By: Tim Mutohfan
Start off with the main event for the interim UFC heavyweight title between Fabricio Werdum and Mark Hunt. In a perfect world Cain Velasquez never would have gotten hurt and he would have faced Werdum Saturday instead of Hunt, but we live in a less than perfect world, both in life and the world of MMA. So we got Werdum and Hunt, which was won by Fabricio Werdum who is now the interim heavyweight champion of the UFC. Now to our task here today, who should he face next? It would be great if Cain were healed up to get us the fight we were originally scheduled Saturday. That’s the “Plan A”. The “Plan B” is a bit murky. Do we give him the winner of Junior dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic which is set for UFC on Fox 13 in just a few short weeks. Where that deal goes sour is what if dos Santos beats Miocic and then beats Werdum for the interim title? Does the UFC want the Herculean Task of trying to sell Cain vs. dos Santos 4? Anyone reading this knows the history between the two. To call the last two times these two top heavyweights faced each other “not pretty” is a gross understatement. Which leads to the second issue with the potential of JDS being in this discussion, would the UFC or anyone who cares about Junior subject him to a potential 3rd beating at the hands of Cain Velasquez? I know we went off the course here with all the Junior dos Santos talk, but this is what I think about when calling future matches, the potential matches down the line. Sure it may pretty A.D.D. of me to take every slant on this but its how I work. So let’s say Cain Velasquez should be Fabricio Werdum’s next opponent and leave it at that.
For the losing side of the Mexico City main event we have Mark Hunt, Hunt was affording himself wonderfully Saturday, but he zigged when he should have zagged, and paid the ultimate competitive price, a loss. Who should be next for Mark Hunt is the question posed to us right now. I would love to see Hunt face Andrei Arlovski next. Two solid fighters with a strong following, makes sense.
The winner of the co-main event Kelvin Gastelum is a name on the rise. A good looking young kid with what seems to have the sky’s limit as far as potential goes, what’s not to get excited about with this guy? But, who is next for him as he most assuredly cracks the welterweight top ten (he was ranked 11 going into Saturday’s fight). There are some interesting names up there for him to really test himself. I for one would like to see Kelvin Gastelum face Matt Brown next. Sure it may be a little bit above his current station, but he is young enough for such a stern test to turn things around if he falters.
Now the man who Gastelum defeated, Jake Ellenberger. Firstly it would be a good plan to see where Jake’s head is. He hasn’t been looking like the guy we saw beat Jake Shields, Diego Sanchez, or Nate Marquardt. The better question can be was he ever really that guy? I don’t think that’s an unfair question to ask judging by what we’ve seen from him lately. Lackluster performances against Rory MacDonald and Robbie Lawlor to say the least and despite having a couple moments against Gastelum he was still finished in the first round. What’s next for Ellenberger? Do they give him a make or break fight against a solid guy or do they give him a guy he should beat to right the ship? Neither are easy questions to answer concerning a guy who showed so much promise not that long ago. I would like to see him face Tarec Saffiedine next. Make or break time for Jake Ellenberger.
Aside from Fabricio Werdum, Ricardo Lamas could be the big winner Saturday. The former challenger to the UFC featherweight title made a solid statement for him to get back to that position sooner rather than later with his win over Dennis Bermudez. There are a couple interesting ways we can go with Ricardo. If Conor McGregor gets the title shot against Jose Aldo could give him the winner of Cub Swanson vs. Frankie Edgar. If the next challenger is the winner of Swanson vs. Edgar he could face McGregor. Ricardo Lamas is in a good place right now.
For Dennis Bermudez a good next opponent for him could be Dustin Poirier. Both guys hovering around the top ten, coming off of loses. Makes sense to me.
UFC 180: Werdum vs. Hunt Full Results
UFC Interim Heavyweight Title: Fabricio Werdum def. Mark Hunt TKO 2:27 R2
Welterweight: Kelvin Gastelum def. Jake Ellenberger Sub 4:46 R1
Featherweight: Ricardo Lamas def. Dennis Bermudez Sub 3:18 R1
Welterweight: Augusto Nontano def Chris Heatherly TKO 4:50 R1
Welterweight: Hector Urbina def. Edgar Garcia Sub 3:38 R1
The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America Featherweight Final
Yair Rodriguez def. Leonardo Morales Dec.
The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America Bantamweight Final
Alejandro Perez def. Jose Wuinonez Dec.
Women’s Bantamweight: Jessica Eye def. Leslie Smith TKO 1:30 R2
Featherweight: Gabriel Benitez def. Humberto Brown Sub 0:30 R3
Bantamweight: Henry Briones def. Guido Cannetti Sub 1:44 R2
Bantamweight: Marco Beltran def. Marlon Vera Dec.