UFC on FOX 13 rounded off a busy weekend for the promotion, as The Ultimate Fighter 20 finale went down on Friday December 12th, and the main stream television card visited Phoenix, Arizona on the 13th. Headlined by a heavyweight barn burner between Junior Dos Santos and Stipe Miocic, the card was full of memorable moments and big finishes.
With so many big names crammed on to the main card in just four bouts, there are numerous considerations regarding what’s next for UFC on FOX 13’s biggest winners & losers….
Junior Dos Santos & Stipe Miocic
Before JDS and Miocic met at UFC on FOX 13, a lot of the debate was about whether “Cigano” had evolved enough for another shot at Cain Velasquez. The two last met for their trilogy maker at UFC 166 last October. The horrendous beating that Dos Santos received was hard to watch, and clearly indicated the massive gap in abilities between the two. What we saw against Miocic is that JDS is pretty much the same fighter as he was a year ago.
Verdict: Dos Santos is tough as nails, but needs at least one more fight before another title shot, Travis Browne makes sense right now. For Miocic, he actually looked pretty damn good against the former champion. Some fans believe the Croatian actually won the fight, although the stats may argue otherwise. Maybe a pairing against the now victorious Alistair Overeem could be next?
Rafael Dos Anjos & Nate Diaz
We know what is next for Dos Anjos, and it’s pretty well deserved at this stage. With Khabib Nurmagomedov sidelined for the moment, RDA gets his shot against Anthony Pettis. No qualms there. For Nate Diaz though, this situation is unclear at best, as UFC president Dana White outlined after the fact.
Coming in overweight for your comeback fight is one thing, as is missing a media obligation like the open workouts, but you need to bring it on fight night. Diaz did not, and was defeated as soon as he showed that he still cannot check leg kicks or counter lateral movement. The younger Diaz bro ate humble pie at UFC on FOX 13, and he needs to learn a lesson from it; straighten up or find another job.
Alistair Overeem & Stefan Struve
“The Reem” conquered Stefan Struve using his brain, something he has lacked in recent outings. It was refreshing to see the Dutch striker living up to some of his hype, albeit against a rather unfortunate “Skyscraper”. Talk of title fights are a long way away for Overeem, perhaps a fight with either Stipe Miocic or Matt Mitrione? It’s not all bad for Struve at this stage either.
The seven foot striker can be forgiven somewhat for his lacklustre performance, and is highly unlikely to be cut given the extended absence and illness that preceded UFC on FOX 13. That being said, another loss would mean three on the bounce, and that is truly no man’s land in the UFC. Verdict: A tune up fight is needed, or at least one that tests his ability to hang with a mid-tier banger. Gabriel Gonzaga springs to mind.