Itâ€™s over, fans and friendsâ€¦ my â€œPerfect Stormâ€ weekend is now no more. For three straight days we were lucky enough to get three shows by three different promotions, and only one of them (Strikeforceâ€™s â€œChallengers 16â€ event) didnâ€™t measure up. Bellator 46 was amazing, and â€œUFC on Versus 4â€ was almost equally as exciting. Now once again itâ€™s time to ask: whatâ€™s next? What does the future hold after we witnessed one of the greatest comebacks in UFC and MMA history? Hereâ€™s my answer to just that: a new edition of my â€œWhatâ€™s Next for the Winners and Losersâ€ series of articles, now featuring â€œUFC on Versus 4â€.
Next for Nik Lentz/Charles Oliveira: Each other, which is why Iâ€™m grouping them together. If you believe some rumors, this fight may have already been changed to a No Contest. I think thatâ€™s great, but I also think Oliveira deserves a rematch so he can clear his name and prove that he can beat Lentz. Plus, Oliveira seems to bring out the best in Lentz. The Nik Lentz I saw at â€œUFC on Versus 4â€ was not the fighter I had grown to dislike, it was a new fighter that was exciting, willing to engage, and had a really awesome ground game. So I think an immediate rematch is definitely called for.
Next for Matt Mitrione: Give him Cheick Kongo, or even Shane Carwin. Why not Roy Nelson too? Whoever it is, Matt Mitrione deserves a top Heavyweight. People are very high on Mitrione now, although some point out that heâ€™s only looked good against low-level Heavyweights. My answer to that is simple: beating low-level Heavyweights in dramatic fashion is one of the ways you get to face high-level Heavyweights. Mitrione is ready for a high-level Heavyweight.
Next for Matt Brown: If Matt Brown loses his next fight, heâ€™s going to be cut. Even though he won at â€œUFC on Versus 4â€, thatâ€™d make it four losses in five fights. I honestly wasnâ€™t impressed with Brownâ€™s performance, I actually considered his fight one of the most-boring of the broadcast. Brown staved off the executioner momentarilyâ€¦ but not for long.
Next for Rick Story: Story will take some time off to readjust and rethink, and heâ€™ll show up to his next fight a new man. Thereâ€™s still a very bright future in the UFC for Rick Story, heâ€™ll just have to wait a while to fully realize his potential. No matter what the future holds for Rick Story, I wish him the best.
Next for Pat Barry: My heart went out to Barry when I saw the look on his face as the referee raised Cheick Kongoâ€™s hand and not his. Barry looked utterly devastated, which is heartbreaking considering how much of a genuine good person he is, and how he continues to improve and looked great at â€œUFC on Versus 4â€ before getting clipped. Unfortunately for Barry, this loss means that heâ€™ll continue to have to fight lower-tier Heavyweights until he gets another shot at a gatekeeper.
Next for Cheick Kongo: With this dramatic win, Kongoâ€™s career will go one of two ways. The first option is to have Kongo face another upstart Heavyweight (like Matt Mitrione) and see if he can put together a two-fight win-streak as one of the UFCâ€™s premiere gatekeepers. The other option is to have Kongo face a top-division Heavyweight right off the bat and give him another chance to get into title contention. Kongo staged a fantastic comeback, but his future is still very uncertain. Nevertheless, never let it be said that Cheick Kongo doesnâ€™t know how to finish a fight.
And thatâ€™s what I think, fans and friends.