Anything can happen inside the confines of the cage, or that’s what we’re told. Often cards with little name recognition deliver stellar action from top to bottom, while others with notable stars can often come up flat.
Tonight was neither. The card on paper was generally considered mediocre and that is exactly what it delivered: mediocrity. The fights which were expected to be high pace, action filled bouts did so, and those expected to be more methodical also did as was expected.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of the talking points coming out of tonight’s card.
What`s next for Frankie Edgar?
The main event of tonight`s card delivered in a big way. Frankie Edgar and Benson Henderson both put on exciting, technical performances. As is often the case with Edgar bouts, controversy surrounds the decision. Benson Henderson walked away with a split decision that many (including myself) thought should have favored the former champion.
So what`s next for the New Jersey native? White has made it no secret he’d like to see Edgar move down to 145lb. and eventually challenge Jose Aldo in a dream bout of sorts. Despite walking around just above 155lb.’s and not being much larger than most featherweights, Edgar has been hesitant to the idea.
The mixed martial arts world enthusiastically waits for one of the most exciting fighters in recent memory to make a decision on what his future holds.
Jake Shields is still Jake Shields
The former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion claimed after the bout that we still have yet to see the real Jake Shields inside the cage. After five UFC bouts, Shields cannot still be making claims like that.
Contrary to Shields’ comments, I think the UFC 150 performance against Ed Herman was the real Jake Shields to a tee. He clinched, forced the bout to the mat and casually fought for submission attempts from top control while racking up points. This is who Jake Shields is. He’s done it over and over and is not going to change.
Shields still claims to be a top 185lb. fighter in the world, but he`ll have to prove it against a top contender to get anywhere near a world title shot. Perhaps UFC 150 card-mate Yushin Okami would make sense?
Donald Cerrone vs. Anthony Pettis please?
It was a shaky start but eventually Donald Cerrone did exactly what most thought he would do in finishing Melvin Guillard. He had to overcome adversity to do it, but the head kick and follow up straight right more than made up for it.
As mentioned on the broadcast, Cerrone wants Anthony Pettis next, a fight that makes complete sense to me. Pettis and Cerrone are both chomping at the bit for a shot at the UFC championship and what better way to determine who deserves the opportunity than to put them in the cage together?
It’s a fight that would make a perfect FOX main or co-main event as it promises to be action packed and with title implication, both would assuredly leave nothing in the tank.
Nate Diaz vs. Benson Henderson on FOX
While we’re talking about perfect UFC on FOX main events, Nate Diaz vs. Benson Henderson certainly comes to mind. The fight produces exactly what the UFC is looking for in UFC on FOX main events: a fight that promises action between two fighters who will not draw high numbers on pay-per-view but are still world calibre.
The fight stylistically is ultra-interesting. Without getting too ahead of ourselves, the boxercise style of Nate Diaz could prove an interesting foe to the Taekwondo style striking of Benson Henderson.
Yushin Okami is back… or is he?
After two straight losses, both by knockout, it must be a sigh of relief for Yushin Okami to finally get back in the win column. He needed a win to prove he was still a relevant force in the middleweight division.
The win however looked more to be thanks to stamina than skill. Roberts came out fast, landing clean crisp jabs on Okami and out boxing the perennial contender. Okami quickly took the bout to the mat and wore out Roberts.
It was not by any means Okami’s most impressive performance. He showed weakness and a need to get a faster start. Like Shields, Okami will need to put on a dominant performance before being considered for another world title opportunity.