WOW—there is really no other way to describe UFC 110 at this point. What better way to break into the Australian market then with one of the most action packed UFC cards fans have seen in some time?
Now that we have had some time to reflect upon what we saw Saturday night it’s time to begin to speculate about what is next on the horizon for UFC 110’s winners.
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic
Cro Cop came in and did exactly what everyone was expecting by dismantling last minute call up Anthony Perosh.
Even in victory it is clear that Cro Cop is a shell of what he was during the Pride FC heydays. The time has come for Cro Cop to call it a career—the man nothing left to prove in this sport and he should go out on a high note.
Cro Cop’s bout with rising star Junior Dos Santos at UFC 103 showed that he cannot compete with this “new breed” of heavyweight.
Ryan “Darth” Bader
With an impressive third round TKO victory over gatekeeper, Keith Jardine, Ryan Bader moves another step closer to contender status. If he is able to continue his winning ways against stiffer competition we could see Bader challenging for the UFC gold sometime next year.
The performance wasn’t all roses for Bader, who showed that his cardio is definitely a question mark. Between continually swinging for the fences and telegraphing his shots Bader has some work to do before he can be considered one of the light heavyweight division’s elite.
The time has come to throw Bader into the deep end of the pool and match him up with Brazilian bomber Thiago Silva.
Aside from the punching power that he brings to the table Silva is a BJJ black belt and was in the thick of the title mix until his defeat at the hands of Rashad Evans at UFC 108.
In a “Fight of the Night” performance Sotiropoulos dominated the always tough and highly respected Joe “Daddy” Stevenson en route to a Unanimous Decision victory. The native Australian outclassed Stevenson on the feet with crisp, clean combinations while thoroughly outclassing the BJJ black belt on the ground with smooth transitions and slick submission attempts.
Currently riding a six fight win streak, five in the Octagon, Sotiropoulos is a now a hot commodity. With BJ Penn clearing house in the division, it’s very possible that with one more win Sotiropoulos could find himself fighting for the title.
A bout with Sean Sherk should be next on the horizon for Sotiropoulos.
Sherk is a former champion with powerful wrestling and decent boxing and is the perfect stepping to decide whether or not Sotiropoulos is ready to fight for the title.
Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva
After getting a much needed win over Michael Bisping in his middleweight debut, Silva can rest a little easier knowing that he still has a little left in the tank.
Silva needed this win—not because he was in danger of being cut by the promotion but a loss would have signaled the end of him being a relevant fighter in today’s sport.
There is little question as to who is next for Silva as talented judoka Yoshihiro Akiyama has stated that he only wishes to fight Silva and will not accept any other fights.
Velasquez put everyone on the UFC heavyweight division on notice with his impressive first round KO victory over Pride FC legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira—marking only the second time in Nog’s illustrious career that he has been finished.
Barring an injury to the winner of the upcoming matchup between Frank Mir and Shane Carwin, Velasquez will have to wait for his opportunity to fight for the title.
It’s highly unlikely that the UFC will keep Velasquez on the shelf until the end of the year for a title shot so expect to see him battle the winner between Junior Dos Santos and Gabriel Gonzaga.
The AKA trained Velasquez is here and he has all of the makings to become a champion very soon.