UFC 146: Power Ranking the Potential Bouts for the Heavyweight Losers
The all-heavyweight main card of UFC 146 delivered in a big way and went a long way in defining the division's landscape going forward. For all five of the card's losers, they find themselves looking for a way to bounce back after being finished in their last outing.
As fans we always want to know what is next. With that in mind, it is never too early to put on the hypothetical matchmaking hat and project each loser's next bout.
Yesterday we power ranked potential fights for the winners at UFC 146. Here are the potential bouts for all five of UFC 146's losers—ranked in order of potential awesomeness.
5. Dave Herman vs. Christian Morecraft
Dave Herman suffered his second consecutive stoppage loss at UFC 146—finding himself on the bad end of a thunderous overhand right by Roy Nelson that ended the match in a mere 51 seconds.
The loss leaves Herman in desperate need of a win if he plans to continue fighting in the UFC. Herman will look to get back to the form he showed when he made his UFC debut by stopping Jon Olav Einemo in the second round.
Christian Morecraft would appear to be a great matchup for Herman as both fighters are in similar situations. Morecraft is coming off of back to back KO losses at the hands of Matt Mitrione and Pat Barry.
Both Morecraft and Herman love to stand and brawl—with both fighter's job security on the line, there is no doubt that these two would put on a show and could make a great prelim. A "loser leaves town match" seems highly appropriate.
4. Antonio Silva vs. Brendan Schaub
Strikeforce transplant Antonio Silva did not have the kind of debut he would have liked—Cain Velasquez left Silva battered and bloody before finishing him off in the first round.
There is no doubt that Silva is a talented fighter and a borderline top-10 heavyweight, but he is not on the level of an elite fighter like Velasquez. After taking on the former heavyweight champion Silva is deserving of a much more winnable affair in his second trip to the Octagon.
Brendan Schaub would be a good pairing as he too is coming off of back-to-back knockout losses. The drop down in competition from Velasquez to Schaub is steep but Schaub still has enough power to test Silva's chin.
The winner of this bout could regain some much needed momentum while the loser will be dangerously close to getting a pink slip. The UFC seems to like these types of matchups and this one would provide plenty of intrigue.
3. Shane Del Rosario vs. Pat Barry
Shane del Rosario made his UFC debut after more than a year away from fighting as he recovered from a back injury stemming from a car accident. Opponent Stipe Miocic was able to hand him his first loss in his professional career but not before del Rosario displayed some of the solid striking that have made him a promising up-and-comer.
Del Rosario appeared to have the upper hand in many of the exchanges but once Miocic was able to get him to the ground it was the beginning of the end. Miocic's ground-and-pound was too much for del Rosario who was ultimately finished in the second round.
A great matchup for Rosario going forward would be none other than fan-favorite Pat Barry.
Barry has shown an improved ground game during his tenure with the UFC but he will always be a kickboxer first and foremost. With both of these fighters willing to strike it out and both coming off of disappointing losses this is an exciting fight between two guys who need a win for relevance.
2. Lavar Johnson vs. Shane Carwin
Lavar Johnson failed to win his second fight in a month, but his willingness to step in on short notice against a tough opponent and his impressive win over Pat Barry should be enough to get him a high-profile fight next time out.
The power-punching slugger was bested by Stefan Struve thanks to a beautifully executed armbar just over a minute into the first round, so Johnson will need to make a statement in his next fight.
Despite the early finish, a matchup against Shane Carwin could still create a good amount of buzz. Carwin famously opened his career with 12 straight first-round finishes before dropping a heavyweight title match to Brock Lesnar and a title eliminator with future champion Junior dos Santos.
Carwin has not fought since as he has been recovering from back surgery but he should make his return sometime in 2012. The pairing of Johnson and Carwin is a win-win situation for the UFC.
Carwin would have the opportunity to show what he has left against a beatable opponent without being thrown into the fire right away while Johnson would have the opportunity to regain his momentum with a win over a very recognizable win.
Whatever happens in this fight, pairing two of the heaviest-handed heavyweights in the organization is never a bad idea.
1. Frank Mir vs. Brock Lesnar III
With Frank Mir's loss at the hands of Junior dos Santos he is now in an interesting situation.
He is one of the most accomplished heavyweights in the history of the organization but does not appear to be close to JDS or heavyweight's No. 2 baddest man—Cain Velasquez. With those two set to rematch anyway, there are not many interesting options out there for Mir to take on.
That's where Brock Lesnar's highly-publicized appearance at UFC 146 and subsequent meeting with Dana White. While any talk of a Lesnar return is purely speculation at this point, who he would fight is a very interesting proposition.
Lesnar is a cash cow for the UFC. If he does make a comeback, it is hard to envision a scenario in which he is not the main event. The problem is he has lost to both Alistair Overeem and Cain Velasquez and is not close to being deserving of a title shot so finding a big enough draw to put across from Lesnar is an issue.
Mir and Lesnar have a history together and the two fought their second fight at the legendary UFC 100 event. With the series between the two tied at one win a piece a rubber match to finally settle the score could sell a ton of pay-per-views for the UFC.
While this fight may be a long shot, the chance to finally settle the score between these two stars and keep them both in the spotlight is worthy of the No. 1 spot in these power rankings.