UFC on FOX 9: What’s next for the main card winners?


If there were any doubts as to Demetrious Johnson being the world’s top 125-lbs fighter, well.. after Saturday’s proceedings you might beg to differ.

The AMC Pankration native imposed a stamp on the Flyweight division as he rattled past Joseph Benavidez for the second time, in the main event of UFC on FOX 9 which was held at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California.

UFC on FOX 9: What’s next for the main card winners?

Johnson edged Benavidez via a split-decision victory in their first meeting, later alluding fans to talks of a possible rematch. On Saturday night, the bout finally materialized, and Johnson put all doubts to rest with a fight ending right hook that sent Benavidez crashing mercilessly to the canvas.

The 27-year-old maintains his place at the top of the UFC’s somewhat talent-stricken Flyweight division and is progressing steadily up the pound-for-pound rankings.

The co-main event 135-lbs tussle, meanwhile, was nothing short of spectacular as well. Benavidez’s training partner, Urijah Faber – the long-time WEC stand-out – proved to the UFC brass that he was ready for another shot at the Bantamweight championship title. He continued his impressive winning streak with a second round submission victory over starlet Michael McDonald. The former WEC champ continues to exert his authority on the 135-lbs title landscape and may not have to wait too long for a shot at either Renan Barao or Dominick Cruz.


Contender Chad Mendes didn’t have the best of nights in terms of fight performance, but did enough to overcome the always tough Nik Lentz. Joe Lauzon, meanwhile, got back to winning ways by dispatching “The Ultimate Fighter 6” winner Mac Danzig.

Well, we love doing this so much it’s now a regular feature on It’s that time again where we get comfortable in the match-maker’s armchair and derive match-ups that could take place for the main card winners of UFC on FOX 9. Be heard and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below:


Fighter: Joe Lauzon (23-10)
Who he should face next: Bobby Green (22-5)

Joe Lauzon’s hardly ever in a boring fight and oh, you can say the same thing about Strikeforce import Bobby Green too. While it’s safe to assume that Lauzon’s not really in a position to cement a place in the contenders’ space, Bobby Green is slowly establishing a strong following, now with a 3-0 record inside the octagon. The 27-year-old topped Pat Healy on Saturday’s preliminary card proceedings, and befittingly deserves a crack at a vet like Lauzon.

Fighter: Chad Mendes (16-1)
Who he should face next: Winner of Jose Aldo (23-1) vs. Ricardo Lamas (13-2)

To date, a loss to reigning champ Jose Aldo in a title fight at UFC 142 has been the only blemish on Chad Mendes’ resume. But the Team Alpha Male product has since rebounded with five stoppage victories and is well ahead of the pecking order. A praiseworthy wrestler from the start, Mendes has improved in his stand-up by leaps and bounds too, garnering four knockout victories in his past five outings.

A renewed fighter with the same goal in mind, Mendes should get a shot at the Featherweight belt after Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas goes down on Superbowl weekend. And this will be one fight to savor folks.

Fighter: Urijah Faber (30-6)
Who he should face next: Winner of Dominick Cruz (31-1, 1 NC) vs. Renan Barao

There aren’t too many challengers around in the 135-lbs division and there won’t be, if you’re constantly running rampant over quality fighters. Right now, that’s what Urijah Faber has done, and he has unquestionably established a #1 contender status after securing a dominant victory over Michael McDonald.

Current title holder Dominick Cruz’s injury plagued title stint finally comes to an end and he now looks set to contest interim Bantamweight champ Renan Barao for a unification of the championship straps.

Although Faber has come up short against both men in previous bouts under the UFC banner, he’s the only worthy challenger to the belt at this point of time, and has rightfully earned his shot to vie for the prize with his current four-fight winning streak.

Fighter: Demetrious Johnson (19-2-1)
Who he should face next: Winner of Ali Bagautinov (12-2) vs. John Lineker (23-6)

Contenders are limited in the Flyweight division as well with Demetrious Johnson basically outclassing his opponent in every fight, and of course the fact that the division is still growing and as such isn’t filled with credible challengers yet.

There’s the unanswered question of John Lineker, but the Brazilian has been missing weight one too many times. Until he hits the mark regularly, I’m afraid the UFC brass won’t award him a chance at the strap anytime soon.

Bar none, Ali Bagautinov is a worthy foe for any Flyweight fighter and with another victory or two, he could be a contender at 125-lbs. One of many Russian fighters taking the North American MMA scene by storm, the 28-year-old’s Sambo pedigree and hard-hitting style has impressed both fans and critics alike.

Although both fighters can be squared off to determine a new contender, this question beckons: can either of them handle the speed, footwork, striking and grappling skills that’re possessed by Johnson?

Check out full UFC on FOX 9 results here.


Follow Thinesh on Twitter (@ThineshJohnMMA), and keep up with the latest MMA news from MMASucka via Twitter (@MMASucka) and Facebook

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20, Asian MMA enthusiast in Singapore.

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