UFC 162 Results: What Is Next for Main Card Losers?
Prior to that, fans witnessed some great fights. Frankie Edgar, Tim Kennedy, Mark Munoz and Cub Swanson all found their hands raised at the end of their fights.
For those men, it's pretty clear as to what's next; moving up the UFC ladder to face stiffer competition.
But what about the guys who came out on the losing end? What's next for fighters like Charles Oliveira, who arguably could be considered a winner based on his performance, or Roger Gracie, who looked like he belonged on a regional show rather than in the Octagon?
With a card featuring many fights in the same weight class, the "what's next" question is fairly simple after UFC 162.
Prior to UFC 162 Dennis Siver had been on a nice roll. After dropping a fight to Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone, Siver dropped to 145 pounds and won two straight fights. Siver showcased a well-versed MMA game against Nam Phan in his last outing but couldn't do much against Cub Swanson as the fight wore on.
It would seem to make sense for Siver to face Charles Oliveira in his next contest. Both men are on roughly the same fight schedule as both competed (and lost) at UFC 162. Oliveira may be on a two-fight skid, but he performed very admirably against one of the world's best fighters at 145 pounds.
I wouldn't mind seeing him against Rani Yahya if he loses at UFC 163 or perhaps the loser of Manny Gamburyan vs. Cole Miller. The loser of Darren Elkins vs. Hatsu Hioki is a possibility as well.
Tim Boetsch saw his stock skyrocket after defeating Hector Lombard but has since seen it fall dramatically as he's lost two straight. Boetsch did have some initial success but looked overmatched on the ground against Mark Munoz at UFC 162.
Boetsch likely won't find himself in danger of being cut despite the two straight losses due to being an exciting fighter. I think if the UFC wants to put him in a high-profile bout, facing a guy like Alan Belcher or Brian Stann makes sense. Chris Camozzi could make for a fun scrap as well.
Roger Gracie carries a lot of weight on his shoulders each time he steps in the cage due to his last name. Gracie is also regarded as one of the best grapplers in the world, and that only adds pressure to perform.
A big middleweight, Gracie undoubtedly has to cut a lot of weight to make 185 pounds. It looks as if it may be too much after he was simply outworked by Tim Kennedy for three rounds at UFC 162. Gracie is without question a very, very talented grappler, but he's just not a good MMA fighter at this point.
As far as potential opponents I believe a "make or break" type of fight with Chris Leben could do well on a prelim or network TV show. A fight with Thales Leites could provide an interesting show of grappling should Leites lose in his UFC return.
Regardless of who the UFC puts him up against, it needs to take a hard look at Gracie and make a firm judgement of whether or not he belongs in the Octagon.
Charles Oliveira performed admirably against Frankie Edgar at UFC 162, but at the end of the day, he still came out a loser. Worse yet, Oliveira has lost two straight in the Octagon.
Oliveira is a talented fighter but hasn't turned the corner enough to take out the top-level competition. The good thing for him is that he's only 23 and has fought some of the best lightweights and featherweights in the world.
A fight with Max Holloway would be an interesting scrap of prospects. Marcus Brimage is a guy who's coming off a devastating loss and would provide Oliveira with some length advantage in a potential bout.
Oliveira is on a two-fight losing skid, but the future is still bright for this young Brazilian.
That's the only word I could find to describe what I witnessed as Chris Weidman dropped Anderson Silva to capture UFC gold.
After the bout, Silva was presented with the option of facing Weidman again (something Dana White has already guaranteed if Silva had lost) and the Brazilian seemed completely disinterested. It doesn't look like the UFC title is important to Silva at this point in his career and he'd rather take big-money fights.
Unfortunately for "The Spider," those big paydays are going to be few and far in between after losing at UFC 162. The biggest payday for Silva may, in fact, be a rematch with Weidman.
White isn't likely to let Silva fight anyone outside of Weidman or a big name from a different division in an attempt to maximize the profits he can make off the final years of Silva's career.