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

What Happened?

What Happened? (UFC 212: Aldo vs. Halloway

Another great night of fights have ended when the UFC Featherweight Champion faced off against the UFC Interim Featherweight Champion in a title unification bout Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Now it is time to break down the fights and explain what happened in “Cidade Maravilhosa” at UFC 212: Aldo vs. Holloway:

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Erick Silva vs. Yancy Medeiros

This fight started off great for Erick Silva as he was able to go toe-to-toe on the feet with Yancy Medeiros without problem. However, in the second round, although it started off well for him, Silva got caught with a perfectly timed hook from Medeiros that resulted in a knockdown. Medeiros followed it up with some ground and pound and, although Silva seemed like he was going to survive the onslaught by rolling, the referee stopped the contest a bit prematurely. I would have loved to see if Silva would have bounced back had the referee let the fight go on a little longer. In the end Medeiros got the knockout win like I predicted in the second round and I’m happy to see how he progresses as a fighter after this performance. Winner: Yancy Medeiros via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 2

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Paulo Borrachinha vs. Oluwale “Holy War Angel” Bamgbose

This fight surprisingly did not end in the first round where both guys have had all of their victories in. The first round saw Oluwale Bamgbose leading the charge as he rushed Paulo Borrachinha a number of times with a flurry of strikes. This did not get him the early win like he had hoped for but instead caused him to gas early on. By the end of the first round Bamgbose was breathing heavy. Borrahinha began to lead the striking exchanges in the second round with “Holy War Angel” having to throw some very unusual strikes such as standing hammerfists to even hit his opponent. Bamgbose then threw a lazy kick, as he has been doing the entire fight, that resulted in a slip with which Borrachinha capitalized on by ground and pounding him into a TKO victory. Winner: Paulo Borrachinha via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 2

MMA: UFC 212

Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort vs. Nate “The Great” Marquardt

Here was a surprising performance by Vitor Belfort against Nate Marquardt. He was passive throughout all three rounds, only rushing after Marquardt two or three times. “The Great” was able to land a takedown in the first with which he was not able to capitalize on. Marquardt was able to land more strikes and significant strikes in each of the three rounds but was not able to get the decision due to “The Phenom” fighting in his home country. the crowd may have helped him get that win as they were cheering every one of his striked that lande no matter how hard it hit. I’m curious to see if Belfort retires or not after this fight seeing how he barely won this fight. Winner: Vitor Belfort via Decision

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Claudia Gadelha vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

This one I did not see coming. I thought this was going to drag out into deep waters and push these two girls to the limit. But Claudia Gadelha had plans of celebrating tonight and wanted to get this fight over with quickly. She was able to take Karolina Kowalkiewicz down and then lock in the rear naked choke for the victory in the first round. Gadelha has definitely solidified her position as the second best strawweight in the UFC but I’m sure she would like to become the number one best in the division. As for Kowalkiewicz, I do hope she comes back with a better takedown defense and possibly ground game after this because this was a harsh lesson as to how grappler vs. striker contests go down. Winner: Claudia Gadelha via Submission in Round 1

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José Aldo (c) vs. Max “Blessed” Holloway (ic)

This fight showed great performances by both fighters. José Aldo took over the first two rounds with his speed and his ability to strike from all angles. Max Holloway seemed a bit stiff in the first round but loosened up in the second, even taunting Aldo a bit. Then in the third round Holloway was able to land a beautiful one two combo twice in quick succession on Aldo that dropped the “King of Rio.” Holloway unleashed ground and pound for almost two minutes during which Aldo was trying to survive but any means necessary. It was surprising by how much he was able to survive until he was mounted on his back. Aldo was unable to escape and the fight was ultimately stopped. Both men really needed this win but Holloway was the sole winner of this contest. Many have since been bashing and disrespecting Aldo because of this. I, and Holloway, still see Aldo as the featherweight GOAT regardless of his last two losses. Even Anderson Silva, Fedor Emelianenko, and Georges St-Pierre all have suffered defeat. We are now in the “Blessed Era” in the featherweight division and Holloway is accepting all challengers. After this performance, I’m curious to see who will dethrone him (if any) as the undisputed king of featherweights. Winner: Max Holloway via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 3

Who You Got?

Who You Got? (UFC 212: Aldo vs. Holloway)

The UFC returns to Rio de Janeiro when the two best featherweights on the planet go head to head in a title unification bout in the main event of the evening. Here are my picks and predictions for how all of the main card fights of the night will go down:

Erick Silva vs. Yancy Medeiros

This fight is a bit tricky to analyze so let’s look at what we know. Erick Silva is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo. He also wins most of his fight by submission. Yancy Medeiros has only lost once by submission and wins by either knockout or submission mainly. Silva does not get submitted so by logic this fight should end with Medeiros knocking out Silva. I’m going to go with this because I feel any guess is a good one at this point. I’m also going to guess that this will end in round two due to Silva having great toughness but also havinng a weak chin. So it’s in the middle round for me. Predicted winner: Yancy Medeiros via Knockout/Technical Knockout Round 2

Paulo Borrachinha vs. Oluwale “Holy War Angel” Bamgbose

Paulo Borrachinha has won all of his fights in the first round by knockout. That alone makes it a safe pick. However, let’s give Oluwale Bamgbose a chance here. All of his wins are also first round knockouts but has suffered defeat twice. His only knockout loss is to knockout artist Uriah Hall. This is actually closer than people will think but I still have to go with the safe pick here. Predicted winner: Paulo Borrachinha via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1

Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort vs. Nate “The Great” Marquardt

This is going to be a barn burner right here. Two guys with knockout power going at it is something that MMA fans and casuals alike all love to see. For this fight, I have to go with the living legend that is Vitor Belfort due to Nate Marquart showing that he is able to b knocked out early in a fight. Belfort can also get knocked out quickly but usually against much more high-level strikers. Plus you throw in Belfort’s ground game and it spells a satisfying end to what might be the last fight for “The Phenom.” Predicted winner: Vitor Belfort via Knockout/Technical Knockout in Round 1

Claudia Gadelha vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

This is going to be an exciting matchup that may take fight of the night honors. It features two of my favorite female fighters in the UFC going at it for a potential title rematch against Joanna Jędrzejczyk. This fight is going to be looked at as a striker vs. grappler contest which are always fun to watch. I normally go with the grappler in the UFC and I’m going to do that with this fight. I see Claudia Gadelha taking Karolina Kowalkiewicz down to the mat like she did with Joanna. This will cause her to win at least two out of the three rounds, but I don’t see her getting the finish. Predicted winner: Claudia Gadelha via Decision

José Aldo (c) vs. Max “Blessed” Holloway (ic)

This will, without a doubt, be the toughest title fight to predict this year. In one corner you have José Aldo who is the greatest featherweight of all time due to his quickness and ability to land almost every strike he throws with precision. Plus he has some of the most vicious leg kicks in the sport. Then you have Max Holloway who is extremely tough to finish and has shown some impressive striking with his reach advantage going into this fight. Taking all of this into account, Aldo is the favorite for a reason. He has dominated the division for over a decade until his sudden defeat by Conor McGregor. Since then he has came back with a win over Frankie Edgar to reclaim his title. Max Holloway has also suffered his most recent defeat to McGregor and has since went on a 10 fight win streak. Still, I have to go with Aldo because of the fact that his only loss in the UFC is by a guy who has some serious knockout power. Holloway took some time to put Anthony Pettis away after Pettis had a broken hand. I do see Holloway’s toughness forcing this to go to decision though. Predicted winner: José Aldo via Decision