UFC 187 is in the rear view mirror, and provided all the thrills and spills expected and more. The PPV (pay-per-view) main card was packed with expectations, and delivered in a big way. The doubleheader of title fights made UFC 187 one of the most anticipated events of the year, and Chris Weidman vs Vitor Belfort had a huge back story. Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson fought to decide the future of the light-heavyweight division, and the results were an epic night in Sin City with a newly crowned champion and an iconic victory for the defending middleweight boss.
So what’s next for the biggest winners and losers from UFC 187?
There was still a question, probably unfairly, surrounding Weidman’s authenticity as champion before UFC 187. His intense rivalry with Vitor Belfort made their UFC 187 co-main event a must see affair, and ‘The All-American’ made it a short night. Surviving adversity early on, Weidman proved he has the heart and will of a true champ, and has silenced many doubters with his performance. What’s next for Weidman? Surely a fight with Luke Rockhold is on the horizon, if he gets past ‘Rocky’, Jacare Souza will be waiting in the wings.
‘The Phenom’ was able to hurt the champion early on at UFC 187, but was seemingly helpless the moment the fight went to the mat. He didn’t look tired, merely unable to defend or reverse Weidman’s dominant position. Is it time to call it quite for Vitor? Probably not, but surely title hopes need to be put on the backburner now. With such a long and storied career, it would be fun to see Belfort go out with some fun fights. That being said, there aren’t many middleweights free to fight right now. Maybe a pairing against the recently victorious Gegard Mousasi? In all honesty, Belfort should probably take some time out and seriously consider his options. He looked like he could have made welterweight with his physique at the weigh-in.
‘DC’ finally overcame his mental block, winning the UFC light-heavyweight title in dominant fashion. He also proved he can take a big shot, eating Johnson’s best punches early on like it was just a trip to Popeye’s. Evidently the UFC is keen to make Cormier vs. Bader next, but in reality there is no one else to challenge the new champ right now. Jon Jones will clearly jump to the front of the queue when he returns, in the meantime it would be fun to see Cormier vs. Gustafsson if ‘The Mauler’ gets healthy soon enough.
”AJ’ is still a legitimate threat at light-heavyweight, and his fight stopping power is a serious concern for anyone that steps in the octagon with him. However, his wrestling defense and cardio need some serious work. In a sport where your weaknesses are your opponents biggest strengths, you are setting yourself up for nights like ‘Rumble’ had with Cormier. The rear naked choke is proving to be a haunting submission for Johnson. What’s next for ‘Rumble’? The winner of Glover Teixeira vs Ovince St-Preux could be cool.
Donald Cerrone/John Makdessi
What more can you say about Donald Cerrone? The guy deserved a title shot before he fought John Makdessi at UFC 187, he clearly is the only logical contender to Rafael Dos Anjos’ title now. Breaking Makdessi’s jaw en route to a TKO victory, ‘Cowboy’ extends his win streak to eight in a very busy division. We simply await the announcement of Dos Anjos vs. Cerrone 2 now. For Makdessi, he has chops for stepping up on short notice against such a dangerous fight, but it was just too much too soon. It’s likely he’ll still get a significant booking next time out for his efforts.
Andrei Arlovski/Travis Browne
This was a quality booking by Joe Silva, and a highly unexpected Fight Of The Night winner. The thrilling encounter lasted only four minutes and 41 seconds, but had all the thrills you could ask for from a heavyweight fight. Arlovski proved that his chin is back in the game, taking Browne’s best shots and returning fire like a boss. For ‘The Pitbull’ that’s three straight wins now, with two straight knockouts. Few expected Arlovski to beat ‘Hapa’, but it’s even more impressive when you learn he was badly injured before the fight. What’s next for ‘AA’? Maybe Mark Hunt or Stipe Miocic or the winner of Frank Mir vs Todd Duffee (please be Mir, please be Mir), for Browne I’d like to see him fight maybe Junior Dos Santos or Mark Hunt.
It was a quality night in Sin City for the stars of UFC 187, as they rocked our worlds with thrilling slug fests, knockouts and memorable moments.
Check out the highlights using the following links: