Now that UFC 164 is completed, the frenzy over the spectacular night of fights has shifted to what’s next for the Saturday’s biggest losers.
With huge names in the sport handed hard-fought defeats, the talk about what's next for each fighter is imperative to the future success of these brawlers.
On the biggest stage of his career, former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson was handed yet another tough loss to longtime foe Anthony Pettis via first-round submission (armbar).
This is the second time Pettis has beat Henderson (two of Henderson’s three career losses), and there is no doubt that a rematch must happen eventually. The problem is that both men are dealing with injuries, per UFC’s Twitter account:
Dana on what's next for Pettis: "Anthony's knee popped in the fight, so no sense even talking about it." http://t.co/hvMlYe08sV— UFC (@ufc) September 1, 2013
Henderson is coming off a seven-fight winning streak and undoubtedly deserves another shot at the championship he formerly held. Depending on how long Pettis is out, though, the UFC must have a backup plan.
If the knee injury for Pettis is serious, Henderson should go one-on-one with the man that was scheduled to fight for the title before, T.J. Grant. With the added caveat of being a title eliminator, this is the kind of marquee fight that could make up for an extended absence from the champion.
There are few fighters that get the kind of reaction from the crowd that Clay Guida has over his UFC career, but the lack of success recently is alarming.
Since beating Pettis during The Ultimate Fighter 13 finale, Guida has watched his career take a steady downward trajectory. He managed a win against Hatsu Hioki in his previous fight, but a tough TKO loss to Chad Mendes Saturday and three losses in his last four fights is a bad omen.
While there are plenty of options in the stacked featherweight division, the veteran’s next fight should come against another man looking for redemption, “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung.
Jung and Guida are both coming off heartbreaking losses, and a matchup of the two experienced brawlers would result in an instant classic and a chance for the winner to resurrect their career.
Frank Mir is the shell of the heavyweight fighter most fans thought he would become, and his loss to Josh Barnett proves the end of the road could be close for the divisional gatekeeper.
Whether Mir feels that he was robbed of his chance at victory or not, the veteran is now on a three-fight losing streak.
The former UFC champion had an illustrious career that has lasted over a decade, but this should be the end of the road.
Mir on stoppage: It was shaping up to be a great fight. Fans got robbed, I got screwed. Sucks to do everything right and have the door shut.— UFC (@ufc) September 1, 2013
Mir will always be remembered for his victories over Brock Lesnar, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and others, but unless he walks away from the sport now, the fan favorite could be remembered for the losses to Barnett, Shane Carwin and Junior dos Santos.