The UFC made another landmark first this Saturday morning as they brought their first live event from China to the masses. UFC on Fuel TV 6 went live early Saturday morning on Fuel TV. While not every bout delivered fireworks, there were a number of exciting bouts, capped off by a short main event punctuated by a big knockout and an even bigger upset.
With another night of fights in the book, it’s time to look forward at what’s next for each fighter. Usually I like to focus solely on the main card, but since the preliminary card for this bout was relatively small, only three bouts, I’ve decided to take a look at all of the bouts from the night and take a look at what’s next for all of the fighters, as well as giving you a short breakdown of the night’s action.
Riki Fukuda defeated Tom DeBlass via Unanimous Decision after Three Rounds
What’s next for Fukuda? Fukuda is currently 2-2 and with the victory secured his place in the UFC for a while longer. It’s most likely that the UFC holds off on Fukuda and saves him for the next UFC card in Japan. A step up in competition is needed for Fukuda and someone like Brad Tavares would make a lot of sense.
What’s next for DeBlass? Likely unemployment, as he’s now 0-2 in the UFC and hasn’t really looked all that impressive in either bout. If he somehow manages to earn another shot in the UFC, it’s likely going to be a loser leaves town kind of deal. Perhaps a bout against Tom “Kong” Watson.
John Lineker defeated Yasuhiro Urushitani via Unanimous Decision after Three Rounds
Lineker’s cardio was his biggest issue in his last bout and he looked to have corrected his problems with weight cutting for this bout. The bout took place mostly on the feet over the course of three rounds and both men had high points. In the end Lineker’s rapid fire pace and aggressive punching style were too much as he took home a unanimous decision.
What’s next for Lineker? After struggling and missing weight in his UFC debut, Lineker seems to have righted the ship. The Flyweight division is relatively thin in the UFC, so finding the ideal opponent for Lineker might be tough to do. A bout against John Moraga who recently defeated Ulysses Gomez might be the ideal match up for the Brazilian bomber.
What’s next for Urushitani? Although he’s now 0-2 in the promotion, the UFC’s ranks at Flyweight are thin as previously mentioned. He’s a highly entertaining fighter who comes to strike, so despite a less than impressive record, he’s likely earned another bout in the UFC. A bout against American Phil Harris could work.
Alex Caceres defeated Motonobu Tezuka via Split Decision after Three Rounds
The man they call “Bruce Leeroy” was facing a last minute opponent switch, but it didn’t seem to bother him. Showcasing his trademark smile throughout the duration of the fight, he struggled early against the takedown heavy attack of Tezuka, but found his groove throughout the later rounds. He controlled the stand up and was constantly threatening with submission attempts and strikes when the bout was on the mat. Although it was a Split Decision, I didn’t think the bout was ever in question, it’s hard to argue that Tezuka won any rounds other than the first and even that is debatable.
What’s next for Caceres? He’s now 3-1 in the UFC’s Bantamweight division, and if it weren’t for a couple of unlucky point deductions, he could easily be 4-0. He’s shown decent striking and an improved ground game, it’s time for a step up in competition. Chico Camus or Johnny Bedford would probably make good sense.
What’s next for Tezuka? He stepped up late notice and took a bout as a solid for the UFC. That’s going to earn him another shot. Perhaps a bout against UFC newcomer and Caceres’ original opponent Kyung Ho Kang would work.
Takeya Mizugaki defeated Jeff Hougland via Unanimous Decision after Three Rounds
Although two judges gave him a 30-27 win, one gave him a 30-25 win, including two 10-8 rounds. Because of how badly he dominated Hougland, I’d be more inclined to agree with the 30-25 score. Mizugaki used excellent top control and nasty ground and pound to dominate Jeff Hougland over all three rounds.
What’s next for Mizugaki? He’s faced a slew of top competition in the UFC and WEC and he continues to impress, so he’s likely looking at another top fighter next. The Ultimate Fighter runner up TJ Dillashaw would prove an interesting contrast in styles and to see how Mizugaki deals with the wrestling prowess of Dillashaw would be interesting.
What’s next for Hougland? Bellator? World Series of Fighting? Super Fight League in India? Anything but the UFC. He’s not looked impressive and probably won’t be back in the UFC octagon until he gets some wins on the smaller stages of MMA.
Jon Tuck defeated Tiequan Zhang via Unanimous Decision after Three Rounds
This ended up being a highly entertaining grappling based affair, which is what many people expected from two top-level grapplers like Tuck and Zhang. Tuck won the opening two rounds with his constant submission based attack on the ground, but tired late and nearly opened the door for a Zhang comeback. Unfortunately for the Chinese crowd, the comeback came up a bit short and Tuck was able to hold on for the decision.
What’s next for Jon Tuck? He won in his UFC debut against a tough grappler and he did it in his opponent’s home country. With the octagon jitters out of the way, he’ll need to take another step forward in the UFC’s ultra-stacked Lightweight division. Fortunately there will be no shortage of potential opponents. The winner of the Ramsey Nijem and Joe Proctor bout at UFC on Fox 5 would be a decent opponent.
What’s next for Zhang? Unfortunately for him, like a couple of other fighters this was probably the end of the line for Zhang. He’s only 1-4 in his last five bouts under the Zuffa banner. If he somehow gets another shot in the promotion a fighter like Danny Castillo or even Al Iaquinta might be the right way to go.
Takanori Gomi defeated Mac Danzig via Split Decision after Three Rounds
This was an extremely close bout and the judge’s scorecards reflect it perfectly as Gomi took a Split decision. I agree with the score of 29-28 for Gomi myself as I scored rounds 1 and 3 for Gomi with round 2 going to Danzig. Gomi actually looked like he had some pep in his punches and seemed to be comfortable fighting in the cage for the first time in a long time. Danzig looked a little bit tentative at the beginning of the bout and it cost him the first round in my opinion. Gomi was tired at the end of the bout, but Danzig still wasn’t able to take advantage and dropped the close decision.
What’s next for Gomi? He’s been hot and cold inside the UFC, but he looked comfortable in the cage tonight and was starting to throw with the power and aggressiveness that once made him one of the most feared fighters on the planet. With his big name value, he’ll probably get another big name fighter. Gleison Tibau might make the most sense, but undefeated Russian prospect Khabib Nurmagomedov might be the fight he gets.
What’s next for Danzig? The UFC loves it’s TUF winners, so despite a fairly mediocre run since his time on the reality show, Danzig is likely still going to stick around. He’s basically been relegated to gatekeeper status. He’s well rounded and he’ll be a good measuring stick for up and coming fighters looking to breakthrough. With that in mind TUF:Brazil’s Francisco Trinaldo might be a good candidate.
Dong Hyun Kim defeated Paulo Thiago via Unanimous Decision after Three Rounds
Dong Hyun Kim said before this bout that he wanted to eliminate the memory of his most recent loss from his mind. I’m not sure if it worked, but he managed to dominate Paulo Thiago on the ground for all three rounds to take a clear-cut decision. Thiago’s judo skills have been well documented in the past and he continues to impress with his ability to control opponents on the ground and as he continues to become more aggressive with his submission attempts and ground and pound, he’ll continue to gain more fans.
What’s next for Kim? At the post-fight press conference he asked for a rematch with Demian Maia after their last bout ended with a strange injury TKO. I don’t think he’s likely to get that match up as Maia seems to be on to bigger and badder fish in the Welterweight division. However, a number of decent match ups could await the Korean. Englishman John Hathaway has found himself on a nice winning streak and it would be interesting to see how his wrestling compares to the judo skills of Kim.
What’s next for Thiago? He’s faced a number of stiff tests throughout his UFC career, although he hasn’t been perfect in his bouts, he’s showed up to fight in nearly all of them. With upcoming fight cards for Brazil needing to be filled, it’s likely that the UFC keeps the part time fighter, part time cop on the payroll. Yoshihiro Akiyama is in a similar spot in his UFC career and with both their penchants for striking first, it could be an entertaining bout.
Thiago Silva defeated Stanislav Nedkov via Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) at 1:45 of Round Three
I predicted this to be a fairly one-sided fight and for the most part it was. Unfortunately it wasn’t the fighter that I expected that was dominating. Nedkov needed to fight the bout at close quarters and that’s exactly what he did. Throughout the first two rounds he crowded Silva and kept the Brazilian on his toes. At the end of the second round Nedkov dropped Silva with a haymaker and the Brazilian may have been saved by the bell. In between the second and third rounds, Silva’s corner told him he needed a finish and finish he did. He came out with a fire in the third and immediately took the bout to the ground and worked a beautiful arm-triangle choke to coax a tap out and seal the comeback victory.
What’s next for Silva? He really needed this win and despite it not being pretty, he came though when he needed and got the finish in the third round. He’s faced a lot of the top talent at 205-pounds in the UFC, so finding the right match up for him might be tough. Cyrille Diabate and Chad Griggs have an upcoming bout next weekend, the winner from that bout might be the best option for Silva.
What’s next for Nedkov? This was only Nedkov’s first career loss, so it’s not the end of the world for him. He looked very impressive throughout the first two rounds, and something seemed to be amiss with him as the bout ended. His grinding style and heavy hands aren’t going to be a friendly match up for anyone. Brazilian Wagner Prado might be a good option for ‘Stucky.’
Cung Le defeated Rich Franklin via Knockout (Punch) at 2:17 of Round One
This one didn’t last very long. In the early going Le looked a little bit flat-footed and he was behind with his timing of counter punches. Throughout the first 90 seconds Franklin looked to be in nearly complete control of the feeling out process. Then he put his hands down and threw out a lazy kick. Cung Le made him pay and crushed Franklin with a huge overhand right that put Franklin out cold immediately.
What’s next for Franklin? Probably whatever the UFC needs from him, but after taking a lot of short notice fights, he’s probably due for some time off. When he gets back he’ll probably still command a big fight. If he’s willing to stay on the sidelines I would think that the UFC waits for the Vitor Belfort and Michael Bisping fight in Brazil. Should Bisping lose, a bout between Franklin and Bisping is something that a lot of fans will be interested in.