UFC 141 Results: What's Next for the Main-Card Winners
UFC 141 will mark the final event of 2011, and it was one to remember, especially with the return of former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, who took on one of his most dangerous opponents in Alistair Overeem.
While it only lasted less than a round, fans got what they came for and that was a knockout. Overeem had little trouble in stopping the former WWE superstar with knees to the body and a liver kick.
In the co-main event, lightweights Nate Diaz and Donald Cerrone battled for three rounds, but only one man emerged victorious, and he looked dominant in doing so.
Other main-card winners include Johny Hendricks, Jimy Hettes and Alexander Gustafsson. This is what's next for them.
Hettes Defeated Phan Via Unanimous Decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)
Jimy Hettes had one victory inside the UFC when he took on Nam Phan in his first main-card bout in the pay-per-view opener. It was an easy night's work, as the featherweight took a unanimous-decision victory over the former Ultimate Fighter contestant.
With a solid ground game and excellent submission victories under his belt, Hettes could find himself in the title picture by the end of 2012 or early 2013.
As Hettes moves up in the ranks in the 145-pound division, he will have to take on higher-caliber opponents, and this could include Chan Sung-Jung, who was last seen knocking out Mark Hominick in just seven seconds at UFC 140.
If that is too big of a step up, a bout vs. the winner of George Roop and Cub Swanson could be intriguing.
Gustafsson Defeated Matyushenko Via TKO (punches) at 2:35 of Round 1
Alexander "The Mauler" Gustafsson had no trouble walking through MMA veteran Vladimir Matyushenko, and a first-round TKO victory was the result of a dominant performance for the 24-year-old.
Matyushenko entered the bout on a two-fight win streak with his only recent loss coming against Jon Jones.
After dropping "The Janitor" with a jab, Gustafsson followed up on his hurt opponent and finished him off with strikes in the first round.
For Gustafsson's next bout, a fight versus Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, who just knocked out Tito Ortiz, could be a great test for the best of the UFC's up-and-coming fighters.
Hendricks Defeated Fitch Via KO (punch) at 0:12 of Round 1
Johny Hendricks wasted no time in knocking out the second-best welterweight in the world in just 12 seconds after the opening bell in their welterweight bout.
Jon Fitch entered the bout having gone 13-1 in the UFC with his only loss coming against UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. Hendricks was 12-1 in his entire career, which included seven Octagon wins.
All it took was one left hand, and Fitch was down and out on the canvas. Many had been anticipating a title opportunity for Fitch, and with the loss, he will be waiting a lot longer for that shot.
Hendricks moves way up the ranks and puts his only career loss to Rick Story behind him. A bout vs. the winner of Martin Kampmann and Thiago Alves would be a good test for him.
Diaz Defeated Cerrone Via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
The co-main event saw Nate Diaz and Donald Cerrone give their share of trash-talk and pre-fight antics, and the fight lived up the hype, as Diaz soundly out-boxed and dominated the "Cowboy" over three rounds.
What started with Cerrone giving Diaz the middle finger after the pre-fight staredown turned into one of the biggest beatdowns of the year. After three rounds, Diaz won a unanimous decision with the scores 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
For Diaz, he now has two victories in a row, including his dominant victory over Takanori Gomi. He sets himself up for the winner of Anthony Pettis vs. Joe Lauzon.
Alistair Overeem Defeated Brock Lesnar Via TKO (strikes) at 2:26 of Round 1
With his dominant first-round knockout over former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, Alistair Overeem paves the way to a title shot against the reigning champ, Junior dos Santos.
Dos Santos was last seen knocking out Cain Velasquez in the very first to win the title, and with both guys showcasing the best of the best in terms of their stand-up, fans can expect to see fireworks come 2012.
Overeem will bring a 36-11 record to the fight, and that includes an 11-fight win streak. His last loss came just two months before dos Santos' last loss in 2007.