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UFC 177 Results: Burning Questions Heading into UFC Fight Night 50

Steven RondinaFeatured Columnist IVOctober 18, 2016

UFC 177 Results: Burning Questions Heading into UFC Fight Night 50

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    USA TODAY Sports

    UFC 177 is in the books. The results are as follows:

    UFC 177 Main Card

    • T.J. Dillashaw def. Joe Soto, knockout (Round 5, 2:20)
    • Tony Ferguson def. Danny Castillo, split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
    • Bethe Correia def. Shayna Baszler, TKO (Round 2, 1:56)
    • Carlos Ferreira def. Ramsey Nijem, TKO (Round 2, 1:53)
    • Yancy Medeiros def. Damon Jackson, submission (Round 2, 1:54)

    Prelims on Fox Sports 1

    • Derek Brunson def. Lorenz Larkin, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
    • Anthony Hamilton def. Ruan Potts, TKO (Round 2, 4:17)
    • Chris Wade def. Cain Carrizosa, submission (Round 1, 1:12)

    Next up? UFC Fight Night 50.

    The UFC is set to go head-to-head with Bellator this Friday, battling for viewers on the same time slot and even in the same county. To counter the prominent bookings of "King Mo" Lawal and Bobby Lashley, as well as the tantalizing grudge match (and title fight) between Pat Curran and Patricio Freire, the UFC rolled out some of its big guns.

    Gegard Mousasi faces Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza. Alistair Overeem faces Ben Rothwell. Joe Lauzon faces Michael Chiesa. 

    There are a lot of fun, interesting fights going on Friday...so what topics are worth discussing? Find out right here!

Will Bellator Rain on the UFC's Night?

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The Fight: UFC vs. Bellator

    The Real Fight: UFC vs. Bellator

     

    The Stakes

    This is a first, ladies and gentlemen. The UFC and Bellator go head-to-head in the truest way, putting on shows in the same time slot on the same day and putting on shows in casinos literally 20 minutes apart from each other. Bragging rights are on the line, and it will be interesting to see how the numbers shake out here.

     

    The Question

    Will Bellator Rain on the UFC's Night?

     

    Analysis

    While Dana White was quick to no-sell this as a competition...let's be straight. The UFC isn't going to put Alistair Overeem, one of its most recognizable non-champions, onto a throwaway Fox Sports 1 card.

    Bellator seems to have the same mindset and put together a card that includes one of its most anticipated fights in Pat Curran vs. Patricio Freire 2, a fun heavyweight fight in Cheick Kongo vs. Lavar Johnson, one of its top draws in King Mo Lawal and, to top it all off, the MMA return of Bobby Lashley.

    It will be interesting to compare and contrast the gates, ratings and coverage of each card.

Can Chris Beal Keep Up TUF 18's Post-Show Success?

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The Fight: Dustin Kimura vs. Chris Beal

    The Real Fight: Chris Beal vs. Not Much In Particular

     

    The Stakes

    After an impressive official UFC debut, The Ultimate Fighter 18 also-ran Chris Beal looks to add to his undefeated record. Beal is one of the bantamweight division's hardest hitters, and a big knockout over Dustin Kimura could help to elevate his status and would continue the impressive streak built up by the male half of the TUF 18 cast.

     

    The Question

    Can Chris Beal Keep Up TUF 18's Post-Show Success?

     

    Analysis

    The TUF 18 men have been absolutely on fire since the end of the show. Season-winner Chris Holdsworth is 1-0 in the UFC, Josh Hill is set to fight for the World Series of Fighting bantamweight title (with Cody Bollinger likely to get the winner) and Anthony Gutierrez might also be a notable player outside the UFC if he beats Zuffa castoff Walel Watson at Titan FC 30.

    The ladies...not so much.

    While Beal wasn't brought aboard the UFC following TUF 18, he earned his way into the promotion with a big knockout win in BAMMA USA. When he finally got his first "real" fight in the UFC, he knocked out Patrick Williams with one of the most picturesque flying knees you'll ever see. Now he has the opportunity to start building a streak. 

Which Flyweight Will Reassert His Relevance?

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The Fight: John Moraga vs. Justin Scoggins

    The Real Fight: Slipping Contender vs. Slipping Contender

     

    The Stakes

    Justin Scoggins was supposed to be the next big thing. John Moraga was supposed to be a big thing already. It hasn't panned out that way. Scoggins dropped a fight to Ortiz at the TUF 19 Finale, while Moraga is coming off a brutally lopsided beatdown at the hands of John Dodson.

    Both have shown themselves to be solid talents; however, only one of them will be able to keep his spot among the flyweight division's upper echelon.

     

    The Question

    Which Flyweight Will Reassert His Relevance?

     

    Analysis

    Don't look now, but the flyweight division is actually somewhat interesting these days. Even with Henry Cejudo's days as a UFC flyweight possibly set to end without ever starting, there is a blend of up-and-coming talent, established veterans and entrenched gatekeepers that allows the UFC to hypothetically move prospective contenders toward the belt step by step by step. 

    Well, Moraga and Scoggins are facing off to decide what lot they fit into. One will become a gatekeeper with a loss. One will retain status as a potential contender with a win.

Which Featherweight Will Maintain His Relevance?

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    Hannah Peters/Getty Images

    The Fight: Nik Lentz vs. Charles Oliveira

    The Real Fight: High-Level Talent in Stacked Division vs. High-Level Talent in Stacked Division

     

    The Stakes

    At just age 24, Charles Oliveira has an impressive body of work and is coming off a downright amazing win over Hatsu Hioki.

    Meanwhile, Nik Lentz quietly established himself as a possible contender after a 3-0 start to his featherweight career. He dropped a fight to Chad Mendes but bounced back with a solid win over Manny Gamburyan. In a fast-moving featherweight division, both men need a win here to maintain a spot in the rankings.

     

    The Question

    Which Featherweight Will Maintain His Relevance?

     

    Analysis

    Both these guys have had some high highs interrupted by some low lows. However, the featherweight division is nothing if not talent-rich, and both of these men are suffering from that fact. As such, if both of them want to keep themselves anywhere close to the title picture, they need a win here.

Can Joe Lauzon Start Making More of That Bonus Money?

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    The Fight: Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Chiesa

    The Real Fight: Joe Lauzon vs. Not Making it Rain

     

    The Stakes

    By defeating Mac Danzig, Joe Lauzon ended a 1-3 skid and secured his job for at least a while longer. Now, he can get back to doing what he does best: getting that paper. He has a solid opponent on his plate in Michael Chiesa who will likely afford him the opportunity to put on a strong show.

     

    The Question

    Can Joe Lauzon Start Making More of That Bonus Money?

     

    Analysis

    In spite of recent struggles, Joe Lauzon remains one of the most exciting fighters in MMA. Of late, however, the "Notes" section of his record on Wikipedia is oddly empty. 

    Lauzon has long been the UFC's go-to guy for excitement at 155 pounds, and his 12 bonuses in 16 fights remains a remarkable statistic. For the first time in his UFC career, however, he has had to make do with just his show money twice in a row. We'll see if the Bostonian can get back on the proverbial horse and get back to folding stacks again.

How Will Michael Chiesa Look Against Joe Lauzon?

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    The Fight: Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Chiesa

    The Real Fight: Michael Chiesa vs. A Tough Opponent

     

    The Stakes

    Michael Chiesa seemed like he might be an instant top-10 talent after ripping through a talented crew on The Ultimate Fighter: Live. While he eventually ran into a scrappy dude who goes by the name of Jorge Masvidal, it was shown that he still has a ways to go before making it to the top.

    While he bounced back with solid wins over Francisco Trinaldo and Colton Smith, he faces a steely veteran in Joe Lauzon who can easily push him to the brink.

     

    The Question

    How Will Michael Chiesa Look Against Joe Lauzon?

     

    Analysis

    Michael Chiesa won one of the most talent-rich seasons of The Ultimate Fighter ever. That in and of itself is something worth commending him for. However, his bread has historically been buttered on the ground against substandard competition. 

    Joe Lauzon is a formidable BJJ player, and while he isn't an elite-level talent, this is a tough stylistic matchup for Chiesa. If he can beat Lauzon, he could be scratching his way to the top. If he can't, however, he might have already peaked skill-wise.

So How Good Is Derrick Lewis?

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The Fight: Matt Mitrione vs. Derrick Lewis

    The Real Fight: Heavyweight vs. Heavyweight

     

    The Stakes

    With two electrifying UFC wins to his name, Derrick Lewis gets a big step up in competition in TUF 10 veteran Matt Mitrione. Mitrione is one of the best athletes in the heavyweight division and is very heavy-handed. If Lewis can get the better of Mitrione, he might just be ready to fight some higher-level competition.

     

    The Question

    So How Good Is Derrick Lewis?

     

    Analysis

    For the first time in a long time, the heavyweight division actually has some interesting young talent. Derrick Lewis is among that lot and a unique commodity, given his boxing background. With his dynamite hands and massive frame, Lewis could be a new Lavar Johnson...or maybe a new Shane Carwin.

Alistair Overeem Totally Has This Fight, Right?

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The Fight: Alistair Overeem vs. Ben Rothwell

    The Real Fight: Alistair Overeem vs. Somebody He is Supposed to Beat

     

    The Stakes

    After being pushed to the brink of a return to Asian MMA, Alistair Overeem is back in the win column following his lopsided beatdown of Frank Mir. Now set to face veteran brawler Ben Rothwell, he has the opportunity to put together his first winning streak since 2011, which would open the door for potential main event-caliber fights against the likes of Junior dos Santos, Mark Hunt and Stipe Miocic. 

     

    The Question

    Alistair Overeem Totally Has This Fight, Right?

     

    Analysis

    There's no question that the UFC wants Overeem to return to the top, and a fight like Overeem vs. dos Santos remains one of the few non-title fights the UFC could put together that could conceivably headline a pay-per-view (outside "superfights" involving Anderson Silva). To make that fight a real possibility, he needs another win or two under his belt. 

    The UFC set him up with somebody he is supposed to beat without much difficulty, Ben Rothwell. Unfortunately for the 'Reem, those gimme fights haven't been so gimme of late, as we've seen against Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva and Travis Browne. While that isn't to say you should bet your car on Rothwell, you simply can't count on Overeem to win consistently these days.

Can Gegard Mousasi Possibly Stop Ronaldo Souza Again?

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The Fight: Gegard Mousasi vs. Ronaldo Souza

    The Real Fight: Gegard Mousasi vs. Unstoppable Force?

     

    The Stakes

    Gegard Mousasi and Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza face off in the night's main event in a critical middleweight tilt. Souza has been scarily dominant over the past three years to the point where he seems unbeatable. If he can keep up that pace against a well-rounded, top-10 threat in Mousasi (who previously defeated him in Dream), he could reasonably be labeled the top contender at 185 pounds, Vitor Belfort be damned. 

     

    The Question

    Can Gegard Mousasi Possibly Stop Ronaldo Souza Again?

     

    Analysis

    We've always known that Souza is a scary submission threat. He has all the ground skills you could want and a massive frame to go along with it. Over the last 18 months, however, he has demonstrated powerful wrestling and devastating hands. The results have been three first-round stoppages and a three-frame mauling.

    Granted, those wins haven't come over especially fearsome competition. Sure, he owns a win over Yushin Okami. After that, though, the biggest win to his name in recent years is...I don't know...Francis Carmont, I guess?

    Mousasi, however, is a fighter with above-average wrestling, striking and grappling. If Souza can dominate him half as thoroughly as he has fighters like Ed Herman and Derek Brunson, it's hard to imagine anybody short of Chris Weidman stopping him.

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