UFC on Fox 16 Results: Burning Questions Heading into UFC 190

Steven Rondina@srondinaFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2015

UFC on Fox 16 Results: Burning Questions Heading into UFC 190

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    John Locher/Associated Press

    UFC on Fox 16 is in the books. The results are as follows (c/o Bleacher Report's Craig Amos):

    UFC on Fox 16 Main Card (8 p.m. ET)

    • T.J. Dillashaw def. Renan Barao, TKO (Round 4, 0:35)
    • Miesha Tate def. Jessica Eye, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
    • Edson Barboza def. Paul Felder, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
    • Joe Lauzon def. Takanori Gomi, TKO (Round 1, 2:37)

    Prelims on Fox (6 p.m. ET)

    • Tom Lawlor def. Gian Villante, knockout (Round 2, 0:27)
    • Jim Miller def. Danny Castillo, split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
    • Ben Saunders def. Kenny Robertson, split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
    • Bryan Caraway def. Eddie Wineland, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

    Prelims on UFC Fight Pass (4:15 p.m. ET)

    • James Krause def. Daron Cruickshank, submission (Round 1, 1:27)
    • Andrew Holbrook def. Ramsey Nijem, split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
    • Elizabeth Phillips def. Jessamyn Duke, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
    • Zak Cummings def. Dominique Steele, TKO (Round 1, 0:43)

    Next up? UFC 190 on Saturday.

    Wake up, because it's feeding time for Ronda Rousey, who is set to thrash Bethe Correia. Past that, a slew of Brazilian veterans are set to take on up-and-comers who are looking to climb over them.

    So what topics are worth discussing heading into fight night? What should you look out for? Find out here!

Will Warlley Alves Regain His Footing?

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    Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

    The Fight: Warlley Alves vs. Nordine Taleb
    The Real Fight: Warlley Alves vs. Membership in the Association of Forgettable TUF Winners

    The Stakes

    When Warlley Alves thrashed Marcio Alexandre to cap an impressive run on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3, it felt like big things were in his future. Then, he put in an awful performance opposite Alan Jouban, which was made even worse by the fact that it ended with a controversial hometown decision in his favor. Now, he needs to hit the reset button on his hype by defeating the 3-0 Nordine Taleb.

    The Question

    Will Warlley Alves regain his footing?

    Analysis

    It's always easy to buy into TUF standouts. Phillipe Nover, Uriah Hall and Rose Namajunas haven't changed that. The trouble with Alves in particular is in his initial rise to prominence in Jungle Fight.

    The Brazilian promotion has become notorious for building up future UFC castoffs with naked squash matches, and Alves may be among that lot. If he doesn't look fantastic against Taleb, it will officially end his time as a top prospect.

Which Light Heavyweight Will Remain Semi-Relevant?

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    Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

    The Fight: Rafael Cavalcante vs. Patrick Cummins
    The Real Fight: Rafael Cavalcante, Patrick Cummins vs. Muddled Light Heavyweight Division

    The Stakes

    The UFC's light heavyweight division is thick in the middle, but it is going to thin out a bit come Sunday. Rafael Cavalcante is set to take on Patrick Cummins, and whoever loses will take an irreversibly hard shot to his career trajectory.

    The Question

    Which light heavyweight will remain semi-relevant?

    Analysis

    Cavalcante, at one point, was the Strikeforce light heavyweight champion and actually might have wound up filling the vacant light heavyweight throne again had he not gotten popped for the 'roids in 2012. He has been wallowing in the midcard ever since and hasn't been able to regain his footing as a top 205-pounder.

    Cummins shook off a rough UFC debut against Daniel Cormier by racking up three straight wins, but he had a potential jump into the top 10 stamped out by Ovince Saint Preux. Cummins' wrestling base and sheer strength make him a solid member of the light heavyweight division, but he remains a one-dimensional practitioner of the ancient art of Lay Pray Ryu.

    This is a must-win for both men as they seek to maintain relevance. Whoever loses could wind up on the chopping block.

Is Neil Magny the Real Deal?

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    Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

    The Fight: Demian Maia vs. Neil Magny
    The Real Fight: Neil Magny vs. Getting Some Respect Around Here!

    The Stakes

    Slowly but surely, Neil Magny has built up one of the longest active winning streaks in the UFC today (seven). Weak competition throughout, however, has kept him from pushing his way into the title picture. Set to face No. 8-ranked Demian Maia at UFC 190, he has the chance to establish himself as one of the top welterweights in MMA and put himself just a win away from a shot at the belt.

    The Question

    Is Neil Magny the real deal?

    Analysis

    The sole survivor of TUF 16 is basically the new Stefan Struve...except he can actually mount a lengthy winning streak in the UFC. With his towering, lanky frame, he has a tough-to-prepare-for skill set, and now that he seems to have some pop in his striking, he may just have what it takes to contend for the title. A win over Maia won't line him up for a title shot but could get him a fight against somebody like Matt Brown.

Who Will Become the on-Paper Top Strawweight Contender?

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    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    The Fight: Claudia Gadelha vs. Jessica Aguilar
    The Real Fight: Sure Thing vs. Unknown Commodity

    The Stakes

    Claudia Gadelha and Jessica Aguilar have long been regarded as two of the best 115-pound fighters in the world, but they hadn't shared the same promotional umbrella until recently. Now, in a wide-open strawweight division, both women have the chance to establish themselves as the division's top contender.

    The Question

    Who will become the on-paper top strawweight contender?

    Analysis

    Given how close Gadelha's UFC on Fox 13 fight with Joanna Jedrzejczyk was, there are more than a few alternate realities out there where the Brazilian is UFC strawweight champion. The fight was so close, in fact, that there would be little argument against her getting a second crack with just one clean win.

    Aguilar has a body of work where she could contend for the UFC title right now. The WSOF champion and Bellator alum is riding a 10-fight winning streak that includes two wins over women's MMA legend Megumi Fujii and a victory over former UFC champ Carla Esparza. She is quite possibly the best wrestler in the division...and she's also Mexican!

    The UFC would love to have a Mexican champion when it heads back across the border in December.

    Outside the main event, this is by far the pound-for-pound best fight on the card, both in terms of title relevance and the quality of the fighters. Whoever wins the bout will be in prime position to get her crack at UFC gold. 

Is This Bigfoot's Last Stand?

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    Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

    The Fight: Antonio Silva vs. Soa Palelei
    The Real Fight: Antonio Silva vs. Fighting Off TRT

    The Stakes

    Since his shocking come-from-behind win over Alistair Overeem, Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva is 0-3 (1). All three of those losses, by the way, have come via brutal knockout. Set to face Soa Palelei, if Bigfoot can't bounce back, he may receive a pink slip.

    The Question

    Is this Bigfoot's last stand?

    Analysis

    Silva, who suffers from acromegaly, was hit hard by the testosterone replacement therapy ban, as he relied on the treatment to curb some of the effects of the ailment, according to Jesse Holland of SBNation. Couple that with the fact that it landed him on a surgical table just nine months ago, and it isn't out of line to ask whether or not he is physically capable of competing at a high level at this point.

    If he loses to Palelei, it is probably wise to hang the gloves up.

This Is the End of the Nogueira Brothers, Right?

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    Felipe Dana/Associated Press

    The Fight: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Stefan Struve, Mauricio Rua vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
    The Real Fight: The Nogueira Brothers vs. Age

    The Stakes

    Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but, in all likelihood, this will be the last stand for the Nogueira brothers. Their (hopefully) final opponents? For Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, it's Stefan Struve. For Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, it's Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. Both men are fighting for a happy ending, and it will be interesting to see if they get it.

    The Question

    This is the end of the Nogueira brothers, right?

    Analysis

    It's obvious that the Nogueiras are close to retirement; the question is whether or not their retirement will be more Chris Leben or more Mark Munoz.

    Neither man should be regarded as the favorite in his bout. Big Nog likely doesn't have the explosiveness to take out the beatable (but skilled) Struve, while Shogun should still have enough to beat Little Nog. There's a very good chance both men will lose their way out of the UFC, and that would just be kind of sad. 

Can Shogun Stave off Retirement?

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    The Fight: Mauricio Rua vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
    The Real Fight: Shogun vs. the Ghosts of Fights Past

    The Stakes

    Mauricio "Shogun" Rua is relatively young by MMA standards (33 years old), but he has a lot of miles on him. After going 1-4 over his last five, if he drops this fight to the aging Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, it will officially mark the end of his days as a serious fighter.

    The Question

    Can Shogun stave off retirement?

    Analysis

    People have been doom and gloom about Shogun for a while now. It's not unreasonable, of course, as fans keep on seeing the man who was once among the most savage knockout artists in the sport get bullied around the cage. Still, while he can't contend with anyone in the top 10, it is hard to count him out in fights against fringe players like Jan Blachowicz, Fabio Maldonado and Rafael Cavalcante.

    That, however, would change with a loss to Nogueira. Little Nog, despite his consistently strong rankings position—courtesy of his 2013 upset win over Rashad Evanshasn't been a serious player in the light heavyweight division since 2009. A loss to him would be a huge indictment of Shogun's current skill level and would mark the end of his days as a "UFC-level fighter," for whatever that's worth.

Can Bethe Correia Avoid Getting Finished by Rousey in Less Than 30 Seconds?

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    Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    The Fight: Ronda Rousey vs. Bethe Correia
    The Real Fight: Bethe Correia vs. Ronda Freakin' Rousey!

    The Stakes

    Ronda Rousey is the most dominant force in MMA today. If you're denying it, you're kidding yourself.

    Her next victim is set to be Bethe Correia. It will be interesting to see how quickly Rousey winds up beating her. 

    The Question

    Can Bethe Correia avoid getting finished by Rousey in less than 30 seconds?

    Analysis

    That's pretty bold, of course. The only question with Correia is how quickly Rousey will beat her?

    That's the point where things are right now, though. Rousey's success is assured. How and when it comes about is academic.