What's Next for UFC 134's Biggest Winners and Losers?Published on August 28th, 2011
In this article, we'll take a quick look at what might be next for some of the big winners and losers from UFC 134.
Anderson Silva - there is only one matchup at middleweight that really makes sense for Silva right now, and that is a rematch against Chael Sonnen. Sonnen beat Silva up for 4 1/2 rounds at UFC 117 before eventually tapping. Silva was injured (broken rib), and maybe people felt as though Silva would crush Sonnen in a rematch. Sonnen and Okami worked closely together to formulate a plan for Silva at UFC 134, but Okami was easily defeated by a motivated Silva. I would expect that Silva/Sonnen II to go pretty much the same way that Silva/Okami II did - a convincing victory for Silva. If Chael Sonnen can defeat Brian Stann at UFC 136, then the UFC will almost surely make the money matchup of Sonnen/Silva II. Other than Sonnen, you have to start looking at mega fights in other weight classes (St. Pierre, Jon Jones) for Silva.
Yushin Okami - despite being humiliated last night, Okami isn't going anywhere. The UFC is looking to host a show in Japan in 2012, and you can bet that Okami will be a part of that show. A fight against Vitor Belfort might make sense for Okami, as most everyone else in the division is already booked in a fight.
Mauricio Rua - Rua didn't just beat Forrest Griffin - he crushed him. The problem for Rua is that there is currently a line of guys waiting to fight Jon Jones right now. "Rampage" Jackson is set to square off against Jones at UFC 135. After that, Rashad Evans will get the winner. On top of that, Dan Henderson is very likely going to be returning to the UFC as well. With Rashad Evans waiting in the wings for the winner of Rampage/Jones, a Rua/Henderson matchup might make the most sense, with the winner getting the next shot at the title after Rashad.
Forrest Griffin - Forrest just doesn't seem into it anymore. It just doesn't seem like fighting is his top priority anymore, and it showed in the Rua fight. Griffin makes some very good money fighting in the UFC, so I don't see him retiring anytime soon, but he probably should. Griffin/Ortiz III maybe? Ortiz wants that fight..
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - heading into his UFC 134 matchup against Brendan Schaub, it appeared as though the MMA legend was going to get smashed. He was coming off of a very long layoff (thanks to injuries), and he was 10 pounds over his normal fighting shape. It appeared to be a recipe for disaster against the hard-hitting Schaub. However, this is why we love MMA, as Nogueira defied all of the odds and knocked out Schaub in front of his thrilled hometown fans. What's next for Nogueira? How about Brock Lesnar in early 2012? That match sells itself, and the timing works for both fighters, as Lesnar is expecting to return in early 2012.
Brendan Schaub - Schaub was fighting himself into title contention, but he took a major step back last night. Carwin/Schaub? That would be a fun battle between two hard-hitting fighters who are both looking to get back on the winning side of the ledger, but unfortunately they train together. Schaub vs the winner of the Barry/Struve fight at UFC Live: Cruz vs Johnson? Now that might be a solid possibility.