UFC 149 has come and gone with the event being heavily criticized by UFC President Dana White and fans alike. The event was a bit underwhelming and the displeasure of the crowd echoing throughout the broadcast didn’t help things much either. However, the show must go on and there will be future matchups based on the outcomes of the fights that took place on Saturday night. Let’s put our UFC matchmaker hat on and get to it:
-Renan Barao: Tough fight to call for him after becoming the UFC interim bantamweight champ. Should he wait until Dominick Cruz heals to fight him…whenever that is, or should he fight someone in the meantime. According to Dana White he escaped the fight with Faber unscathed and could fight again soon. If not Cruz, the next guy in line is Michael McDonald.
-Urijah Faber: Faber’s in a tough spot. He’s lost to the champ in Cruz and now the interim champ in Barao, but has beaten tops guys like Brian Bowles and Eddie Wineland. Plus, he’s lost to Jose Aldo in the featherweight division which makes the move back up in weight undesirable. He’s officially a gatekeeper now based on those circumstances, but a VERY good gatekeeper and maybe the best gatekeeper ever aside from a middleweight Chael Sonnen. I have no idea where Faber goes from here, and from the post-fight news conference…neither does he.
-Tim Boetsch: Boetsch is a tough guy, but he’s not a top five middleweight. Sorry, he isn’t and I wouldn’t considering him being close at all to a title shot. I think a fight with Alan Belcher makes a lot of sense being that Belcher wants to fight a high profile guy. Boetsch isn’t a high profile name, but he’s the best available since Michael Bisping and Brian Stann are fighting one another.
-Hector Lombard: Lombard had a lackadaisical performance and still arguably beat Tim Boetsch. Dana White is talking Lombard moving to the welterweight division, but I just don’t see it with the guy being that heavily muscled. Also, the welterweight division is a shark tank. Lombard’s 34 years old and all of his resume has been built as a middleweight. If he strings 2-3 wins together he’s in the title picture again. A bout with Mark Munoz makes sense here.
-Cheick Kongo: Apparently Kongo had two injured shoulders going into the fight with Shawn Jordan. I would excuse him for his performance because of that, but he has fought the same way in previous fights without being injured. The object of fighting is to do damage without taking damage. Kongo mastered one half of that equation in the Jordan fight. The original bout with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira still interests me.
-Shawn Jordan: Jordan didn’t show me anything in the Kongo fight that even remotely looked like he could be a contender in the heavyweight division within the next two years. Hopefully I’m wrong and it was just a bad night for him, but man he looked bad in there. He needs to sharpen up his game quite a bit and it’s difficult to do that against veterans like Kongo. A bout with Mike Russow makes sense here.
-James Head: Head showed good takedown defense against Brian Ebersole, but it didn’t hurt that Ebersole didn’t set up the takedowns and shot from 12 feet away. Also, Ebersole is moving down to the 155 pound division and looked noticeably thinner. A bout with Ronny Markes would be a good test for him.