Cariaso avoided a dreaded three-fight losing streak by exiting his effort with a victory in tow. Had he lost, there’s a good chance the longtime Zuffa fighter would have been looking elsewhere for employment. However, with a win – not to mention a knockout – Cariaso is back on track. The flyweight division is relatively thin so there aren’t a ton of options for “Kamikaze”, but that’s not a bad thing since it means he can make his way into position to contend for the title with a few more wins under his belt. Louis Gaudinot is available, in a similar position rankings-wise, and has some name value. As such, he would make sense as Cariaso’s next opponent. With a five straight instances of success, Assuncao is a win away from challenging for divisional gold. Of course, plenty of folks outside of Brazil would argue Dillashaw deserved the judges’ favor. As such, a rematch could be booked for December 14 in Sacramento at UFC on FOX 9 to give Dillashaw a home-field advantage of his own to work with. Other than that, Assuncao needs to face a top shelf opponent to solidify his status as a title-contender. However, most foes fitting the bill are already busy so he’ll need to wait for a fight like Urijah Faber-Michael McDonald to unfold (or an injury) to avoid facing an adversary like Eddie Wineland or Iuri Alcantara, i.e. talented but coming off a convincing defeat. Palhares could also be attached to the show’s “Biggest Losers” list. Earlier today the UFC announced it had released “Toquinho” and banned him from future fights under the company’s banner due to his decision to hold on to a Heel Hook after Pierce had tapped. The submission is one of the most dangerous techniques in MMA in terms of risking long-term damage and Palhares has been cited in the past for a similar transgression. With a failed drug test also in his recent rear-view mirror, Palhares’ awesome ability on the mat was not equivalent to the potential headaches he might provide, and thus he’s officially a free agent. That being said, don’t expect him to be without work for long. He’s obviously talented and just needs to get his act together mentally. Expect WSOF or Bellator to swoop in and sign him immediately. It’s tough to say what’s next for Silva. He came into his clash with Hamill in less-than spectacular shape, failing to make weight and looking a little softer than normal come showtime. He definitely blasted Hamill with some serious strikes as is his reputation but couldn’t take things into second gear and earn a stoppage, even when it was clear “The Hammer” was coasting on fumes. Silva is fun to watch but unpredictable and that makes him tough to book with any real faith. When Antonio Rogerio Nogueira gets healthy, he’d be a solid selection for Silva, as is Gegard Mousasi if he decides to stick around at 205. Fabio Maldonado would also be an acceptable option based purely on the brutality sure to be on display in the Octagon if the two saw action against each other. Kim was in the midst of a hard-fought match-up when a perfectly timed punch flattened the unsuspecting Silva who was caught in the middle of throwing his own strike. The blow blasted the Brazilian into orbit and helped earn Kim a TKO victory as well as a $50,000 bonus. Now on a three-fight winning streak, it’s time to give “Stun Gun” a step up in competition. If either Matt Brown or Carlos Condit goes down before their December bout Kim could definitely slide in and make sense. Other possibilities might be Rory MacDonald (assuming he beats Robbie Lawler next month) or even the freshly victorious Jake Shields. As ugly as his performance was, Shields still walked away from UFC Fight Night 29 with a win over Maia. The victory made it clear Shields’ grappling is still as good as ever even if his finishing ability falls off against apt adversaries. Still, he knows how to get hand raised, and a night of hometown decisions went his way instead of the Brazilian’s. He’s won three fights with a fourth victory changed to a No Contest due to a failed drug test, so Shields definitely deserves an opportunity to face a ranked opponent. It’s just tough to say which one since he’s always at risk of producing a snooze-fest. Dong Hyun Kim could work, though a rematch with Jake Ellenberger is a bit more intriguing since their first fight ended so abruptly and came weeks after Shields’ father had unexpectedly passed away.
Every win in the Octagon is important whether you’re a newcomer jerking the curtain or headliner closing the show. However, some victories cast a larger ripple than others, and the successful showings at
were no different in that regard. Jobs were both saved and lost, a bantamweight emerged as a likely title-contender in 2014, and one man made it clear he still has what it takes to cause problems for most of his peers. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images) UFC Fight Night 29