With memories of UFC 154 fresh in the minds of fans it’s time to take a look back at the event, as well as forward to what may be next for some of the card’s notable stars.
As he showed on Saturday, George St-Pierre has not skipped a beat, despite a 19-month layoff. “Rush” posted a dominant victory over Carlos Condit, even surviving a dangerous third-round assault from “The Natural Born Killer”.
The UFC has major plans for GSP, as they aim to match the champ with middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva in their first stadium show. The Canadian is still unsure as to what’s in his best interest at this juncture; even Dana White says that GSP may have one more defense.
Assuming St-Pierre opts to not fight Silva next, Johny Hendricks emphatically declared himself the next title challenger with a 46-second knockout over Martin Kampmann, and should be the man across the cage for St-Pierre if he does defend his crown.
After months criticism over a controversial win against Nick Diaz for the interim welterweight title, Condit gave GSP what the champion has declared the hardest fight of his career, changing the opinion of many.
There’s only one other man in the promotion who holds a win over Condit during his UFC tenure, Kampmann. “The Hitman” also came up short at UFC 154. A rematch of their hard-fought 2009 bout would certainly be promising.
If St-Pierre does not fight Silva, it would be a crime to have anyone else compete for the welterweight title. Simply put, he should be facing GSP the next time he enters the Octagon.
If GSP does face Silva, “Big Rig” should be the man who welcomes Diaz back to action in yet another title eliminator, as the promotion wants Diaz in the title mix as well.
Although notoriously tough, even Kampmann was no match for the left hand of Hendricks. “The Hitman” is still unquestionably a top welterweight and should get a rematch with Condit, a second a win over “The Natural Born Killer” could be huge, especially considering that the proud New Mexico native now has “former champion” tacked to his name.
Francis Carmont did little to further himself in the middleweight division with his contentious victory over Tom Lawlor. “Limitless” will likely continue to face tough opposition hovering around the middle of the division. A UFC on Fuel 8 bout with Riki Fukuda is already being rumored.
While many felt that Lawlor should have had his hand raised against Carmont, the judges unfortunately did not.
Historically, Lawlor has been a gatekeeper for the UFC middleweight division, facing surging prospects or fighters on their way out. “Filthy” will likely find himself meeting with someone along the lines of Chris Camozzi.
Rafael Dos Anjos:
Rafael Dos Anjos has been showing steady improvement since coming to the UFC and has never looked better than he did against Mark Bocek on Saturday.
Now on a three-fight run, Dos Anjos should face someone with a bit of a cache whether or not they are in the top ten. Strikeforce being folded into the UFC opens the door for the Brazilian to meet with fighters like Josh Thomson and K.J. Noons when they are brought over.
Bocek is historically tough, having most of his losses come to some of the lightweight division’s top players. Saturday’s loss to Dos Anjos is certainly is a step backward for the Canadian.
Another lightweight that finds himself in a similar standing is Evan Dunham, who recently dropped a bout to T.J. Grant in September. Matching the two seems like a natural progression for both men as well as an extremely promising tilt.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC