Mike Russow is known as a durable and willful fighter and has a reputation for persevering despite not being the most technically skilled guy around. His iron will allowed him an impressive 4-0 run in the UFC, but that momentum was brought to a screeching halt when he met Fabricio Werdum at UFC 147.
Admittedly, the fight seemed like a bit of a rankings mismatch to begin with. Werdum was considered by many to be a top-five heavyweight and Russow, despite his winning streak, not even in the top 10.
From the moment the fight began, it was apparent that Russow had no business being in the cage with Werdum, who was able to thoroughly dominate the fight standing. Eventually, Russow got tagged with a big punch that put him in trouble and Werdum was able to follow up and finish the fight.
It was a tough loss, but given that it was a fight many believed Russow would lose, it doesn't do much to damage his reputation. That said, Russow will still need to rebound well in order to ensure that he doesn't lose all of his momentum.
So what's next for the Chicago cop turned pro fighter?
Cast member of The Ultimate Fighter 10 Matt Mitrione makes a lot of sense. Mitrione is also one of the more promising prospects in the heavyweight division and is coming off his first UFC loss, a unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Cheick Kongo.
Gabriel Gonzaga would be another good fight for Russow. Gonzaga was supposed to fight Roy Nelson at UFC 146, but was forced off the card with an injury and is currently without an opponent. The only issue might be that Gonzaga is coming off a win and the UFC likes to match winners with winners and losers with losers, when possible.
Pat Barry is another possibility. Barry is a popular fighter in the UFC's heavyweight division and has a suspect ground game, which makes him a great opponent for Russow.
Regardless of whom the UFC throws at him, Russow needs to look impressive in his next fight. There are a lot of contenders emerging in the heavyweight division right now and Russow doesn't want to be left behind.