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

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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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Events

*Live Updates* UFC Winnipeg Official Results

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The UFC returns to Canada for the final Fight Night card of 2017. In the cold of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the UFC will host eleven of the originally twelve scheduled fights. Unfortunately, Tim Elliot will not fight in the north country. His scheduled opponent, Pietro Menga, a newcomer to the promotions roster, failed to make weight after taking the bout with just over a weeks notice.

An exciting main card will be capped off with a potential contender eliminator bout featuring, Robbie Lawler and Rafael Dos Anjos. The former champions (Lawler at welterweight, Dos Anjos at lightweight) both put together impressive win streaks which dispatched top contenders in their respective divisions. Elsewhere on the main card, Santiago Ponzinibbio takes on the outspoken Mike Perry.

The card begins on UFC Fight Pass at 4:30/1:30 ETPT.

UFC Winnipeg Official Results:

MAIN CARD – FOX – 8PM/5PM ETPT

  • #2 Robbie Lawler (28-11) vs. #4 Rafael Dos Anjos (27-9) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Rafael Dos Anjos def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
  • #3 Ricardo Lamas (18-5) vs. Josh Emmett (12-1) – Catchweight bout (148.5 lbs)
    • Result: Josh Emmett def. Ricardo Lamas via KO (punch) 4:33 round 1
  • #10 Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3) vs. Mike Perry (11-1) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Mike Perry via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • #3 Glover Teixeira (26-6) vs. #7 Misha Cirkunov (13-3) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Glover Teixeira def. Misha Cirkunov via TKO (punches) 2:45  round 1

PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 5PM/2PM ETPT

  • #14 Jared Cannonier (10-2) vs #15 Jan Blachowicz (20-7) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Jan Blachowicz def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Julian Marquez (6-1) vs. Darren Stewart (7-2) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Julian Marquez def. Darren Stewart via submission (standing guillotine) 2:42 round 2
  • Chad Laprise (13-2) vs. Galore Bofando (5-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Chad Laprise def. Galore Bofando via TKO (punches) 4:10 round 1
  • Nordine Taleb (13-4) vs Danny Roberts (14-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Nordine Taleb def. Danny Roberts via KO (head kick and punch) :59 round 1
  • John Makdessi (14-6) vs Abel Trujillo (15-7) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: John Makdessi def. Abel Trujillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Alessio Di Chirico (10-2) vs Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Alessio Di Chirico def. Oluwale Bamgbose via KO (knee) 2:14 round 2

EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 4:30PM/1:30PM ETPT

  • Jordan Mein (29-12) vs. Erick Silva (19-8) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Jordan Mein def. Erick Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
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Fight Announcements

Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando

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The UFC has now added more bouts to the front end of their 2018 schedule. Gilbert Burns (13-2, 5-2 UFC) will face Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2, 6-2 UFC) in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

Alongside a few other high-profile fight announcements, is the addition to the UFC Orlando, Florida card. The two lightweights will join Jake Collier and Marcin Prachnio, as the second fight set for the event.

It has been a while since the UFC hosted an event in the state of Florida. Last seen by the Floridians was UFC on Fox: Texeira vs. Evans, on April 16, 2016 in Tampa Bay. The card was a success, despite the cancellation of its planned main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Drawing a gate of $1.05 million and 2.13 million viewers.

Gilbert Burns signed with the UFC after accumulating an undefeated record of 8-0. His first loss came in his home country of Brazil, as Rashid Magomedov defeated him via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3, in November of 2015.

In his most recent bout, Burns defeated Jason Saggo by KO with five seconds remaining in the second round at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch.

Aubin-Mercier will come into the contest as a winner in his last three bouts. The Canadian fighter trains out of the Tristar gym, alongside legends such as Georges St. Pierre and head coach, Firas Zahabi.

In 2011, Aubin-Mercier was chosen to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Nations. Competing in the welterweight bracket, he became a finalist by defeating both, Jake Mathews (unanimous decision) and Richard Walsh (rear naked choke). In the finale, Aubin-Mercier lost to Chad Laprise by split decision.

UFC Orlando will take place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

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Fight Announcements

Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida Officially Headlines UFC Belem

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Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida is officially booked to headline UFC Belem in Brazil.

Following his unanimous decision victory over Markus Perez on last weekends, UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Swanson, undefeated middleweight, Eryk Anders, called for the match-up with former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida. The UFC heard, and obliged.

First reported by The MMA Kings (@mma_kings.)

Anders holds a 2-0 undefeated record in the UFC. The Alabama native made his promotional debut against Rafael Nata in July of this year. A bout he took on short notice, replacing Alessio di Chirico whom withdrew from the fight due to a neck injury. Anders defeated Natal by knockout in the first round that night at UFC Long Island.

Prior to his indoctrination to MMA, the undefeated middleweight played for the University of Alabama football team, between 2006-2009.

Machida recently returned to the UFC roster after an 18-month suspension handed down by USADA, stemming from a failed out-of-competition test leading up to his April 2016 contest against Dan Henderson.

In his return to the octagon, Machida faced Derek Brunson in the main-event of the UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “The Dragon” lost the bout via first round KO.

UFC Belem, Brazil is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018, at the Mangueirinho Arena. The card will also feature the flyweight debut for Valentina Shevchenko as she faces Priscila Cachoeira

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