The UFC’s return to Germany is now in the history books, and UFC 122: “Marquardt vs. Okami” gave us several interesting bouts before completing its run. In the main event, top Middleweight stars Nate Marquardt and Yushin Okami battled it out to determine the next UFC Middleweight Championship contender, with Okami winning what some consider to be a title shot that is long, long overdue. As is customary for the day after a big event, here are my predictions on what’s next for the big winners and losers of UFC 122: “Marquardt vs. Okami”.
Next for Krzysztof Soszynski: I predict that a third and final encounter with Stephan Bonnar will happen sooner rather than later. Both men have an incredible amount of history with each other, and both of their fights have been very, very entertaining. Even thought it looks like a longshot that either man will challenge for a title anytime soon, I think a good third fight with a dominant finish would help inch either man towards both Light Heavyweight relevancy and that long-sought-after title shot.
Next for Amir Sadollah: Even though he got the big win he needed at UFC 122, I think Sadollah will be grinding it out against mid-level talent for the foreseeable future. Sadollah’s lone submission victory now stands against three decision wins, a decision loss, and a TKO loss. He’ll remain employed for quite some time so long as he keeps winning, but I don’t see him gaining any real momentum in his division until he starts finishing fights again.
Next for Dennis Siver: With another dominant performance now under his belt, I think Siver has taken an important step in his career. If he keeps winning, look for him to be given consistently higher threats on a per-fight basis. I think the UFC saw Siver’s potential at this event, so he’s going to have some really tough challenges in the near future. If he can get past them, we may see Siver transform into a legitimate title challenger before 2011 is through.
Next for Andre Winner: He’ll most likely get one last shot inside the Octagon, and if he loses he’ll be released. Look for Winner’s next fight to take place on another international card, most likely in Winner’s home base of England. So long as Winner wins his next fight, his exciting style coupled with his former past as a member of “The Ultimate Fighter and a winning record is realistically all he needs to be employed in the UFC for quite some time.
Next for Yushin Okami: The toughest test of his career, no matter who’s holding the belt. Whether it’s Anderson Silva or Vitor Belfort, Okami is set to face an incredibly deadly striker that can end the fight on a moment’s notice. Right now it looks very unlikely that Okami will wear the gold by 2011’s end. Okami earned his date with destiny, but I think it’ll be a date he’ll soon wish he could forget.
Next for Nate Marquardt: As tough as this is to say, since I consider myself a moderate Nate Marquardt fan, the future doesn’t look too good for him right now. I think this fight has finally edged Marquardt out of the “elite” rankings. I don’t see how you can argue the opposite when Marquardt continues to lose these kinds of big fights. He’ll look like an absolute wrecking machine one fight and then you’ll wonder where that guy went in his next fight. Marquardt’s going to be in the UFC for a long time, but this hit-and-miss record of his will probably be staying with him.
And that’s my take, fans and friends. What about you? What do you see the future holding for the winners and losers of UFC 122: “Marquardt vs. Okami”?