November Aftermath: What's next for Velasquez, Rua, Fedor and Bonnar?Posted on November 24, 2011, 10:23 AM by Anton Gurevich
Cain Velasquez, Mauricio Rua, Fedor Emelianenko and Stephan Bonnar were all in the headlines during November, which was without a doubt one of the most entertaining months in MMA history.
On the losing side; Velasquez lost his UFC Heavyweight title to Junior dos Santos in just 60 seconds, one week before Shogun Rua lost a decision after five rounds of war with Dan Henderson at UFC 139. Our list of winners includes Fedor Emelianenko, who broke Jeff Monson's leg in Moscow, and Stephan Bonnar, who displayed a well-rounded MMA game in a Unanimous Decision victory over Kyle Kingsbury.
All four fighters are currently without a match-up set in stone, so as always, it's our job to speculate about who they should be fighting next. I tried to avoid rematches, simply because a. I believe this sport has too many of them, and b. it's always nice to talk about fights we've never seen before.
Feel free to share your "what's next" predictions in the comments section below.
Cain Velasquez: It’s hard to judge negatively about Cain Velasquez after just 60 seconds inside the Octagon with Junior dos Santos. However, one thing is true – activity will be a key factor for Cain Velasquez during 2012. Velasquez is yet to regain peak form that made him the UFC Heavyweight Champion. With Fedor Emelianenko and Cheick Kongo aside, there’s one match-up that fits like a glove for Cain Velasquez – “The Reem” Alistair Overeem. If the Dutchman loses to Brock Lesnar at UFC 141, this is a fight that has to be made in the UFC Heavyweight division. However, if Overeem beats Lesnar and gets his shot at the title, I would prefer to see Velasquez rematching Cheick Kongo, and Brock Lesnar getting a rubber match with Frank Mir, regardless of his bout with Minotauro Nogueira.
Mauricio Rua: Shogun was unable to put together two back to back victories since the 2009 victories over Chuck Liddell and Mark Coleman. Inconsistency is a big problem for the PRIDE legend, and I think no one would disagree with the idea that Shogun has to make some changes if he still wants to wear the UFC Light Heavyweight title around his waist. Rua had three wars in 2011, so at least in my opinion; the Brazilian definitely earned his rest and the opportunity to take a step back for some re-evaluation. Rich Franklin is a very logical and intriguing match-up for Rua, probably sometime in mid-2012.
Fedor Emelianenko: In his next bout, “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko is expected to square off against the judoka Satoshi Ishii, headlining DREAM’s “Genki Desu Ka Omisoka” card in Saitama, Japan. While Ishii is definitely not stroll in the park for Fedor, I feel like the match-up with Sergei Kharitonov is currently the best possible route for Emelianenko. In terms of rankings and the intrigue around such fight, Emelianenko could find himself once again in the Top 10 of Heavyweight rankings. Ishii is a legit Mixed Martial Artist, but a victory over 4-1-1 fighter with virtually no high level MMA experience would have a very little effect on Emelianenko’s status. Fedor stated not once that he’s not interested in fi
Stephan Bonnar: The American Psycho managed to get three consecutive victories inside the Octagon, currently looking to get himself in the mix for a shot at the title. Still, I think many would agree that Bonnar is yet to get that “wow” victory, so necessary in any sort of title shot aspirations. Rampage Jackson is a perfect match-up for Stephan Bonnar, who will be looking to follow the footsteps of his “soulmate” Forrest Griffin by victimizing the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. Stephan Bonnar has to fight a high-caliber legend, and Rampage Jackson is more than a perfect match.