‘UFC On Fuel TV 6’ has just finished in Macao, China, and so it’s time to look ahead and see what might be next for the event’s big winners.
You know, there’s an argument to be made for Le retiring after this huge win over Rich Franklin. It would be the perfect end to his career and honestly at the age of 40 I’m not sure he’ll ever be able to top this moment in the Octagon as I still don’t think he’d be able to make a serious run at Anderson Silva’s title.
There’s no question that Le is always entertaining to watch though, so if he wants to stick around then that’s fine by me. I think it’s worth sticking to fun stand-up fights for Le at this stage, and with Chris Leben about to return to the fold after serving a suspension he’d be my No.1 pick with Brian Stann as a strong back-up option.
He left it late, but Silva did get that all-important win under his belt. Hopefully his troubles with injuries and drugs suspensions are now behind him and he can start to fight more frequently in 2013.
Given that the Brazilian’s record has been pretty shaky in recent times they might want to build him back up slowly in which case Matt Hamill would be a good next step, but if they are looking to push him back into the business end of the division then Ryan Bader would fit the bill.
Dong Hyun Kim:
Kim continues to be a handful for pretty much anyone you care to mention at 170lbs with his stifling grappling ability. It’s just unfortunate he had that freak injury against Demian Maia as I’d still like to know how that fight would have played out if it had gone on longer.
The problem for Kim is that his fighting style isn’t always that exciting to watch and generally ends by decision, so I don’t think the UFC are going to be in a hurry to start pushing him back up the ranks. Therefore I think he could find himself facing someone like Mike Pierce who’s currently on a two-fight winning run next
Gomi proved he’s still got some fight left in him with this win over Mac Danzig, but it was a very close fight and I’m not convinced that this is a sign that he’s ready to start putting a serious run back up the lightweight rankings.
I think ‘The Fireball Kid’ is another guy to file in the ‘fun fight’ category, and putting him in with Jamie Varner should provide a good prove to be entertaining.
Tuck certainly impressed tonight with his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills and looked composed in the fight considering this was his debut following on from a brief stint in TUF 15, though he’ll be disappointed that he wasn’t able to finish and was running out of steam in the third round.
He’s definitely got potential, but will be someone the UFC has to bring up slowly through the ranks. Since he didn’t see much action in The Ultimate Fighter I’d consider putting him in with someone else who made it to the Octagon via the show – perhaps Cristiano Marcello who picked up a win last month at UFC 153.