What Next?

What Next? (UFC 212: Aldo vs. Holloway)

Fighters do not always like to think what fights they will be in next after feeling the relief of finishing their last fight. The fight game is neverending, however, and so I list ouf the best outcome for the winners and losers from the UFC event that shook Rio de Janeiro up.

Erick Silva

The many wars that Erick Silva has been in may have attributed to his loss this past Saturday. He is still a fan favorite and should look to win against a slightly lower tier fighter in Luan Chagas who won on the early prelims of the same card. Chagas deserves the oppurtunity to fight a bigger name such as Silva and I hope he gets it plus it would be a fun fight to see since Silva always puts on exciting matches.

Next opponent: Luan Chagas

Yancy Medeiros

After taking out Erick Silva, Yancy Medeiros will be wanting to face off against a ranked opponent. That may not come just yet since most of them are pretty busy at the moment. So he should face another welterweight trying o become ranked. Peter Sobotta fits that description. Both men have finished there last opponent via KO/TKO in the second round which makes it sound even more like a good idea.

Next opponent: Peter Sobotta

Oluwale “Holy War Angel” Bamgbose

Oluwale Bamgbose is still a dangerous force in the middleweight division and needs to learn from this loss in order to improve as a fighter. A match against jiu-jitsu expert Antônio Carlos Júnior could do wonders for him. He may not do well if he is taken down by Júnior but the fight always starts on the feet where Bamgbose will have an advantage. This is an old fashion striker vs. grappler matchup.

Next opponent: Antônio Carlos Júnior

Paulo Borrachinha

It was impressive for Paulo Borrachinha to get the stoppage againsst a man who has stopped his opponents in all of his victories. This also shows that Borrachinha is not just a first-round-knockout-or-bust fighter. He took minimal damage in this fight and should fight someone who has done the same. My pick for him to fight is Nat Marquardt who has also fought on this card. Although Marquardt did not win to the judges, many believed he won in a great performance against his adversary. This would be a fun matchup as both men have great power and wrestling.

Next opponent: Nate Marquardt

Nate “The Great” Marquardt

See Paulo Borrachinha’s next opponent above for full details.

Next opponent: Paulo Borrachinha

Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort

Although it is highly unrecommended, Vitor Belfort is going to continue fighting in the UFC. He just barely beat an unranked Nate Marquardt in a controversial decision victory it is questionable whether or not he would want to face a ranked opponent. I’m just going to assume he would want to face a ranked opponent next. If he is looking for easy matchups then I could give an endless list of fighters for him to face. Instead, I’m going to match him with the most competitive he can get. David Branch seems appropriate. He is a former two division WSOF champion but put on a boring fight a few months back that he won by decision as well. The two are close to eachother on the ranking, making this match make all the more sense.

Next opponent: David Branch

Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Karolina Kowalkiewicz just revealed a massive Achilles’ heel in her game: her ground game. She needs to go back to the drawing board and develop that portion of her skillset. Her next opponent should be Jessica Andrade who just fought for the title in a losing effort earlier this year. Both are coming off high profile losses and should look to bounce back with a win over the other.

Next opponent: Jessica Andrade

Claudia Gadelha

This one is very complicated but bear with me. Claudia Gadelha has shown that she is the guaranteed second best strawweight in the UFC. She has stated that she does not want to challenge for the title yet and that she wants Rose Namjunas to challenge first. If this happens then Gadelha should definitely challenge the winner for the title. But if for whatever reason the UFC does not pull the trigger with Namajunas then Gadelha and Namjunas should face eachother for the title shot.

Next opponent: Rose Namajunas/Winner of Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jędrzejczyk

José Aldo

Poor José Aldo was on top of the world and it all came crashing down. But contrary to what some are saying online, he is far from done. Aldo can certainly get back his title if he takes out a top contender to earn himself a title shot. For now t all depends on his health after suffering that beating in his last fight. If he wants to get back in there quickly then Ricardo Lamas is the perfect pick since his opponent, The Korean Zombie, pulled out of their contest at UFC 214: Cormier vs. Jones 2. If Aldo wants to take a bit of time to recuperate then his matchup should be with Cub Swanson who is also waiting as of now. I do not usually make picks like this but with Aldo it will be determined on what he wants to do.

Next opponent: Ricardo Lamas/Cub Swanson

Max “Blessed” Holloway

The logical choice for Max Holloway’s first title defense is the current top contender, Frankie Edgar. He has shown why he is one of the greatest of all time when he dominated Yair Rodriguez earlier this year. He had a great showing against José Aldo but ultimately came up short. Holloway may end up being a better matchup for him. This could be Edgar’s last chance to win that elusive second UFC championship.

Next opponent: Frankie Edgar

They Said What?

They Said What? (May The Fourth Be With You Edition)

Welcome to a special Star Wars edition of “They Said What?” We’re going to look at the light and dark side of the force that is MMA this week. So let’s get right into it with some interesting quotes from a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away:

Anderson Silva gives the UFC an ultimatum

The guys no give this fight for me for the interim belt, I’m done. I’ll go be with my family. I’m done… I say, ‘OK, I go fight Yoel Romero,’” Silva said. “Because I know I respect Yoel Romero, he’s a great fighter. He’s No. 1 in the ranks. But one thing — why Yoel Romero come to Brazil for fight me for nothing?…This is perfect bullshit. I’m tired. I’m so tired. I’m respectful long time. Everything, I never talk about bad situations in UFC… I think I’m done. I fight for long time in my life. And I’m tired, bro. I’m so upset. I have my legacy, I have my story. It’s very frustrating, because this is the second time I’m not fighting in my country… I’m far too old and I’m done, bro. I’m sorry. I know I need to respect my fans — I respect my fans. I’m sorry guys. I love the sport. I love fighting. Fighting is my life. But it’s too much bullshit.”

Anderson Silva and Dana White once had a great relationship that has now been disrupted much like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker’s. I would really like to know what broken promises White has made to Silva other than the ones he listed. Regardless, I for one am open to an interim title match between Silva and Romero. I truly believe that, despite what he has said in the past, Michael Bisping is set on waiting for Georges St-Pierre for his next title defense so this fight makes sense. However, I would much rather like to see Bisping defend his belt against Romero next instead if GSP takes too long. It would be the best matchup in this scenario, but if Bisping wants to hug that belt to bed a while longer and wait for GSP then I want to see Silva vs. Romero in what would be a guaranteed classic just like Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader.

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Tyron Woodley calls Demian Maia “stupid”

Unfortunately for Maia, he accepted the fight the week of me and Wonderboy’s fight. In my personal opinion, bad move. Wait and see how the fight went. If nobody came out of the fight hurt, a clear winner, not another draw, you’re already in a position to fight for a world title. Why would you put yourself up against the worst possible matchup outside of a title fight? Why would you put yourself in that position? I don’t want to call him stupid but damn that was stupid.”

I never knew who was the actual chosen one in the Star Wars universe, but in this galaxy Tyron Woodley is the undisputed chosen one. He believes that Demian Maia taking on Jorge Masvidal will be a decision Maia will regret because he was practically next in line for the title already. Although what “The Chosen One” is saying is true, a true warrior would not settl for waiting for a championship match to just be given to them. They go out and fight the next best fighter in their division. But I definitely see both point-of-views when it comes down to it. If Maia wins in the end then it won’t really matter (Linkin Park reference). But if he loses then Woodley will be proven right that Maia really did throw away his title shot.

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Former champ Antonio Tarver on Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather

It’s a money fight. I don’t know if it’s a mockery, but it’s a money fight. That’s what it’s all about. Conor McGregor can’t beat Nate Diaz in a boxing match. In a boxing match, [Diaz] will beat his ass, and there’s a whole lot of other fighters out there who will beat his ass in a boxing match.”

Antonio Tarver is strong in the force that is boxing. He knows the true power that Floyd Mayweather posses. He also knowss that Conor McGregor has much hate and darkness within him that had a difficult time with Nate Diaz. This fight is going to go down like Mace Windu vs. Jengo Fett with Mayweather being Windu and McGregor being Fett.

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Nate Diaz and Tony Ferguson go off on eachother

Nate Diaz:

They’re trying to pressure me to fight Tony Ferguson, but what the f*ck, I’m going to cover for Conor McGregor and do his work while he’s out making f*cking millions of dollars fighting boxers and sh*t? I’m not covering for you, bro. You guys fight each other. I heard Tony’s manager talking, saying that I need to get a fire up under Conor McGregor’s ass if I want to fight him for the third time. Like, I gotta do what? You guys should fight each other, motherf*cker. You guys have the same manager. You guys are working together against me. You guys need me to do the work for you? F*ck off.”

Tony Ferguson:

Well I figured, I was like,’ S**t, man. The next person that beat the dude that’s next in line would be Nate.’ So it had absolutely nothing to do with management and it had nothing to do with the f**king money either. I get paid either way and I get paid good. These dudes want to f**king make it soft and be like, ‘Oh money fight, money fight. This and that money fight.’ Yeah that’s cool. The money will come to you, you’ve just got to keep winning. You’ve gotta keep putting in the time but these b**ches want to fight like one time and then go and retire. I understand it. You’re a p**sy, don’t worry about it. You don’t like to fight. You’re in the wrong sport. Go try tennis. This is a man’s sport. I fight. I like to have job security. Give me somebody in front of me that wants to have their ass beat. Give me somebody that wants to go in there and test their wit against me. I thought this was the UFC and we’re supposed to be the best and toughest fighters in the world. Point and proven, Khabib, McGregor, and Nate Diaz are a bunch of bitches. It’s all fake for them.”

This is a case of two of the best bounty hunters (in the lightweight division) trying to compete for a chance to go after the top bounty which is the always arrogant yet skilled Han Solo (Conor McGregor). Getting said bounty will lead to riches is they are successful. Diaz is basically Boba Fett because of the fact that Fett has already captured that sweet rich bounty already where Ferguson is another hunter trying to get a taste of that action. This fight just needs to happen. I understand Diaz’s reasons for a tiny bit there but it still does not make sense when you think about it. Don’t worry about who you are helping, just worry about if you are helping yourself. This fight can definitely help whoever wins and will definitely set them up for the money fight with McGregor for the lightweight title (assuming he returns to the UFC at all).

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Dominick Cruz discusses possible championship rematch

I’m here to fight the best in the world, to fight for the title, and I think that I’ve earned that position. And if I got completely to where I wasn’t even in that (Garbrandt) fight, I could understand. But I was in that fight from beginning to end, and in that fifth round, I would even say that I won. So there’s still a case for me in this match-up with Cody or T.J., either one of them.”

The Emporer (Dominick Cruz) was dethroned when the true hero from the prophecy showed himself. At first it appeared to be Anakin Skywalker (Urijah Faber), but instead it was his creation in Luke Skywalker (Cody Garbrandt). So I guess that makes TJ Dillashaw Starkiller or something. I digress, Cruz asking for a championship rematch is 100% reasonable since he was the greatest bantamweight in the UFC’s history. He was evemn considered a number one pound for pound fighter by many at one point. The winner of Garbrandt and Dillashaw will more than likely face Cruz at a later date. Cruz better hope it is Dillashaw though because Garbrandt may have his number. Much like when the light conquered he dark side in the original trilogy (until episode VII came out).

Other quotes from around the galaxy:

Joanna Jędrzejczyk on her future jedi duel with Jessica Andrade for the belt

That I can submit her and I can knock her out. But the fight is different. It was in the past. Jessica is a very dangerous opponent. She drops from 125. She’s very strong in the strawweight division.”

Stipe Miocic on how he has learned from his battle with Junior Dos Santos many parsecs ago

The lesson I learned, not even really a lesson as much as, just knowing that I belong. I belong, that I can hang anyone. I went five rounds with a former champ, a guy who has been a knockout artist and I went five rounds with him, I know I belong. I know that I’m not going anywhere, and look at where I’m at now.”

Emporer Dana White on the Diaz Brothers next fight

I don’t know if those guys will ever fight again. We offer them fights all the time.”

Rory MacDonald on his turn to the dark side that is Bellator

I’m totally feeling refreshed. It’s a new beginning. No drama. It’s been all positive on my end and with Bellator. Very happy to be where I’m at.”

Post-Fight Reactions

UFC Fight Night: Bermudez vs The Korean Zombie Post-Fight Reactions

Houston got plenty of excitement on Saturdy night with the return of The Korean Zombie after being roughly three years away from the octagon. Here is my reaction to the main card fights that occured on the February 4th card in Houston, Texas.

Jessica “Bate Estaca” Andrade vs Angela “Overkill” Hill:

This fight to me was the fight of the night with its nonstop action that kept the audience on the edge of their seats throughout the contest. Jessica Andrade pushed the pace of the fight by constantly pressuring Angela Hill with her fury of strikes. Hill showed that she can take a beating without going down as she was hit with many strikes in all three rounds without going down. Andrade’s offense might have lost its power from exhaustion which would explain why Hill was able to absorb all of her strikes. She was able to land two of her three takedowns during the fight which didn’t lead to anything other than points and added momentum. Hill stunned everyone when she dropped Andrade in the final round and could’ve had a comeback had fatigue not set in yet. In the end the knockdown was not even enough to win her that round as the judges all scored the contest 30-27 in Jessica Andrade’s favor.

Anthony “Freight Train” Hamilton vs Marcel “Maozinha” Fortuna

At first glance this contest looked like an odd mismatch. Anthony Hamilton weighed 260 lbs. and stood at a height of 6’5″ which dwarfed his opponent Marcel Fortuna who weighed only 205 lbs. and had a height of 6’1″. Hamilton started off good with pressure but then got wild with his strikes. His strategy was to brawl Fortuna because he clearly had the power advantage and would have the upper hand if the two swung wildly at eachother. Although Hamilton did open a cut on Fortuna’s brow (due to an accidental headbutt) Fortuna was able to land his right an too often and the final one that hit the top of Hamilton’s skull was the one that would put his lights out in the first round. This shows that weight and height don’t mean a guarantee win in MMA.

Ovince Saint Preux vs Volkan Oezdemir

This matchup looked exciting at first but became painfully dull due to Ovince Saint Preux (OSP) constant running and refusal to give much offense. This was a worry of mine after seeing OSP’s last two fights against Jon Jones and Jimi Manuwa which he lost due to little offense as well. History repeated itself as he lost to Volkan Oezdemir via split decision. OSP attempted four different takedowns which would have put him in his favorable environment had he land any of them. His best came at the end of the third round when he stunned Oezdemir with a furry of strikes but it was too late to get a finish. Oezdemir applied great pressure and strikes to win the split decision yet it could have been awarded to either men. I believed at first that OSP would win the decision for he won the second and third round because of his ability to land the more significant strikes against his opponent. They always say not to leave it in the hands of the judges and OSP will hopefully look for a finish in his next fight.

Abel “Killa” Trujillo vs James “The Texecutioner” Vick

Texas native, James Vick, had his sights set on winning in his home state and achieved just that through determination. Vick was able to use his boxing to keep Abel Truijillo a good portion of the fight. There were times when Trujillo was able to close the distance and even get a takedown in the first round. Trujillo really struggled on both the feet and ground. He was getting hit with punches and kicks and got caught with multiple guillotine and d’arce choke attempts during takedown attempts. Finally, in the third round Vick hits Trujillo with a double flying knee to the face which hurt the fighter and leads him to shoot a takedown that Vick counters with yet another d’arce choke attempt which he is able to finish. It was suprising to see the boxer win via submission until you see that the blue belt in Brazillian jiu-jitsu has four previous submissions before this fight. Vick even added after the fight that his submission move was the same he would do on the EA Sports UFC 2 video game. He’s got a great attitude and a magnificent set of skills that will surely lead to more interesting performances.

Alexa Grasso vs Felice “Lil Bulldog” Herrig

A controversial fight that many people believe is only on the co-main event spot beacuse both fighters are attractive, especially Felice Herrig who has posed nude as a cover model, ended up being not as interesting as a lot of the fights on this card. The fight between Jessica Andrade and Angela Hill would have made a better co-main event fight than this one as it featured two well etablished fighters that were willing to put on a show. Unfortunately we were forced to watch these two battle it out. Alexa Grasso was the fan favorite in the contest but failed to yield much offense on a consistent basis. Herrig was able to land a pair of takeodwns that would help her win the unanimous decision. This gave Grasso her first lost which came as a shock to her. This may be because Grasso outsrtuck Herrig in both total and significant strikes. The final few seconds of the fight saw Grasso unleashing a fury of strikes that put Herrig in trouble but would prove futile. After the fight Herrig revealed that the day before the fight marked the 25th anniversary of her brother’s death. This motivated her to live a better life and do more in honor of her brother. I believe she silenced many of her critics that stated she was a model first and a fighter second.

Dennis “The Menace” Bermudez vs “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung

The main event was thrilling albeit short. Dennis Bermudez started off great by landing a perfect right on The Korean Zombie. This would hurt The Korean Zombie and lead to him scrambling to stay on his feet. Unfortunately for Bermudez, The Korean Zombie was able to get into his rhythym and go on to put Bermudez to sleep with a well timed uppercut. This would also give him a performance of the night bonus. The biggest concern for Jung was whether or not he was able to come from such a long layoff and beat a top ten contender in his return. Although it seems like he wasn’t able to at first with that scary right hand he ate, he would go on to prove that he is still a dangerous fighter and a top contender in the featherweight division.