UFC Fight Night 29 Results: What's Next for the Winners?
UFC Fight Night 29 came in lackluster form, as most of the fights failed to grab interest and keep fans around the world thoroughly entertained.
However, some big shakeups came on the card. Jake Shields upended a possible title challenger, Dong Hyun Kim got his first finish since his debut in spectacular fashion and Brazilians who went to the scorecards took decisions that were contentious.
What's next for the winners of the main card though? Let's take a look.
Raphael Assuncao took a close split decision over TJ Dillashaw on his own home turf. It was a decision that, while narrow, many thought should have gone to the American.
However, the win for Assuncao solidified his top-five status within UFC's bantamweight division. After dispatching the Team Alpha Male product, he could get somebody within the top five now.
It's too soon for him to get a title shot. In fact, he's behind Dominick Cruz (if he returns in time) and the winner of Urijah Faber/Michael McDonald.
If Cruz returns in time for his title shot, Assuncao should get the Faber-McDonald winner. Otherwise, a bout with Wilson Reis in the meantime could make some sense, as he just upended ranked Ivan Menjivar at UFC 165 on short notice.
Controversial or not, Rousimar Palhares has found a new home at welterweight with extreme prejudice.
Palhares quickly rushed Pierce and went for multiple leg locks. He finally got that patented heel hook, but held on a little too long for anybodies comfort.
Palhares getting that win probably put him in the top 20 at 170. Perhaps a meeting with recent winner John Hathaway or Dong Hyun Kim would be a nice fight for "Toquinho" to take, assuming he doesn't get suspended.
Fabio Maldonado is another guy who took a close, contentious decision in his home country. Many scored the bout in favor of Joey Beltran, but you should never leave it in the hands of the judges.
Maldonado is incapable of having a boring fight. Seriously. He has an iron chin, great boxing skill and is aggressive.
He is still toward the bottom of the ladder at 205. A bout against Ovince St. Preux could be entertaining and competitive.
Thiago Silva came in out of shape and overweight. He was slow and sloppy. He had muffin tops going over the side of his shorts.
All of that considered, he still swept the scorecards against Matt Hamill.
Silva, when he comes in disciplined, in shape and focused, is as scary and lethal as any man in the light heavyweight division. The problem is he is not very disciplined and could be throwing away the great potential he has.
He didn't take a step forward in Wednesday's win, which is always tough to do. So, in the spirit of that, he should battle the winner of Ryan Bader and Anthony Perosh, which takes place in Australia in December.
Dong Hyun Kim
The fight looked to be turning the tide. It looked to be falling out of favor for Dong Hyun Kim. In one punch, things changed.
Dong Hyun Kim is notoriously known as a grinder who goes to decisions. Last night, whether it was luck or fate, he landed a home run punch that turned the lights out on Erick Silva.
As they say in Sixteen Candles, "The Donger need food." Feed him a top-ranked opponent.
One guy that comes to mind is Tarec Saffiedine, the Strikeforce champ that is yet to debut. Otherwise, a bout with Rousimar Palhares who was on the same card could be interesting.
No doubt about it, Jake Shields put his name in the hat as a top contender in the welterweight division. His close victory over Demian Maia, who was ranked in the top five, propelled him up the ladder.
The matchup that comes to mind for Shields is a fight against the winner of Matt Brown and Carlos Condit. Taking on the winner of that matchup could get him into top contention.
I'm not sure how many people want to see a Georges St. Pierre-Jake Shields rematch, but it may be inevitable with another win for Shields.