UFC 154: What's Next for the Winners
UFC 154 went down Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec.
If you couldn't watch the pay-per-view, you may have been able to find an article or two informing you of Georges St-Pierre's victory over Carlos Condit, in which GSP unified the welterweight title. But did you know there were 12 other winners on the evening as well? No, it's true. True talk here.
That makes 13 winners in all. And now that we've celebrated for 20 hours, the conventions of the Internet demand that we stop living in the past. How about some wild speculation about the future of these winners? Read on.
Result: Darren Elkins def. Steven Siler by unanimous decision
Is Elkins in line for a title shot? No. But he's 4-0 and looked pretty darn good Saturday night.
As of now, it looks like Joe Son's friendly twin, aka Eddie Yagin, thankfully won't need surgery for that head injury that forced him out of his December date with Dennis Siver. Assuming he comes back, he'd be a sufficiently high hurdle for Elkins' next engagement.
Result: Ivan Menjivar def. Azamat Gashimov by submission (armbar), Rd. 2
Mitch Gagnon is a bit of a strange bird. He's 9-2 and only a blue belt in jiu-jitsu, but every single one of his fights but one (a decision loss) came by choke. You figure it out. Or maybe Ivan Menjivar could figure it out, since I think they should fight each other next. Ground war par excellence in the bantamweight division.
Result: Matthew Riddle def. John Magure by unanimous decision
Riddle continues to beat the drum for a showdown with Dan Hardy. It seems like Hardy is still a little out of Riddle's league, but that would still be a great fight.
If that doesn't work, I think Riddle would be a fine test for young buck Gunnar Nelson, who is currently undefeated overall and in the UFC. It's just that the 1-0 UFC mark came at the expense of DeMarques Nelson. Nelson had very, very good taste in walkout music.
Result: Antonio Carvalho def. Rodrigo Damm by split decision
Two words: Rony Jason.
Result: John Makdessi def. Sam Stout by unanimous decision
Makdessi finds himself in a bit of a no-man's-land. Not quite in the contender echelon, but certainly above the anonymous middle. My vote for Makdessi's next opponent goes to noted chiropractor Jacob Volkmann. At least he got one vote.
Light heavyweight bout
Result: Cyrille Diabate def. Chad Griggs by submission (rear naked choke), Rd. 1
Noted striker (and the division's newest submissions ace?) Diabate would do well to face UFC newcomer Jimi Manuwa, who is already one of the hardest hitters at 205 pounds. And that's saying something.
Result: Patrick Cote def. Alessio Sakara by DQ (blows to back of the head)
It wasn't malicious on Sakara's part. Just schedule the rematch and run it back.
Rafael Dos Anjos
Result: Rafael Dos Anjos def Mark Bocek by unanimous decision
After that display of dominance, Dos Anjos definitely deserves a marked bump. And it's three consecutive wins now. I say he should take on the winner of Thiago Tavares and Khabib Nurmagomedov, who fight in January.
Result: Pablo Garza def. Mark Hominick by unanimous decision
In controlling Hominick, "The Scarecrow" staved off a more serious fate (i.e., UFC release), but he still probably doesn't quite deserve a big step up. Rani Yahya is in a similar boat.
There's also the possibility that Garza might be serious about his threat to drop down to bantamweight. He's already the rangiest featherweight I've ever seen. But he says he'd be the Jon Jones of the 135-pound division. Maybe. He might be their Jon Jones. Or maybe he'd be their, what's the phrase I want here, dead guy.
Result: Francis Carmont def. Tom Lawlor by split decision
The obligatory Controversial Decision of the Night didn't come with a bonus. Dammit! Looks like it's back to the salt mines for Carmont.
Carmont didn't look terrible, though. He just wasn't aggressive and seemed to think too much. I say give him the winner between Rony Markes and the undefeated Andrew Craig.
Result: Johny Hendricks def. Martin Kampmann by knockout (punch), Rd. 1
No more equivocation, UFC. Title shot. Even if Hendricks has to wait a while.
Result: Georges St-Pierre def. Carlos Condit by unanimous decision
Great, great fight, and a great win for GSP. The more I think about it, the more it seems the planets are aligning for that Anderson Silva superfight. If I led the UFC, I'd strike while the iron is hot.