This past Saturday night on FOX, ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler and Matt ‘The Immortal’ Brown certainly delivered a main event worthy of its headlining status. So what’s next for the violent gentleman who won this contest, and the rest of the UFC on FOX 12 main card victors? While one fight is already set in stone, we can only speculate on what the future holds for the other three men. And we sure love to do a whole lot of that around these parts. Let’s dive right into it.
• Robbie Lawler: The term ‘title eliminator’ can be used loosely a lot when it comes to Dana White and the UFC. It’s tough to take them seriously now days, but as long as you tune in thinking you’re watching an important fight then the UFC wins. Someone could come along in the same division and earn a crazy KO of the night or sub of the night and make the man we thought was the #1 contender all of a sudden becomes yesterdays news. Or in the case of the UFC, someone with a big name could come in off a loss and get awarded a title shot. But that’s so 2013.
In the case of Robbie Lawler, as long as he stays healthy, he will get a rematch against Johny Hendricks sometime in the 1st quarter of 2015 for that welterweight world title he came so close to securing earlier this year in Dallas. Hendricks-Lawler part one was a phenomenal stand up war, and with Hendricks out for nearly a year, and Lawler going 2-0 since, this is a title rematch that will certainly pique the fans interest.
Don’t let Lawler’s sub par looking 24-10 career record fool you. He’s 13-3 when he competes at 170 lbs. And even though he’s been competing since 2001, he’s still a youngster at the age of 32; Hendricks will turn 31 in September. These are by far the top two guys inside of the welterweight division as it stands today. Lawler hasn’t looked this good since the beginning of his career and the title that currently resides with Hendricks is one that was well earned. This may just turn out to be the best rivalry we’ve seen in the division since St. Pierre-Hughes. And it’s all thanks to GSP hang up his gloves; even if it is temporary, it’s made the division a whole lot more interesting for the short-term.
• Anthony Johnson: First things last – let’s relive the moment.
Since being kicked out of the UFC for weight issues, Anthony Johnson has become a man on a mission. He may even be the most dangerous man in the 205 lbs division as it stands today. This is a guy who some for ungodly reason would cut down to welterweight to compete back in the day. He came in 20 lbs over for what was supposed to be his middleweight debut against Vitor Belfort back at UFC 142 and at that point, Dana and company has seen enough. It was more of the same for Johnson when he continued to ‘Rumble’ the scales in his post UFC debut against David Branch a handful of months later. Was he ever going to get it?? Or was he just going through the motions and collecting a check?
I think both of those questions have since been answered. All Johnson had to do was find his proper weight class. All of a sudden he’s 7-0 since moving up to light heavyweight (one of those fights was actually contested at heavyweight) and he finds himself on a 8-fight win streak. What’s scary is the five KO/TKO’s he’s accumulated over that time, how smart he’s been fighting (i.e. the win against Davis) and this new look he’s adopted that reeks of dedication and humility.
So who’s next for Johnson. I don’t exactly see anyone calling this guy out on Twitter. Let’s take a look at the top 10 really quick. Jones and Cormier have a title fight this fall. Gustafsson is currently recovering from a torn meniscus and he’ll get the next crack at Jones should he win. Evans and Johnson train together. He’s already beat Davis, nobody wants to see him murder Hendo, and while Rua would be intriguing it could also be very sad. That leaves Glover Teixeira and Ryan Bader. Bader will be fighting next month against Ovince St. Preux in Maine so you could very well see the winner of that fight on tap next for Johnson. If not, I cannot think of a better comeback opponent for Teixeira. With 25 KO finishes between them, and considering what’s on the line, saying you could expect fireworks would be an understatement.
• Dennis Bermudez: UFC President Dana White thinks so highly of Dennis Bermudez that he called him Joseph Benavidez during the post-fight press conference. Bermudez is on a 7-fight win streak right now and he just flew past Clay Guida (the man he just beat), Dennis Siver (currently serving a 9-month suspension for using a banned substance), Conor McGregor (who will be traveling to Vegas for his next fight from Ireland by foot via the walking on water technique), Jeremy Stephens (coming off a loss to Cub Swanson) and Nik ‘The Carny’ Lentz to grab the seventh spot in the UFC’s latest updated featherweight rankings.
Benavidez..errr… Bermudez has also earned himself 4 performance bonuses during this streak. If you want to give him another fun match up next I suggest putting him up against The Korean Zombie. He’s currently hiding down the spot right above Beemudez and he should be ready to go again before the year is out. Get those bonus checks ready.
• Bobby Green: Green was supposed to fight Abel Trujillo next month but was given the upgrade of the century when he was called upon to replace an injured Michael Johnson on the main card of UFC on FOX 12. He would beat a top contender and former Strikeforce champion in Josh Thomson which will certainly catapult him up in those rankings we juts spoke of.
Now normally with a guy like Green I’d say don’t rush him into anything. That said, he just beat Josh Thomson! I say give him Jim Miller and make it open a big time PPV main card.