UFC on Fox 2: What's Next for the Losers
Even in defeat, Michael "The Count" Bisping proved he can hang with the best when he fought to a controversial decision loss against former UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen in the co-main event at UFC on Fox 2.
It was the first of two major contender bouts that would determine the next title challengers in both the middleweight and light-heavyweight divisions.
In the main event, former NCAA Division I wrestler Phil Davis battled Rashad Evans for a chance at UFC light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones. Evans emerged victorious after five rounds, leaving Davis with the first professional loss on his record.
Other fighters to come up short on the card include Demian Maia, Nik Lentz and Joey Beltran. This is what's next for them.
Joey Beltran Defeated by Lavar Johnson
Joey Beltran entered his bout with former Strikeforce heavyweight Lavar Johnson as one of the hardest fighters to finish in the division, but Johnson wasted no time in taking the fight to Beltran and earned a very impressive knockout win over his opponent in the first round.
It was the first time Beltran had ever been stopped, and it may be the type of defeat that sets him up for a drop in weight classes.
He is relatively undersized for the division and would get by on his toughness alone. This may be the fight that shows him it can only carry you so far. Expect to see his light heavyweight debut later this year.
Nik Lentz Defeated by Evan Dunham
Some considered Nik Lentz's fight versus Evan Dunham a must-win fight for "The Carny" to secure a place in the UFC, but after an exciting and fan-friendly fight, Lentz may have earned himself another fight despite falling short against his opponent.
The fight came to an end after the second round, when Lentz's right eye had closed due to swelling. It was his second loss in a row, with the other coming against Mark Bocek.
There are a lot of lightweights for Lentz to face, and with his losses coming against solid opponents like Bocek and Lentz, he is still a good prospect.
Since they were back-to-back, he may need to take a fight against an opponent that isn't as big of a threat. This could come against Cody McKenzie, who had to pull out of his scheduled fight on the same card due to an injury and is also on a two-fight losing streak.
Demian Maia Defeated by Chris Weidman; Michael Bisping Defeated by Chael Sonnen
Demian Maia and Michael Bisping were both scheduled to fight each other before Mark Munoz got injured and was forced to pull out of his fight with Chael Sonnen.
Bisping agreed to take on Sonnen and lost a unanimous decision after three competitive rounds. Maia lost a unanimous decision to undefeated opponent Chris Weidman.
Despite Maia being ranked higher than Bisping upon entering the fight, the Brazilian was the less impressive of the two in defeat.
There is only one thing to do, and that is match up the two and see what would have happened had they fought.
Phil Davis Defeated by Rashad Evans
Phil Davis entered his fight with Rashad Evans as an undefeated title contender, but he would receive his first loss after losing a unanimous decision over five rounds in the main event.
With five UFC victories preceding the loss, Davis still remains a very promising prospect and one that will someday fight for the title.
A fight versus the loser of the upcoming Quinton Jackson and Ryan Bader bout is what Davis needs to reclaim his spot in the division. Fights versus Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Lyoto Machida could also make for interesting fights. Both are coming off of losses as well.