UFC on Fox 6: What's Next for the Losers?
Saturday night played host to the UFC on Fox in Chicago, where a champion retained his belt and several contenders emerged from the shadows.
Demetrious Johnson defeated John Dodson in a fun fight to keep his UFC Flyweight Championship, while Glover Teixeira sent Quinton Jackson packing from the UFC on a low note.
Here are the next steps for the losers on the card.
Matt Wiman is as durable of a fighter as you will come across in the UFC. However, Saturday night was not his night for a fight.
Wiman took on TJ Grant, a guy who is rapidly climbing the ladder of the 155-pound division. He looked wild all night, and when the time was right for the Canadian, he struck.
A couple of nasty standing elbows was the poison that put away Wiman. It was so rough that Wiman's blood from a cut induced by the elbows flew onto one of the camera's lens.
Taking on another recent loser in Melvin Guillard would be a good next step for both men. It is a possible Fight of the Night, as both men are highly entertaining.
Hatsu Hioki/Erik Koch
Hatsu Hioki should have no shame in losing last night, as he looked very good in defeat. Erik Koch, on the other hand, was brutally knocked out.
Both men took on local fighters in the form of Clay Guida and Ricardo Lamas, respectively.
Hioki showed a superior striking game to that of Guida, as well as boasting a guard that made Guida work for every inch he got. Dropping that split decision was heartbreaking, but he showed to be tough competition.
Koch was on the bottom of Ricardo Lamas's smothering top game when he succumbed to some nasty ground-and-pound. The elbows he took from his opponent were like asteroids plummeting to the earth.
Pitting Koch and Hioki against one another in their next fight seems like a logical thing. Both men need to get back in the win column and would get top competition in fighting each other.
If Bas Rutten has said it once, he has said it a thousand times; the kick to the liver is devastating and will cripple an opponent if landed correctly.
Obviously, Anthony Pettis got that memo.
Donald Cerrone was on the receiving end of said liver kick, effectively dashing any hopes he had of getting a title shot against Benson Henderson any time soon.
Cerrone is still a top guy, but his two losses in the UFC have come to top contenders. He needs a rebound fight before he gets back in the title hunt, so meeting a guy like KJ Noons, who is moving over from Strikeforce, would be a good matchup.
If "Rampage" is really leaving the UFC like he said he was a thousand times over the last year, he will be leaving on a low note.
Quinton Jackson has not looked like the same fighter for his last half dozen fights that he did for his Pride and early UFC run. Saturday proved that maybe it's time to move on for Jackson, who was dominated in all aspects of the game by Glover Teixeira last night.
I doubt Bellator has the money to pay Jackson, as do most non-UFC companies. It will be interesting to see where Jackson ends up going forward.
John Dodson put on a valiant effort for the title Saturday night, but just came up short. Even though he lost the fight, his effort and lack of depth in the flyweight division will keep him close to another title shot.
Dodson lost three rounds to two on my scorecard (as well as two of the three judges), showing he could hang with the highest level of fighters the UFC has to offer. He has a few options for his next fight, which could potentially launch him back into the title picture.
I would give Dodson a meeting with John Moraga, a guy who is surging in the flyweight division. It could produce the next title challenger after the dust of next week's Joseph Benavidez-Ian McCall fight settles.