As the dust begins to settle on last night’s UFC 153 event we look ahead to what may be next for the evening’s big winners.
There’s been a lot of talk about a fight with Georges St.Pierre next, and while that’s probably got to be considered the favorite at the moment, nothing is certain.
It’s definitely the fight Silva wants, but GSP still has to beat Carlos Condit first, and the Canadian has still not indicated whether he’d definitely be up for the fight, while Dana White is attempting to talk up a fight between Silva and Jon Jones despite neither man being interested in it.
White has also stressed that it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Silva will defend his 185lb title before either of these superfights. A clear No.1 contender still has to be established though, so whichever option they go for it’s probably going to be a fair amount of time before we see Silva in the Octagon again.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira:
Big Nog got back to winning ways last night and then dismissed one reporters plea backstage to retire on a high note.
I think a fight with Stefan Struve would make sense for both parties. For Nogueira it’s a chance to show that his age is not an issue and he can still compete against a top up-and-comer, while for Struve it would be an opportunity to claim his biggest scalp to date and strengthen his title push in the process.
Teixeira certainly appeared to live up to the hype last night, handing Fabio Maldonado a vicious beatdown, and in the process established himself as a major player in the 205lb division.
Teixeira was originally scheduled to fight Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson at last night’s show, and that’s still a fight that could work next. Rashad Evans is also eyeing a return to action in the early months of next year and that would also be a desirable fight for Teixeira to establish his title credentials.
A solid win for Davis last night, but really it was a fight that didn’t do a whole lot for him in terms of the divisional rankings.
Davis needs a more meaningful opponent next time out, but isn’t going to get thrown straight back into the title hunt, so I’d suggest Ryan Bader as a good match-up for him next.
Rick Story was not an easy fight for Maia in his second bout at 170lbs, yet he basically steamrollered over the top of him, and importantly returned to his BJJ background in order to do it.
It’s his submission prowess that got people so excited about Maia when he first entered the UFC, and now that he’s returned to that, he could really spice up the upper half of the division.
I can see Maia getting a well known opponent next, and with Jon Fitch also claiming a big win last night that would be a fight that makes a lot of sense – and if anyone can make something happen from under his grinding top control then it’s surely Maia.
Fitch proved he’s still a top talent in the welterweight division at the age of 34 last night, taking out one of the sports most promising young stars, Erick Silva.
He also earned ‘Fight Of The Night’ honors which will no doubt be gratefully received for a number of reasons, but I highly doubt that it’ll have the UFC big wigs plotting his return to the title reckoning.
However, he should get a good opponent next, and Demian Maia would be an intriguing stylistic match-up. I’d also say the winner of BJ Penn Vs Rory MacDonald in December could also be a possible option for him.