UFC 170: Rousey vs. McMann went down this past Saturday night from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. And while the UFC continued its trend of fights going to a decision, this event featured one more finish (5) than we have seen in the last two events combined. The event, which was nearly ripped apart by injuries, quietly produced two potential title challengers (Raphael Assuncao and Alexis Davis) and one future challenger in Zach Makovsky.
Ronda Rousey continued her dominance as she picked up her first win by something other than an armbar. Her TKO win over McMann was not without controversy though, as it appeared as though McMann would have been able to continue. That stoppage also came on the heels of T.J. Waldburger taking an unnecessary beating at the hands of The Mullet. Herb Dean, who was the focal point of the criticism of the fans and media following this event, showed an inconsistency that is not synonymous with his name. He has now stopped fights after Faber gave a thumps up, after Waldburger had been legally assaulted, and before giving McMann a chance to, you know, fight back.
The event wasn’t all bad though. Rory MacDonald put on a worthy performance in out pointing Demian Maia. Stephen Thompson impressed yet again, as he added another chapter to his highlight reel. Erik Koch also gave us his best impression of…Erik Koch. But, that was all in the past. And as we already know, it’s not what you have already done for us that matters. It is what you are going to do for us. With that said, let’s take a look into my crystal ball and figure out where we go from here. This is a piece I like to call; What’s Up Next: UFC 170 Edition.
Stephen Thompson vs. Mike Pyle
Got to love killing two birds with one stone. Anyway, this fights makes too much sense for it not to happen. Thompson continues to impressive us with his striking acumen. A winner of two straight, Thompson is one bad loss away from being 10-0 in his career. Given what we have seen from him in his most recent fights, those comparisons that I made between him and Machida do not seem so farfetched. Mike Pyle, on the other hand, is on the most impressive streak of his career. While he did get torched by Matt Brown the fight before last, Pyle, a submission fighter, has now knocked out four of the last five opponents that he has defeated. What is crazy is that he is doing this at the ripe old age of 38. Who says that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks? This fight has to happen for two reasons: it gives us another chance to see how Thompson does against a savvy veteran and we get to see how Pyle handles a fight with a more dynamic striker.
Rory MacDonald vs. The Winner of Jake Shields vs. Hector Lombard
We all know that the winner of Carlos Condit vs. Tyron Woodley is getting the next shot at the welterweight crown, so that leaves Rory MacDonald with minimal options; a punishment bestowed on him by himself. Rory was once considered the heir to GSP’s throne. Now, all he can hope to do is to regain the faith of the UFC brass and the fans. By virtue of his performance against Jake Ellenberger and his subsequent loss to Robbie Lawler, MacDonald now finds himself in the realm that is “in the mix.” The good thing for him is that with another performance like he had against Maia, he can find himself in a potential number one contenders fight. Rory should fight the winner of Shields and Lombard because it keeps him in the spotlight and gives him another opportunity, against a high profile opponent, to redeem himself.
Daniel Cormier vs. The Winner of Phil Davis vs. Anthony Johnson
“DC” took care of business last Saturday night. If that had happened a couple of weeks ago when Rashad Evans was his opponent, next to his name would have read either Jon Jones or Glover Teixeira. However, it came against Patrick Cummins, a man, who for all intents and purposes, he should had beaten even sooner. The funny thing is that many of us fell victim to the UFC hype machine. We kept hearing that Cummins was a dangerous fighter and that 2000 (greatly exaggerated number) opponents canceled fights with him. It was always a lose-lose situation for Cormier, no matter what we were told to believe. Cormier took this fight because he needed the money. While that is certainly understandable, the fact remains that this knocked him out of a potential title fight, because contrary to popular belief, Cummins was not a credible opponent. So the best Cormier could hope for is a fight against the winner of Davis vs. Johnson. Don’t feel too bad Cormier fans, because his next fight will be for the right to fight the winner of Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson, who will undoubtedly take care of their respective opponents, Glover Teixeira and Jimi Manuwa.
Ronda Rousey vs. Cris Cyborg Cat Zingano Alexis Davis
You are all probably wondering why I crossed off the first two names, before settling on Alexis Davis. I crossed off the fight that needs to happen (Cyborg). I then crossed off that fight that should happen (Zingano). That leaves us with Alexis Davis, the fight that will happen. Let’s not kid ourselves, not many people care who Rousey fights next. Most people would pay to see her fight a broom at this point. Never mind the fact that the broom has no arms, because evidently she knocks people out, now. As is becoming more and more apparent, Rousey’s time in the sport is short, so matching her up with the best possible opponent is of significant importance. And since Cyborg needs to “make weight a couple of times” and Zingano is dealing with serious issues inside and outside the cage, Davis is the only credible opponent left. Again, don’t feel too bad though; Davis is a worthy opponent who is powerful enough to hang with Rousey, which means that the fight will be over a second later than Rousey’s fight with McMann. Why am I even bothering to write about this?
Other fights to make:
Renan Barao vs. Raphael Assuncao
Aljamain Sterling vs. Russell Doane
Zach Makovsky vs. John Dodson
Erik Koch vs. Al Iaquinta
Ernest Chavez vs. Rashid Magomedov