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Who’s Next? UFC 187: Cormier vs. Johnson

John Michael Edwards

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UFC 187 was everything it was expected to be and more.  New light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier looked great against “Rumble” Johnson and gave the former champ a message of what is waiting for him in his return.  Former light-heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort gave it his all, but came up short in his bid to become middleweight champion against Chris Weidman.  Donald Cerrone won…again, Andrei Arlovski and Travis Browne reminded the world that while not the deepest division, heavyweight will always have that “don’t blink” excitement tied to it, and Joseph Benavidez and John Moraga got the night started off right.  Here’s what could be next for the winners.

Daniel Cormier vs. Ryan Bader:  Daniel Cormier called it.  He said that Anthony Johnson was the same Anthony Johnson that got tapped by Vitor Belfort and Josh Koscheck and based on what happened Saturday night, he was spot on.  Surviving the power and applying pressure to wear him down seems to be the consistent blueprint to beat “Rumble” which is exactly how Cormier defeated his opponent by rear naked choke in the third round.  The only fight that makes sense right now (depending on how long Jon Jones will be away from the sport) is Ryan Bader.  Bader is on a four fight win streak and is the only top-10 candidate with a solid claim for a title shot that’s injury free.   As the adage goes, styles make fights and matchup-wise, I would not sleep on Bader.

Chris Weidman vs. Luke Rockhold:  Vitor Belfort came out guns blazing, but in the end it was the young lion that came out victorious.  After surviving a brief flurry from Belfort, Chris Weidman went to his bread and butter landing an easy takedown and from there proceeded to unleash vicious ground-and-pound until referee Herb Dean intervened at 2:53 of the first round.  Next in line for the champ has to be Luke Rockhold after his brutal beatdown of Lyoto Machida at UFC on Fox 15 back in April.

Donald Cerrone vs. Rafael dos Anjos:  After defeating late-replacement John Makdessi, his eighth victory in a row, it’s hard to deny Donald Cerrone a title shot against the last man to defeat him a little less than two years ago, Rafael dos Anjos.  It will be interesting to see if “Cowboy” can overcome what failed him against dos Anjos in their first meeting all the while dos Anjos has only gotten better and scarier.

Andrei Arlovski vs. Junior dos Santos or Stipe Miocic:  While there’s a nostalgic fan boy in me that would love to see Andrei Arlovski fight Mirko “Cro Cop” and though it seems their skill levels are on par, as far as rankings and win streaks go, it doesn’t make sense currently.  Depending on how the Fabricio Werdum versus Cain Velasquez title fight turns out will determine whom Arlovski should fight next.  If Cain comes out victorious, then dos Santos and Arlovski should square off as no one is aching to see a fourth bout between the champ and “Cigano”.  Should Werdum win, then  a showdown between Miocic and Arlovski for the next title shot makes sense since dos Santos has the best claim at a shot against Werdum having already defeated him in the past.

Joseph Benavidez vs. John Dodson:  Conventional wisdom would have pegged John Dodson as the next challenger for Demetrious Johnson, but after a somewhat lackluster win over Zach Makovsky I could easily see the UFC lining up Henry Cejudo (who made a brief cameo appearance as John Moraga Saturday night)  for the next title shot.  In the meantime, a matchup between Dodson and Joseph Benavidez would do much to tell if either Dodson is possibly the man to defeat “Mighty Mouse” or if Benavidez is destined to take the Rich Franklin role of being better than the rest of the division, just not the champ.

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Interviews

Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Announcement

Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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Announcement

*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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