UFC 148: What's Next for the Losers
It seems like we've been waiting on UFC 148 for years, but now, it's over and we must move on.
So to kick off the moving on process, we're going to discuss what's next for the 11 men who came up short Saturday night in Las Vegas, Nev.
Izquierdo was defeated by unanimous decision against Rafaello Oliveira. Oliveira controlled the action throughout and many, including myself, saw various submission openings that Oliveira didn't capitalize on.
Izquierdo will have to work on his ground defense to get to the next level in his MMA career. A matchup with fellow prelim lightweight John Alessio in a "loser leaves the UFC" fight may be next if he's not already cut.
Alessio lost a unanimous decision to Shane Roller Saturday night to kick off the prelims on FX. Roller used his wrestling to control Alessio throughout the fight.
Alessio is a very talented lightweight, but his wrestling defense is lacking to say the least.
This very well could've been Alessio's last chance in the UFC, but a matchup with Izquierdo or any other UFC opponent will be win or go home for Alessio.
Riki Fukuda was defeated by Constantinos Philippou Saturday night by unanimous decision after Philippou used excellent boxing and head movement to overwhelm Fukuda.
Fukuda looked very impressive in his fights with Nick Ring and Steve Cantwell, but Fukuda struggled to get anything going Saturday night.
Fukuda next could face UFC 147 winner Francisco Trinaldo or the loser of Nick Ring-Court McGee.
Gleison Tibau lost a controversial unanimous decision to undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Tibau's excellent takedown defense was on display throughout the fight, but defense doesn't win fights and the judges agreed by giving Nurmagomedov the decision for pushing the action and throwing more strikes.
Coming off three straight wins, this controversial decision shouldn't drop him too far, as next I could see Tibau matched up with Jeremy Stephens or Tim Means.
Fabricio Camoes lost a unanimous decision to powerful lightweight veteran Melvin Guillard.
Camoes' jiu-jitsu is good enough to hang with anyone on the ground, but his trouble is always going to come with strikers Camoes can't get to the ground.
This was a big jump in competition for Camoes, so a step back may be in order so matchups with Daron Cruickshank or Tony Ferguson may be next.
Ivan Menjivar lost a unanimous decision to Mike Easton to start off the main card on pay-per-view last night.
Menjivar was riding a three-fight winning streak entering the fight, but I'm not quite sure it was the career resurgence many were calling it.
Menjivar can still be a threat in the bantamweight division, but he'll have to get back on track first so we could see him matched up with Ken Stone or Johnny Eduardo next.
Cody McKenzie was defeated Saturday night in his featherweight debut against former title contender Chad Mendes by TKO in the first round.
McKenzie wasn't a top-tier lightweight, so it's interesting he was thrown in the fire, so to speak, with his debut at 145.
With his awkward striking style and great ground game, McKenzie is a nice new addition to the division, but a little drop in competition may be needed first.
Look for a matchup with UFC 147 victor Hugo Viana or Eric Wisely next for McKenzie.
Dong Hyun Kim
Dong Hyun Kim was defeated Saturday night by TKO via slam/injury against former middleweight title contender Demian Maia in Maia's welterweight debut.
Following a hard takedown by Maia, Kim appeared to be in a great amount of pain and the fight was called shortly after.
Kim is a fantastic judo specialist with some of the most improved striking in the welterweight division. Next for him could be talented wrestler Charlie Brenneman or Paulo Thiago.
Cote struggled with the unique striking style of Cung Le and lost a unanimous decision in his return bout with the UFC.
I believe Cote belongs and hopefully is given another fight with the organization.
Good matchups for Cote's next fight include Alessio Sakara and C.B. Dollaway.
Also, since Cote loves big matchups, a rematch with returning Chris Leben is also a possibility later this year.
Tito Ortiz's retirement fight didn't go as planned as he was defeated by Forrest Griffin by unanimous decision.
Next for the Hall of Famer Ortiz should be a nice, relaxed life with no fighting and no surgeries.
Chael Sonnen's mouth wrote a check he was unable to cash last night against Anderson Silva.
Sonnen was defeated by his rival by TKO in the second round.
Looking at the middleweight division, besides the possibility of "superfights," it's hard to see Silva fighting at middleweight for much longer.
If Silva leaves the middleweight division, Sonnen has a good chance to compete to become the next middleweight champion, but that may be looking a little too far ahead.
Next for Sonnen could be a matchup with Vitor Belfort. Chael has had choice words about Belfort in the past and both men sit atop of the division (h/t Tom Ngo, 5thround.com).
A win for Belfort could propel him to another title shot while a win for Sonnen would put him right back in title contention.