (obviously fell asleep during the slow paced contest).

Vladimir Matyushenko – Matyushenko may not be the most exciting fighter in the world, but right now he’s getting the job done. I’d like to see him go up against Ryan Bader, Jon Jones, or Thiago Silva to see if he really has something left in the tank.

Eliot Marshall – Marshall needs more fights with people around his experience level. Possibly James Te Huna, Brain Stann, or Kyle Kingsbury would be solid next fights.

Clay Guida vs Shannon Gugerty

The always energetic Clay Guida has the entire arena in his corner as the chants of “Guida” erupt as the first bell rang. Clay Guida shot in early for a take down, but Gugerty slapped on a guillotine as he came in. The submission attempt didn’t last long as Guida slammed his way out the hold. Gugerty quickly transitioned to triangle choke but Guida stacked up and gained top position. There wasn’t much action in the first after that, until Guida landed a small flurry of punches. In the second, Guida started out with another slam take down, and again Gugerty tried to lock in the guillotine choke. Once again Guida popped out, but this time in a scramble, Guida locked in an arm triangle choke to force the tap from Gugerty.

Clay Guida – A great performance against Gugerty has probably earned Guida one more run against the top guys in the division. Another loss to a top 15 guy may keep him in that gatekeeper role for good. The perfect match-up seems to be Joe Stevenson. One, they are both fan favorites that have struggled against the top of the division. And two, they have never fought each other which is quite impressive for how long they have both been in the UFC.

Shannon Gugerty – After 3 losses in 4 fights, Gugerty should be cut from the promotion.

James Irvin vs Alessio Sakara

Before the real fight, i heard that James Irvin was already in a fight with personal demons. So bad, that a reporter thought he might want to be on suicide watch. I’m not sure if that is true, but it sure looked like it in the cage against Alessio Sakara. Usually Irvin is very energetic before the fight, but tonight he looked like a ghost. There was no expression on his face at all, when Bruce Buffer was announcing his name. Once the fight started, they exchanged punches and leg kicks with Sakara getting the better of the exchanges. Sakara then landed a left hook and Irvin backed up, then fell to the ground holding his eye. Irvin tried to say he was poked, but the replay clearly showed Sakara’s fist was closed. Irvin was looking for a way out the fight, and he got it. Luckily for Sakara, referee Josh Rosenthal was on top of the action and saw that it wasn’t a poke, and was awarded the TKO victory. Very strange ending for UFC’s first fight on Versus.

Alessio Sakara – After winning 3 fights in a row, Alessio Sakara is due for a small step up in competition. Possibly Goran Reljic, CB Dollaway, or UFC new-comer Claude Patrick.

James Irvin – If the depression thing is true, Irvin should take a while off from fighting. I hope he finds the help he needs.

Paul Buentello vs Cheick Kongo

The craziness continues on UFC’s first night on Versus. Cheick Kongo was not going to take a chance of getting knocked out Paul Buentello tonight. Everyone thought these to large heavweights were going to bang it out from start to finish, but Kongo had other plans. Kongo showed he was going to take Buentello down and pound him out from the beginning bell. Half way through the first, Paul Buentello dislocated his pinky finger on a scramble to the feet and the fight was stopped. He first tried to pop it back himself, but later had the doctor do it. They got it popped back in and the fight continued. Kongo proved to be a horrible match-up for Buentello as the fight wore on, the take downs become unstoppable. It all lead to Paul Buentello tapping out due to elbow strikes to the body. Impressive preformance for Kongo again, but they only ever seem to occur against mid-level opponents.

Cheick Kongo – Another guy that’s trying to stay out of that gatekeeper role. He looks amazing against lesser talent, and awful against top talent. What do you do with a guy like this? A fight with Gabriel Gonzaga would leave the winner with one more shot at a title run, and the other on undercards from here on out.

Paul Buentello – I love Paul Buentello, but the game has just passed him by. It’s hard to see the UFC dropping him after his second consecutive loss, due to the fact they don’t want to give any heavyweights to Strikeforce that has any name recognition. If he stays, he could be a solid test for up and comers like Brendan Schaub, Chris Tuchscherer, or Marcus Jones.

Gabriel Gonzaga vs Junior dos Santos

So close! We almost got to see Junior dos Santos’ ground game. Gonzaga caught a kick from Dos Santos and got the sweep to the ground, but in an instant he was able to get back to his feet. Then Dos Santos did what Dos Santos does…. Gonzaga came in with a leg kick, Dos Santos countered with a left that dropped Gonzaga and followed it up with a few more shots that put his fellow Brazillian to sleep. Another dominating performance for the rising superstar heavyweight.

Junior Dos Santos – Cain Velasquez. There is no other fight i’d rather see.

Gabriel Gonzaga – Cheick Kongo.

Jon Jones vs Brandon Vera

So that just happened. Jon Jones didn’t disappoint in his toughest test to date. From the opening bell, he tossed Brandon Vera around like a rag doll. Most of the fight took place inside Brandon Vera’s closed gaurd. Jones left his arm out there dangerously as he worked to break distance and drop bombs, but Vera never even attempted an armbar. Vera seemed satisfied to try and keep Jones close and earn a stand up, but that never happened. At one point, Jon Jones postured up and Vera landed an up-kick to the jaw of Jones while his knee was still on the ground. Herb Dean stopped the fight, and deducted a point from Vera for the illegal blow. Jones opted to return to the same position, and it proved to be the right move. Shortly after the fight was restarted, Jones swung a looping left elbow that struck Vera right in the eye. Instantly, you could see Vera was hurt badly as he covered his face, rolled over, and turtled up. Jones landed a few more shots before Herb Dean stopped the fight and Jones was awarded the TKO victory. Jon Jones looked unstopable again. The sky is the limit for this future superstar.

Jon Jones – Man, my brain says to keep giving Jones mid-level guys, so he can continue honing his skills. But i can’t help but want to see him against people like Forrest Griffin or the loser or Rampage/Rashad Evans. Ok, one more skill building fight…. Vladimir Matyushenko. If he dismantles Matyushenko, you can’t stop him from the top guys.

Brandon Vera – Like i said earlier, Vera is probably very lucky the UFC doesn’t want to give Strikeforce any big named fighters. Most likely Vera’s UFC career will have him stuck on the undercards unless he goes on a big run. Possible next opponents could be: Jason Brilz, Matt Hamill, or a rematch with Keith Jardine.


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WEC 47 News and Notes – Who or What’s Next

Dominick Cruz vs Brian Bowles

In the classic match-up between speed vs power… speed was victorious on Saturday night in Columbus. For two rounds, Cruz controlled the fight using his fast hands and feet, peppering Bowles face in the process. You could see the frustration in Bowles face just minutes into the fight, after realizing he couldn’t find Cruz at all with punches. When Bowles would try to come in with a flurry to get the momentum in his favor, Cruz would easily get a take down and control the top position with ease. Unfortunately the fight was stopped before the start of the third round when the doctor’s said Bowles couldn’t continue due to a broken right hand. If the fight did continue, the outcome probably wouldn’t have been much different.

Dominick Cruz – The early word on Cruz’s first title defense is believed to be a rematch with Joesph Benavidez. I really hope this isn’t true. They fought each other just seven months ago, and Cruz completely dominated the fight. I’d like to see Scott Jorgensen or Damacio Page (pending he beats Antonio Banuelos in April) get the first shot.

Brian Bowles – With another broken hand, Bowles might be out for a while again. With that said, on his return I’d like to see him go up against Wagnney Fabiano, Frank Gomez, or Scott Jorgensen if he doesn’t get the title shot.

Joesph Benavidez vs Miguel Torres

My how things can change in a just a few months in the sport of MMA. Seven months ago, Miguel Torres was WEC’s reining bantamweight champion, in the top five of everyone’s pound for pound lists, and talks of moving up to 155 to fight BJ Penn were running ramped. Now, he’s lost two in a row wondering what his next move is. At WEC 47, Joesph Benavidez executed a flawless game plan since the start of the opening bell. He kept himself out of the reach of Torres’ jab with good footwork, while countering with body kicks. And then with good timed take downs, Benavidez kept Torres on his back and stayed out of harm’s way. Half way through the second round, Benavidez got another take down and landed a couple big elbows that cut open a huge gash in the former champ’s forehead. Then in a scramble, Benavidez locked in a powerful guillotine choke from the mount position and Torres was forced to tap. An impressive showing for the Team Alpha Male member.

Joesph Benavidez – As noted above, Benavidez might be the first to challenge the new champ, Dominick Cruz. I preferably would like to see him go up against another top 5 guy in the division before getting the title shot. Damacio Page, Brian Bowles, Scott Jorgensen, or Wagnney Fabiano would be great match-ups.

Miguel Torres – Torres just needs a win. A step back in competition might do some good for the former champ in his next fight. Charlie Valencia or Frank Gomez would be nice suitable opponents.

Javier Vazquez vs Jens Pulver

Jens Pulver landed a few leg kicks early, but it didn’t take long for Vazquez to drag him to the mat. Once on the floor, Vazquez easily moved around getting to better positions until he locked in an armbar and forced Pulver to tap. After the fight, Jens Pulver hinted at retirement again. As for Vazquez, he finally gets his first win in the WEC cage after losing two close split decision fights.

Javier Vazquez  – I would love to see a fight between Vazquez and Cub Swanson. The winner would sling shot his name into the title picture in the featherweight division.

Jens Pulver – It’s time to hang up the gloves for the former UFC Lightweight Champion. He just doesn’t have the ability to hang with top fighters in the world these days. If he still wants to fight, he’d still be a great draw for local shows but i doubt he’d want that hassle anymore.

LC Davis vs Devidas Taurosevicius

Two fighters with the exact same style of fighting never usually make for an entertaining fight, and this one was no different. The two fighters fought for position in the clinch for most of the three round fight, but neither was able to gain an advantage. Each fighter was able to get a take down every now and then, but no offense was ever mounted as each fighter was able to get back to their feet quickly. After the fight came to the end, one judge saw the fight as a draw, the other two were able to see the advantage for LC Davis somehow, earning him the majority decision victory.

LC Davis – With the victory, that makes it three in a row for Davis, putting his name in the title picture. I’d like to see Davis get a fight with Josh Grispi or Mike Thomas Brown to determine the #1 contender against Aldo or Faber.

Devidas Taurosevicius – With the fight being so evenly matched, i don’t see the loss hurting Taurosevicius on the ladder a top the featherweight division. A fight with Rafael Assuncao, Cub Swanson, or a rematch with Javier Vasquez might be possible for his next fight.

Karen Darabedyan vs Bart Palaszewski

Bart Palaszewski looked like Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira on Saturday night. Palaszewski was tagged on the feet before Darabedyan went for the take down. Darabedyan from the top position continued the onslaught. Meanwhile, Palaszewski was staying active in the guard, looking for an armbar or triangle chokes. Darabedyan was able to avoid the submissions for most of the first round until there was only 25 seconds let in the 1st round. Palaszewski secured the armbar and forced the tap from Darabedyan. The win for Palaszewski is his 2nd in a row in the WEC.

Bart Palaszewski – After the victory, Palaszewski should see a step up in competition. Ed Ratcliff or Rob McCullough are possible solid match-ups for the crafty veteran.

Karen Darabedyan – A step back for Darabedyan is probably in order. Wrestling stand out Dave Jansen or Marcus Hicks would be great fights.

Scott Jorgensen vs Chad George

Well it was an extremely short night for these two bantamweights. Fifteen seconds into the fight, Chad George shot in for a take down but a perfect sprawl from Jorgensen spoiled that plan. From there, Jorgensen locked in a tight guillotine choke and forced George to tap at the 31 second mark in the opening round. Scott Jorgensen has been on a rampage in the division, and may have earned himself a title shot.

Scott Jorgensen – I personally hope Jorgensen is awarded the first shot at Dominick Cruz’s title. That would be such a great fight. If not, Brian Bowles, Wagnney Fabiano, or Miguel Torres are likely opponents.

Chad George – I’d like to see George against WEC new-comer Jesse Moreng, Ivan Lopez, or Will Campuzano.

Chad Mendes vs Erik Koch

Team Alpha Male member, Chad Mendes didn’t sway away from what everyone thought he was going to do in his WEC debut. For three rounds, he used his elite wrestling background to keep Koch on his back and lay down some punishment from the top. There were a couple nervous moments for Mendes in the fight. Koch locked on a triangle choke in the 1st round, but Mendes survived. In the 3rd round, Koch landed a head kick that opened up a gash that stopped the fight for a doctor’s examination. He was allowed to continue and earn the one-sided unanimous decision.

Chad Mendes – A fight with Mackens Semerzier would be a great fight. The winner would be the one of the top prospects in the featherweight division.

Erik Koch – I would love to see the grappling battle with WEC-newcomer Chan Sung Jung, who should be signing with the promotion sometime this week.

Anthony Pettis vs Danny Castillo

Castillo, the better wrestler, scored an early take down but couldn’t keep Pettis on the mat. A couple minutes later, carnage occurred. Pettis followed a jab with a head kick that would make Mirko Cro Cop proud. Castillo was out cold before he hit the floor. Referee Jerry Poe was slow on the stoppage and Pettis landed four or five unnecessary shots to his unconscious opponent. A huge win for the young lightweight prospect. As for Castillo, that’s his second loss in a row, taking his name out of title consideration for the time being.

Anthony Pettis – Chris Horodecki would be a nice opponent for Pettis following his WEC 47 win.

Danny Castillo – A step back for Castillo is necessary after two consecutive losses. Possible next opponents could be Karen Darabedyan, Dave Jansen, or Kamal Shalorus.

George Roop vs Leonard Garcia

Leonard Garcia and late replacement George Roop put on a show for the fans that earned them the “Fight of the Night” bonus. The first round had Garcia spending most of the time on his back, but a guillotine choke attempt and late flurry of punches may have stole the round for him. The second round was a slug fest. Most people feel Roop won the round with an early take down and a late sweep. The third round was much like the second, a stand up war with Roop earning a take down but unable to do anything on the mat. Late in the 3rd, Roop threw a kick that hit Garcia square in the cup. Referee Kevin Mullhall stopped the bout and took away a point from Roop for the foul. The action was close to the final bell, leaving the judges a tough task of declaring a winner… they couldn’t. One judge had it 29-27 for Roop, another had it 29-27 for Garcia, and the last had the fight a 28-28 draw. So a split draw was the final decision. Both fighters are up for a rematch and i don’t think the fans will mind.

George Roop – Leonard Garcia rematch.

Leonard Garcia – George Roop rematch.

Fredson Paixao vs Courtney Buck

This fight went exactly how i pictured it would. Buck landed a big shot early, knocking Paixao to the ground but then Buck made the mistake of following it up on the ground. Paixao swept Buck to gain top position and Buck tried to get back to his feet. In the scramble, Paixao got on Buck’s back and sunk in a rear naked choke until he went limp.

Fredson Paixao – Cole Province rematch, Chan Sung Jung, or Erik Koch would entertaining match-ups.

Courtney Buck – Back to the local circuit.

Ricardo Lamas vs Bendy Casimir

Bendy Casimir’s WEC debut did not go as planned. Everyone knew Casimir wanted to get this fight to the ground and look for the submission. After a short stint on the feet, Casimir looked for his opening to get the fight to the mat. Ricardo Lamas defended the first two take down attempts with ease. Then on the third attempt, Casimir was greeted with a well-timed knee to the face from Lamas knocking him unconscious. Lamas is now 3-1 in the WEC and has solidified himself as one of the top prospects in the lightweight division.

Ricardo Lamas – Rob McCullough or Jamie Varner would be entertaining fights for Ricardo Lamas.

Bendy Casimir – Casimir will need a win in his next fight to keep his job in the WEC. Possible match-ups may be Alex Karalexis, Mike Budnik, or Zach Micklewright.


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UFC 110: Who or What’s Next?

Cain Velasquez

With the win over Nogueira at UFC 110, Velasquez adds his name to the long line of people waiting for a shot at Brock Lesnar. The winner of Mir vs Carwin has already been given the nod as the first challenger for the returning champ, so Velasquez will likely have another fight before a shot at the title. I see Velasquez most likely getting the winner of the Junior dos Santos/Gabriel Gonzaga fight to establish the next #1 contender in the heavyweight division.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

I believe Nogueira now must take the Randy Couture approach of future fights. Unless Nogueira goes on an amazing run, starting with his next fight, i don’t really see him in the title picture anymore. Nogueira, i believe will just go after big fights from now on rather than aiming for the title. I see him getting the winner of Paul Buentello vs Cheick Kongo possibly next.

Wanderlei Silva

Rumors swirling around the internet had the winner of the Silva/Bisping fight most likely fighting Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 115 in Vancouver. Silva didn’t receive a lot of damage in his fight with Bisping other than that small cut under his bottom lip, which shouldn’t be a problem.

Michael Bisping

Bisping is young enough where a loss to an aged Wanderlei Silva isn’t a career killer, but it still kicks you way back down the ladder. The UFC is in a tough spot on what to do with Bisping next. Do you give him a couple fights where he should win and get his confidence back up? Or since he still has selling power, mostly outside the U.S., give him another big fight? I really think Bisping could use some time out of the spotlight and just rack up some wins. Possible opponents like CB Dollaway, Jorge Rivera, or Alessio Sakara could work. But i wouldn’t be surprised if the UFC throws him right back into the fire against Nate Marquardt or Dan Miller, who are both coming off losses as well.

George Sotiropolous

When you beat a top ten fighter, usually it’s big fights from here on out. After dismantling Joe Stevenson, George Sotiropolous has now got the attention of the UFC and other lightweights in the division. Joe Lauzon and Sean Sherk are currently without fights, and could be the next step for Sotiropolous on his journey to the top.

Joe Stevenson

Back to the drawing board…again, for Joe Stevenson. After looking dominant against Spencer Fisher and Nate Diaz, Stevenson falls back down the ladder after the beat down he received at UFC 110. Stevenson may have one more run in him, for a chance at the title again before being used as a gatekeeper in the division. I’d like to see Stevenson fight the winner of Rafael dos Anjos vs Terry Etim.

Ryan Bader

Ryan Bader got a nice victory at UFC 110 against Keith Jardine, but still could use another win or two before getting a big step up in competition. Krzysztof Soszynski is also on a nice run in the UFC, and would be a great match-up of styles. A win for either Bader or Soszynski would put their name in the mix of big fights a top the division.

Keith Jardine

Jardine most likely won’t get cut after his loss in Australia, but he skating on thin ice. He has lost four out of his last five fights, three of which he got knocked out cold. I believe Jardine needs to start from scratch, and work his way back up to relevancy in the division. Fights against Brian Stann, James Te Huna, or Kyle Kingsbury would test and see if he even belongs in the UFC anymore.

Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic

A victory for Cro Cop at UFC 110 was nice to see, but he didn’t show he still has that explosiveness that he once had. He still looked sluggish, which won’t bode well with the younger, faster heavyweights in the UFC. A title run is a long shot, so gimmick fights are really the only thing left. I bet the UFC reschedules the fight Ben Rothwell, as that still seems like the right step for the Croatian.

Anthony Perosh

Back to the local circuit.

Krzysztof Soszynski

As said above… Ryan Bader seems like the perfect match-up.

Stephan Bonnar

According to Dana White, Stephan Bonnar will always have a home in the UFC. But how long can Bonnar keep losing before he gives up on the sport himself? It was an unfortunate ending to his fight with Soszynski, but in all reality he was still losing that fight anyway. I really think Bonnar should go back to the local circuit for a while on his own terms. There is no shame in racking up some easy wins and regaining your confidence heading back into the UFC. If he chooses to stay, it’s got to be against someone at the bottom of the division. Kyle Kingsbury, James Te Huna, or the winner of the Rodney Wallace/Jared Hamman fight fit that bill.

Chris Lytle

Unless Lytle can win a fight against a big name, he’ll be stuck in his gatekeeper role in the welterweight division. Riding a two fight win streak, another shot at a top 15 guy may be in his future. Dustin Hazlett or Mike Swick could be that guy.

Brian Foster

His knee looked pretty messed up after the fight with Lytle. Hopefully nothing was torn and he can make a quick comeback. Most likely another fight with a mid-level welterweight is in Foster’s future. A loss in his next fight, could be his last in the UFC for a while. Somebody like Jake Ellenberger, Matt Riddle, or Rob Kimmons would be a nice test.

CB Dollaway

Dollaway has a two fight win streak going on, so a step up in competition is probably on the way for the Arizona Combat Sports star. I’d like to see Dollaway take on the loser of Kendall Grove vs Mark Munoz.

Goran Reljic

Back to square one for Reljic after his loss at UFC 110. I would like to see Reljic get a fight with a striker to showcase what he can do. Drew McFedries, James Irvin, or Alessio Sakara would be exciting match ups.

James Te Huna

Another fight with somebody at the bottom of the division is probably in store for the New Zealander. Stephan Bonnar, Kyle Kingsbury, or Brian Stann would be suitable opponents.

Igor Pokrajac

Back to the local circuit.

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Posted by on February 21, 2010 in What or Who's Next?


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Strikeforce Miami: Who or What’s Next?

Nick Diaz: Well in my opinion, Jay Hieron should be the first person to challenge Diaz for the belt. But after the post-fight press conference, it’s definately not a sure thing. Nick Diaz doesn’t want to fight “Undercard Fighters”, which Hieron is clearly not. Scott Coker also acknowledged that he feels Hieron did not do enough in his win against Joe Riggs to warrant a title shot. But honestly, who else is there?? Are they going to throw an upcoming prospect like Lyle Beerholm or Tyrone Woodley at Diaz? That’s not a good idea at all. The only other possible match-up would be Jake Shields, who is fighting for the middleweight title against Dan Henderson in April. What happens if Shields wins that fight? Is Strikeforce already going to have a Champion vs Champion fight before either one defended their title once? That doesn’t seem like a bright idea at all either. Jay Hieron is the only viable option Strikeforce has, not to mention, they promised him an immediate title shot against Diaz when they signed him.

Marius Zaromiskis: I see Zaromiskis now heading back to Dream Promotions to defend his title there. It will probably be a while before we see him back on a Strikeforce card. After a few Dream title defenses, a rematch with Diaz might be in the distant future.

Christiane “Cyborg” Santos:  Erin Toughill will probably be the next victim for “Cyborg”.

Marloes Coenen:  I think a fight with Gina Carano would be an entertaining fight, with the winner being the likely #1 contender to get a rematch against the champ.

Herchel Walker: It’s still up in the air if Herchel Walker will even step in the cage again. I really hope AKA and Herschel decide to keep going. It was really exciting to see the ability level Herchel had in the cage after only 3 months of training. I’d love to see his progression after a full camp. I think a great next opponent would be Daniel Cormier, an Olympic wrestler, who made his MMA debut last year.

Greg Nagy: See ya!

Robbie Lawler: After his incredible comeback win against Melvin Manhoef, Lawler puts his name back in the title mix for the middleweight belt. A fight with another title contender like Ronaldo Souza, Joey Villasenor, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, or Tim Kennedy is probably in the near future for Lawler .

Melvin Manhoef: This has to be a crushing loss for Manhoef. He was dominating the fight before he got caught by the crushing right hand. Luckily for him, a lot of the top guys in the Strikeforce middleweight division are strikers. Possible good match-ups for Manhoef include: Scott Smith, Cung Le, Frank Shamrock, or Benji Radach.

Bobby Lashely: As i said in my last post, Lashley is ready for a step up in competition. I think the perfect next fight for Lashley is fellow undefeated up-and-comer Shane Del Rosario. Del Rosario was a rumored opponent for Lashley on the Strikeforce Miami card, now i think they need to make it happen. At 9-0, Del Rosario creates at difficult match-up anywhere the fight goes.

Wes Sims: Wes Sims played his role… a punching bag for Lashley. Strikeforce has no use for you anymore.

Jay Hieron: It should be Nick Diaz, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The good thing for Hieron though, is that his Strikeforce contract is up, so he does have some leverage. The UFC offered Hieron a contract early last year, but Jay took the Strikeforce contract mainly to fight Nick Diaz. If the Diaz fight doesn’t happen, hopefully the UFC is still interested in Hieron, and he could go to a place where he is apprectiated.

Joe Riggs: There’s not much left for Joe Riggs at Strikeforce after losing to another top guy in the division. If Strikeforce decides to keep him around, he will probably only serve as a gatekeeper to the division. Tyrone Woodley, Lyle Beerholm, and Shamar Bailey need a win against a big name to propel them to the top of the division and Riggs may be that guy.

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Posted by on January 31, 2010 in Strikeforce, What or Who's Next?


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UFC UFN 20: Who or What’s Next?

Gray Maynard – Well, it won’t be BJ Penn. Maynard didn’t do nearly enough to leap frog Frank Edgar for the title shot. I think a fight between Kenny Florian or teammate Tyson Griffin would be the right contenders to see who would get the next shot at the title after Edgar.

Nate Diaz – Diaz is in a tough position, as he has lost 3 out of his last 4 fights. He shouldn’t get fights against guys at the top of the division any more for a little bit. He might just be a gate-keeper from here on out in the division. I think a fight with a guy still in the top 20 is still in order to see if he can hang with the big guys anymore. Terry Etim, Kurt Pellgrino, or Joe Lauzon would be good measuring sticks.

Evan Dunham – The UFC has a tendency to throw their up and coming prospects straight into the lion’s den after a big win. I hope that is not the case with Dunham. There are still a lot of tough match-up in the middle of the division that i believe would be the right next step. Cole Miller, Matt Wiman, or Dennis Siver would be a great possible next step for the young fighter.

Efrain Escudero – Hopefully Escudero’s arm isn’t injured, and he’ll be able to return soon. When he does, i see another mid-level fighter for the former TUF winner. Rafael dos Anjos, Paul Kelly, or Caol Uno to name a few.

Aaron Simpson – I think it’s time for Aaron Simpson to get a big jump in competition. I’d like to see him go up against somebody like Tim Creduer, Patrick Cote, or Kendall Grove.

Tom Lawlor – Lawlor came out swinging early, but really slowed down after the first. Time to see where Lawlor really stands…. UFN 20 Winners, Nick Catone or Gerald Harris would be a nice test.

Amir Sadollah – There are so many good fights at 170 for Amir Sadollah. He’s shown great improvement against Phil Baroni and Brad Blackburn, but i don’t think he’s quite ready for the top half of the division. I think he needs to take on a grappler to see where his ground game is at. TJ Grant, Dennis Hallman, or Rob Kimmons would definitely try and get the fight to the ground.

Brad Blackburn – Blackburn had a nice run to start his UFC career, but just didn’t look good in the Sadollah fight. Blackburn now, will probably get an up and coming welterweight ready to take his game to the next level. John Hathaway, Johny Hendricks, or Mike Pierce is looking to take that next step.

Chris Leben – What a win for Leben. I really thought i would be talking about how we might have seen his last fight in the UFC. But instead, he showed an improved ground control game which makes him a relevant fighter again. Do you give him another fight where you know the other guy will trade, or do you test him with a grappler? Right off the top of my head, Mark Munoz sounds like it would be an exciting match-up that could even put him back on a main card.

Jay Silva – I just don’t see Jay Silva having a job in the UFC after starting 0-2.

Rick Story – I think Rick Story has seen his name on the prelim card for the last night. Every fight this guy has had in the UFC has been back and forth nail biters. After back-to-back wins, Story should start seeing some bigger named fighters across from him. I think a fight with Amir Sadollah, Rory Markham, or Johny Hendricks would be another awesome fight to get his name out there to the casual fan.

Jesse Lennox – A fight with another guy with only one victory is probably next for Lennox. DaMarques Johnson, Rory MacDonald, or Mike Pyle fit that bill.

Nik Lentz – Lentz will probably be fighting for his UFC career in his next fight. I bet he will be matched up with somebody who has the same fate. Aaron Riley, Fabricio Camoes, or John Gunderson would be a possible choice.

Thiago Tavares – Tavares also needs a win in his next fight, or his UFC job may be in jeopardy. Tavares will still likely get a tougher match-up in his next fight, due to his experience in the UFC. I could see Rafael dos Anjos, Dennis Siver, or Matt Wiman as possible choices.

Rory MacDonald – MacDonald has the skills to be something great. He is also another guy I’d like to see be brought up slowly. Matt Riddle, Jesse Lennox, or Paul Taylor would be a nice next step.

Mike Guymon – Guymon may have lost his debut against a phenom, but he still has a lot to offer the UFC. A fight against a guy competing for his job is probably in place for Guymon next. Jacob Volkmann, Ricardo Funch, and Phil Baroni fit that mold.

Rafael dos Anjos – Dos Anjos got the win he needed, now he must take his game to the next level. Paul Kelly, Ross Pearson, or Thiago Tavares should be the next test.

Kyle Bradley – Back to the local circuit for Bradley.

Gerald Harris – His win wasn’t impressive, but he’ll take it. I see another fight on the lower end of the ladder. Possibly against Tom Lawlor, Nick Catone, or Lucio Linhares

John Salter – Most likely will get another shot. Steve Steinbiess, Jesse Forbes, and Mike Massenzio would be likely survival fights.

Nick Catone – Catone is another UFN 20 winner who saved his job with the win. Catone will probably still be on thin ice his next fight, as he needs to continue proving he belongs in the crazy middleweight division. Wilson Gouveia, Gerald Harris, or Tom Lawlor are in the same boat.

Jesse Forbes – Forbes will most likely get another shot, due to his fight with Catone being exciting and close. He will most definately be fighting for his job next fight as well. John Salter, Steve Steinbiess, or Mike Massenzio is most likely the choice.

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Posted by on January 12, 2010 in UFC, What or Who's Next?


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