After a less-than-stellar UFC 161 pay-per-view that was full of predictable results and boring mismatches, there were several marquee names that came out the losers on Saturday night.
All of the following fighters came out on the short end of stick, and the results indicate things must change for each man going forward if they want to have another chance to shine in the UFC.
While Roy Nelson may still be one of the biggest fan favorites in the UFC, his one-sided loss to Stipe Miocic proves that he is not ready to be a viable heavyweight championship contender.
Nelson has no more fights remaining on his UFC contract, and the talk that he could jump to Bellator MMA has continued to boil to the surface. With a tough loss to stop any momentum he was building, where Nelson heads from here is as uncertain as ever.
The heavyweight is still one of the toughest fighters in the division and has an iron chin, but that’s not enough to reach the pinnacle of the company. Unless he drastically improves his cardio, there is a great chance he will leave the UFC for greener pastures elsewhere.
As long as that greener pasture doesn't have a treadmill.
While a decision loss for Dan Henderson is devastating to the 42-year-old’s career in MMA, the fact that he fought the younger Rashad Evans and could have won the decision should signal that his time in the UFC isn’t over yet.
Henderson is still one of the best fighters in the light heavyweight division, but with two straight losses, the MMA legend will have to prove his worth by taking on any big fight officials will line up for his next bout.
No matter whom Dana White and UFC matchmakers puts in front of Henderson next—likely a younger fighter looking to make the jump into title contention—the former champion will have to find his rhythm once again and prove to the doubters that he isn’t through.
Tyron Woodley and Jake Shield
In the worst fight of the night, Tyron Woodley and Jake Shield squared off in the main event of the FX preliminaries and disappointed everyone in attendance, including the president of the company, Dana White:
While the hope is that the last fight on the free televised pre-show will get fans to order the PPV, this bout did nothing to convince the fans that this show was something they should invest money.
If White has his way, these fighters won’t be in any more marquee fights anytime soon.