UFC 158 Results: Matches to Make for the Entire Fight Card
Georges St-Pierre didn't exactly give Nick Diaz the worst beating we've ever seen at UFC 158, but the welterweight champion did defend his title from his long-time rival and finally put the long-awaited matchup behind him.
With his victory, St-Pierre can now look forward to defending his belt against more deserving opponents, as Diaz was coming off of a loss and a year-long absence from competition. The win could also put the Canadian one step closer to a superfight with middleweight titleholer Anderson Silva.
Following his loss, Diaz hinted at retirement in the heat of the moment, though the former Strikeforce champion has already come back from a supposed withdrawal from MMA. So, his declaration shouldn't be taken so seriously in the immediate aftermath of a disappointing performance.
Let's take a look at the opponents who could be next for St-Pierre, Diaz and the rest of the UFC 158 competitors.
George Roop vs. Alex Caceres
After losing back-to-back fights, George Roop decided to take his 6'1" frame back to the bantamweight division. It was a move that paid off at UFC 158, where Roop defeated Reuben Duran via decision.
While one has to wonder how healthy it is for Roop to be cutting to 135 pounds, his length does make him an interesting addition to the UFC's bantamweight class.
Though he's not quite as tall as Roop, the lanky Alex Caceres could give Roop a competitive fight both standing and on the ground.
It also doesn't hurt that Roop called Caceres out aggressively in a post-fight interview (via MMAFighting.com).
Issei Tamura vs. Reuben Duran
Issei Tamura and Reuben Duran both suffered second straight losses at UFC 158.
Duran had some trouble defending takedowns against the larger George Roop, while Issei Tamura was put away with a T.J. Dillashaw head kick in the second round.
Now, both bantamweights are in danger of being released from the UFC roster. Should both men be brought back, a loser-leaves-town bout between the two would make sense. Given that both 135-pounders like to wing looping punches when standing, the matchup would also have knockout potential.
T.J. Dillashaw vs. Brad Pickett-Mike Easton Wnner
T.J. Dillashaw frequently attempted to set up a head kick throughout his fight with Issei Tamura at UFC 158 and finally scored with it early in the second round. That led to a stoppage and Dillashaw's third straight win.
Touted as one of the brighter prospects in the bantamweight division, Dillashaw already appears prepared for a chance to fight a top-10 135-pound opponent.
The Team Alpha Male product was once booked to fight Mike Easton, so it'd be fitting for Dillashaw to get his step up in competition against the winner of a UFC on Fuel TV 9 bout between his previously scheduled opponent and Brad Pickett.
Dan Miller vs. Quinn Mulhern
On Saturday, Dan Miller and Quinn Mulhern each suffered their first UFC welterweight losses.
Miller threatened UFC newcomer Jordan Mein with an armbar, but he ultimately overwhelmed by the Canadian in the striking department. As for Mulhern, a UFC debut against Rick Story proved to be too much too soon.
Mulhern and Miller are both solid grapplers who couldn't get their UFC 158 fights to the ground. There's a good chance they'll both be brought back, so a bout between the two 170-pounders should provide them with a chance to roll a little more in their next appearances.
Jordan Mein vs. Rick Story
Jordan Mein and Rick Story have both had their setbacks against top competition, but the promising welterweights made statements at UFC 158.
Facing an opponent in Dan Miller who had never been stopped inside the Octagon, Mein avoided being armbared to finish his fight with a series of precision punches while standing. Story, meanwhile, rudely welcomed Quinn Mulhern to the UFC by stalking him down and battering him with heavy shots.
Having had trouble with wrestlers in the past, Mein would receive a good test against the well-rounded Story. More importantly, Story doesn't mind standing at all and would probably find himself in some entertaining exchanges with Mein.
John Makdessi vs. Michael Chiesa
John Makdessi has now won back-to-back fights following his victory over Daron Cruickshank at UFC 158, but he still has some work to do before getting a significant step up in competition.
Although Makdessi has looked good in his last two bouts against strikers, he will eventually need to address the issues he showed against grappler Dennis Hallman.
A bout with Michael Chiesa, who won the season of The Ultimate Fighter that featured Cruickshank, would provide Makdessi with a much different challenge than the one he faced on Saturday.
Antonio Carvalho vs. Diego Brandao-Pablo Garza Loser
Antonio Carvalho saw a two-fight winning streak come to an end in controversial fashion at UFC 158. Although he was rocked badly, Carvalho was working his way back to his feet when referee Yves Lavigne stopped his bout against Darren Elkins.
Even though the stoppage appeared premature, Carvalho would have been in big trouble had the fight continued anyway.
It was a rough loss for Carvalho in his home country, but the Canadian still has a solid grasp on a UFC roster spot and could have another notable opponent coming his way. The loser of a UFC on Fuel TV 9 bout between Diego Brandao and Pablo Garza would make sense as an adversary for Carvalho's next showing.
Darren Elkins vs. Dennis Siver
Darren Elkins' win over Antonio Carvalho may have been controversial, but he was clearly the better fighter on Saturday.
With four straight wins, Elkins is due for a step up in competition.
Though Dennis Siver is considered a fringe contender in the featherweight division, he did take a step back in competition the last time he fought against Nam Phan, so he will likely be eased back into fighting elite 145-pound opponents.
A bout between Elkins and Siver would probably set the winner up for a shot at an elite featherweight.
Bobby Voelker vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
Bobby Voelker came out on the wrong side of a decision at UFC 158. Though all three judges felt he lost to Patrick Cote, Voelker was considered the deserving winner by an overwhelming majority of the MMA media.
While a loss to Cote puts Voelker fairly low on the welterweight totem pole, there is a matchup with a relatively highly ranked fighter that could make a lot of sense for his next Octagon appearance.
Though he took advantage of some openings for takedowns on Saturday, Voelker is a guy who likes to stand and bang. It just so happens Siyar Bahadurzada is also coming off of a loss and looking for an opponent who will stand with him, so it wouldn't be surprising to see him throw down with Voelker.
Patrick Cote vs. Court McGee
Patrick Cote picked up a win in his UFC welterweight debut, but it wasn't a very satisfying win for the Canadian. He had his moments against Bobby Voelker, but Cote had trouble staying off of his back and wasn't exactly dominating his opponent when he did keep the fight standing.
Still, it's interesting to see Cote in a new environment and one he could thrive in should he continue to perfect his weight cut to 170 pounds.
For now, the most intriguing bout out there for Cote is ironically one with another former middleweight in Court McGee. Both men are coming off of their first wins in their new division, so a bout between the two would be a good way to determine which one is more prepared to move up in competition.
Colin Fletcher vs. Daron Cruickshank
Former TUF participants Colin Fletcher and Daron Cruickshank both fell short on the scorecards at UFC 158.
Fletcher's unorthodox striking didn't allow him to get the job done when standing with Mike Ricci and he also had trouble stuffing takedowns late in his fight. Cruickshank found himself in a fight with a level of opponent he wasn't quite ready for against John Makdessi and couldn't find a way to land with frequency.
Still looking for his first UFC win, Fletcher is in danger of being released. Though, should be be given another opportunity to fight inside the Octagon, he'd be a likely opponent for Cruickshank.
Mike Ricci vs. Renee Forte
Mike Ricci had his hand raised following a decision win over Colin Fletcher at UFC 158, but the Candian didn't blow anyone away with his performance on Saturday.
For that reason, he will probably continue fighting low-level lightweight competition for now, meaning the potential for another fight with a fellow TUF participant.
Renee Forte of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil is also coming off of his first UFC win and give Ricci a very different look than Fletcher did, which will help the Canadian gain experience and continue to develop into the high-level fighter that many feel he has the potential to become.
Nick Ring vs. Riki Fukuda
With his loss to Chris Camozzi at UFC 158, Nick Ring has now lost two of his past three fights.
Ring is a solid UFC middleweight, but he's running out of chances to break through and earn a shot at a 185-pound contender. At this point, a rematch could give Ring an opportunity to show he has made improvement over recent years.
In February 2011, Ring was awarded a highly controversial win over Riki Fukuda. A second meeting with Fukuda would allow Ring to make a statement and bounce back from his recent setbacks, while it would also give his opponent a chance to avenge a questionable loss.
Chris Camozzi vs. Brad Tavares
Chris Camozzi has quietly put together a four-fight winning streak, making him one of the hottest prospects in the middleweight division.
Like Camozzi, Brad Tavares emerged from The Ultimate Fighter 11 and is riding an impressive string of wins.
A bout between Camozzi and Tavares would be intriguing due to the history between the two and makes plenty of sense from a competitive standpoint, as the winner would be more than deserving of a big step up in competition.
Nate Marquardt vs. Josh Koscheck
With the bout marking his return to the Octagon, Nate Marquardt's loss to Jake Ellenberger was a tough one for the former Strikeforce champion to take. However, it wasn't a defeat that came as unexpected by many prognosticators.
Despite the loss, Marquardt should get another UFC fight and could very well meet another big name due to his popularity.
Recently, fellow veteran Josh Koscheck also suffered a first-round knockout loss against Robbie Lawler. A matchup between Koscheck and Marquardt would allow one well-known welterweight to get back on track in a big way.
Jake Ellenberger vs. Tarec Saffiedine
Following a knockout win over Nate Marquardt, Jake Ellenberger is once again one of the top contenders in the welterweight division.
That being said, it's worth reminding that Ellenberger isn't long removed from a knockout loss to Martin Kampmann and currently holds no wins over top-10 welterweight fighters.
While he'd probably like a fight with a top-five opponent, Ellenberger won't be getting a title shot over Johny Hendricks and elite welterweights coming off of a win include Rory MacDonald and Demian Maia, fighters who would make great adversaries for one another.
The best option remaining for Ellenberger's next fight is a matchup with Strikeforce champion Tarec Saffiedine, who also defeated Marquardt in his last showing.
Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit
Nick Diaz can talk retirement all he wants, but few are going to believe him until years pass without him stepping into the Octagon.
Once he cools down and realizes a loss to Georges St-Pierre isn't the end of the world, Diaz will recognize there are other matchups out there that can earn him more money and potentially get him back into the title hunt.
An example of one of those bouts would be a rematch with Carlos Condit, who remains an elite 170-pound fighter despite his loss to Johny Hendricks on Saturday.
Condit and Diaz fought to a narrow decision at UFC 143. An immediate rematch had been booked, but it fell apart due to a Diaz suspension. Now, it makes perfect sense for these welterweights to be booked to fight once again.
Georges St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks
Finally, Johny Hendricks appears to be in waiting for the title shot that many believe he had already deserved.
With his win over Carlos Condit at UFC 158, Hendricks is undeniably the top contender in the welterweight division and poses a serious threat to Georges St-Pierre's championship.
St-Pierre doesn't appear to be in any hurry to take a superfight with middleweight champion Anderson Silva, who is currently booked for a summer title fight anyway, so it looks like the Canadian titleholder will defend his belt against Hendricks in the coming months.