To kick things off in the previous edition of “The Aftermath: UFC 109” I listed a series of fighters which I fully expected to be released from the UFC such as Frank Trigg, Justin Buccholz and Phillipe Nover, all of which have since been let go, but when examining the rubble of UFC 110 and it’s unfortunate victims it seems that this event may have had an opposite effect on the careers of a few athletes with questionable futures under the promotion.
Two fighters that will most likely NOT be cut following UFC 110:
Stephan Bonnar: Bonnar’s performance in the most pivotal bout in UFC history has cemented his place with the promotion in an extremely unique way. Luckily Saturday’s bout with Krzysztof Soszynski ended via controversial headbutt so Bonnar’s career will undoubtedly continue in the UFC with little need for explanation from the promotion considering “The American Psycho” holds the unfortunate distinction of having suffered defeats in three consecutive bouts at this point.
Keith Jardine: The sad thing about Jardine’s defeat to Ryan Bader at UFC 109 was the fact that “The Dean of Mean” actually looked better than he had in recent memory before the end came. If Keith had mounted some offense in the final three minutes of the bout that Bader made sure we didn’t get to see, we could have been looking at a decision for the master of herk-jerky-fu. Sure, Jardine’s gone 2-5 in his last seven, but look at who he’s been fighting. A case could be made for his dismissal, but I feel an even stronger case could be made for Jardine’s spot on the UFC 205 pound roster to stay intact.
With a couple exceptions… Things aren’t looking great for Igor Pokrajac from here right now. I’d expect his release to be reported in the coming hours or days. I wouldn’t hold my breath for the future of Anthony Perosh in the UFC at this point either, but at least he can say he tried.
“Oh yeah, that’s right, I have a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu“. This must have been what ran through the head of Chris Lytle in the days leading up to the Indiana fireman’s UFC 110 Submission of the Night victory over Brian Foster. Lytle is a legitimately dangerous submission fighter with a black belt in BJJ, and Foster, well Foster isn’t. As a matter of fact, four of Foster’s five defeats to date have now come by way of tap out. Kudos to Lytle for doing the right thing in this bout, and still somehow managing to grab a bonus in the process.
Lytle cements his legacy as one of the most exciting fighters to watch… ever. With an unprecedented SEVEN fight of the night bonuses (1 Knockout, 2 Submission and 4 Fight of the Nights) in his last nine fights, you’d be hard pressed to argue against the fact that “Lights Out” is one of the most consistently exciting fighters not only in the UFC, but in the history of the sport. A fighter’s fighter. Well done Chris.
Could Jardine cut? This may sound completely crazy out of my mind, but seriously, does anyone think that Jardine could possibly make a drop to 185 pounds? And if so, do you think that would be a weight class where the Greg Jackson trained fighter could revitalize his career? I’m just saying…
A defeat inside of a victory for Cro Cop? I remain unconvinced that Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic is anything more than financially relevant in the UFC’s current heavyweight division. One of my favorite fighters from about five years ago looked like a shell of his old self this past Saturday evening in victory over Anthony “A Few Hours Notice” Perosh. Where was the high kick that the man is known, and used to be feared for? It was non-existent. That’s where it was. And why? Is Perosh that much of a threat? Not to an “elite level striker” he shouldn’t have been. Just like the sad time when I realized that I would no longer have any additional knockouts to add to my Mike Tyson highlight reel, I have come to the grips with the fact that the only time I will be seeing the patented left “right leg hospital, left leg cemetery” from Cro Cop will be on my old Pride DVD’s. If he couldn’t get the job done against Anthony at UFC 110, then who’s it going to be? I’d love to Mirko prove me wrong, but it seems like the fire is gone. And once the fire is out for many fighters, it’s nearly impossible to rekindle that flame.
Smile now, cry later… again. I’ve said it before after Mike Swick was recently belted off-side his head and choked out at the hands of Paulo Thiago, and I’m going to say it again following Joe Stevenson’s recent defeat to George Sotiropoulos in Australia. Stevenson seemed to be a little overly happy and upbeat heading into his UFC 110 showdown with George, while Sotiropoulos looked as if Joe had just sent a personal insult in the direction of his mother. There was obviously more than just attitude and mindset to take into account this past Saturday evening in this lightweight match-up, but attitude and mindset are two factors in any form of professional athletic combat that refuse to be ignored.
George Sotiropoulos vs. Kenny Florian anyone? I couldn’t help but notice similarities between the two lightweights both standing and on the ground as Sotiropoulos methodically picked apart Joe Stevenson this past Saturday evening. Now that George has established himself as a top-flight contender in the lightweight division with a win over a fighter like Joe Daddy, a potential match-up between the two aggressive and well-rounded 155 pounders could spell a future title shot for either man in the future if Florian looks impressive in victory over Takanori Gomi at UFC Fight Night 21, which I fully expect he will.
A revitalized “Axe Murderer”. With a win over Michael Bisping, Wanderlei Silva has officially established himself as a legitimate contender in the UFC middleweight division. It appeared as if Wanderlei had a renewed sense of timing and hand speed this past Saturday evening at 185 pounds, although the importance of getting of the win obviously affected his overall performance in the bout. With that being said, there were absolutely points where we saw the old Wanderlei in action, particularly in the closing moments of each round. If Silva had chosen to let those brief flurries go in say, the middle of any given around, we very easily could have seen the knockout many had anticipated.
Velasquez erases all doubt. The one-sided beating dished out to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira absolutely solidified Cain’s place near the top of the UFC heavyweight mountain. Velasquez displayed the type of timing and explosiveness in his striking that is rarely seen by the majority of top-level wrestlers that make the decision to make the the transition to mixed martial arts. With the victory over Big Nog in Australia, Velasquez asserted himself as a bonafide top three heavyweight in the UFC due to the fact that it has been a years time since we have last seen Shane Carwin action.