Despite the fact that a few fights were pulled from the card, UFC 106 featured a number of exciting matchups that produced more fireworks than expected.
Just like with the outcome of UFC 102, Dana White has shown us all that he can take lemons and turn them into lemonade.
The one-trick pony with little to no stamina made his return to the UFC against Amir Sadollah. We all knew that Phil Baroni's plan was to knock Sadollah out within the first two minutes before his gas tank was simply running on fumes. Unfortunately for Baroni, this didn't happen, and Sadollah picked "The New York Badass" apart en route to a unanimous decision.
Since White has confirmed that Baroni will not be canned, his next opponent depends on which weight class he would fight in. Either way, it will be against another bottom of the barrel opponent.
If it is at welterweight, a good opponent would be Nick Osipczak. The outcome would be one of two things: Baroni winning the fight with a confidence-boosting knockout, or another case of the crow picking apart the dead, where Osipczak would pick apart Baroni towards victory.
If his next fight happens at middleweight, a perfect fighter to oppose Baroni would be Rob Kimmons. Both fighters like to swing away. Everybody wins with this fight.
Luiz Cane entered the fight as a hot prospect that shot his way into the division's top 10. This was the fight to prove whether or not that Cane was ready to swim with the sharks. Unfortunately for him, Cane ran into a great white shark named Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
In a fight that pitted southpaw against southpaw, Nogueira proved that he had the better boxing, knocking out the aggressive striker in the first round.
There is no shame in losing to a world-class fighter, so Cane should only look forward from here. An intriguing fight could come against Ryan Bader. This would give Bader the step up in competition that he needs, as well as give Cane a stiff test against a solid wrestler.
The twin brother of Lloyd Christmas, Jacob Volkmann entered the arena as an unknown fighter outside of Minnesota. After the night was done, Volkmann had earned the respect of the UFC management and fans.
Volkmann went three rounds against one of the division's top fighters in Paulo Thiago, ultimately losing the decision. There were shining moments for Volkmann, who proved he has a chin and some sneaky jiu-jitsu off of his back.
His next fight should be against Brock Larson, who has fallen from contender status into the midst of the pack. This would generate an exciting, back and forth fight between two solid wrestlers who both wield some exceptional hands as well.
Like with Cane, there is no shame in the performance of Anthony Johnson. In an ugly fight of eye pokes, eye rakes, and a near disastrous knee, Johnson lost to the better fighter in Josh Koscheck.
Johnson did show glimpses of his potential, stuffing a few takedowns from the superior wrestler, as well as connecting on some clean shots to Koscheck's head.
"Rumble" should fight Ben Saunders, who proved that his striking can be devastating. Both guys like to keep the fight standing with the exciting striking, but if the fight goes to the ground, neither one would be at a disadvantage.
Once again, Tito Ortiz made his highly anticipated return to the UFC against Forrest Griffin. Once again, his fight with Griffin generated some serious buzz as the two fought for three rounds.
Once again, the victor was handed the split decision victory, but this time it was handed to Griffin. Ortiz was outclassed and picked apart throughout the third round, where he once again appeared tired and out of shape. Ortiz was only able to score a few takedowns through the fight but had a difficult time keeping Griffin down.
Ortiz has been lobbying to coach The Ultimate Fighter , Season 11 alongside Griffin to set up the rubber match. It is a good idea, but it probably isn't the direction that the UFC wants to go in, recycling the coaches from the past seasons.
The UFC should pit Ortiz against "The Dean of Mean," Keith Jardine, as it gives Tito an opponent that he can bounce back strong against. Nothing against Jardine, but that has been his role since joining the promotion. If anything, it also gives Jardine a chance to prove that nobody in the division should look past him.
Those are the guys that the losers should fight next. Let's ask Robert Gardner about who the winners should fight.
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