Now that the dust has settled on another PPV event, it’s time to look at what the future holds for those involved. Like I said in our prediction article, I believe there are 2 fighters that walked out of the Octagon last night and into instant title contention. Unfortunately a theme of last night were a laundry list of injuries, however we can still take a look at the next step in a few of these fighters careers.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson-There is no doubt that Rampage is on track to get a title shot and would probably be next in line for Jon Jones, but as he revealed in his post-fight interview, his hand is possibly fractured. Although the severity of the injury won’t be known until the coming week, it doesn’t look good. Jackson isn’t one to complain about an injury and the fact that it was the first thing he said to Rogan has me worried. As long as the test results come back clean he will face Jones this fall, otherwise it’s looking like a long layoff for the former LHW champ.
Matt Hamill-With an unimpressive performance in his first main event, it’s looking like Hamill will fall back to top 15 status. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets the loser of Evans vs. Davis at best, and at worst the loser of Nogueira vs. Franklin. Either way there is no doubt that “The Hammer” is a tough out for anyone and a long-term UFC fighter.
Frank Mir-Another fight, another injury. Once again we will not know the severity of Mir’s jaw or rib injuries until this week, but if everything comes back clean expect Mir to get a shot at the loser of JDS/Carwin. The win over Nelson, as well as Lesnar’s diverticulitis, has firmly placed Frank back into the top 5 heavyweights. Let’s just hope we see the jiu-jitsu master back in the Octagon soon.
Roy Nelson-There is no doubting the heart of “Big Country”, and there is no doubt about his popularity. But after two straight losses against the elite of the UFC HW division, there are questions about his ability to be a top 5 fighter. I still see a long future for Nelson in the UFC just based on his toughness and popularity, but the chances we see him getting a title shot are slim-and-none. Expect Nelson to get Travis Browne, Minotauro Nogueira, or a rematch with Brendan Schaub.
Travis Browne-We are still unsure of his ground game, but there is no doubt about his striking. Expect a big jump in competition for Browne with Nelson, Nogueira, or Schaub waiting across the Octagon from him in his next battle.
Brian Stann-The guy is becoming a flat out stud. His move to middleweight has rejuvenated his career. Wouldn’t be surprised to see “The All American” move into the top 5 middleweights in his next fight. Dan Miller or Vitor Belfort would be a perfect fight for Stann.
Demetrious Johnson-I don’t see any way the UFC can keep him away from the winner of Cruz/Faber. He is too exciting and talented to be held back any longer. I expect a belt to be around the waist of “Mighty Mouse” within the next 2 years.
Once again it was a good PPV event put on by the UFC. We saw some of the best up and coming fighters the company has to offer as well as some guys who are entering the twilight of their careers. We now move on to the Ultimate Fighter finale next weekend. I will have my predictions this week and tell you why the Guida/Pettis fight could be the best fight of the year.