This past Saturday, the highly discussed UFC 170 event was held inside the Mandalay Bay Event Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight card for UFC 170 was stacked with talent, notable names and exciting match-ups and when the dust cleared and settled, it has become apparent that several of the evening’s bout conclusions hold some short and long-term ramifications for some of the state’s premier MMA talents.Let’s take a look now at some of those points:
Zach Makovsky vs. Josh Sampo
This one is a no-brainer as Makovsky has spent time training at the Jackson-Winkeljohn gym alongside highly touted Flyweight prospect Nick Urso. Makovsky is a former Bellator MMA Champion and joined the ranks of the UFC as short-notice replacement when Jackson-Winklejohn perennial championship contender John Dodson was forced out of his bout with Scott Jorgensen. Makovsky played spoiler in that bout and defeated Jorgensen and quickly emerged as a future contender at 125-pounds.
This past Saturday, “Fun Size” Makovsky competed for the second time in about nine weeks and defeated another solid opponent in Texas’ Josh Sampo. Makovsky is now on a four-fight winning streak since his two-fight skid for Bellator MMA and went from being 2-0 on the regional circuit to now being 2-0 as a UFC fighter. Talk about a comeback story!
Makovsky has turned his career around in the division change from Bantamweight to Flyweight and with his impeccably crafty wrestling talents is now in line for a fight against a more well-known foe which may lead to a main card fight in the near future.
Demian Maia vs. Rory McDonald
This highly anticipated Welterweight clash had implications for top contender Carlos Condit as the winner of the bout would be knocking on the door to contendership debatably one step behind “The Natural Born Killer”. Now with the conclusion engraved in stone, Condit’s bout with Tyron Woodley next month at UFC 171 will tell us a lot about the pecking order in the 170-pound division.
Condit has already defeated McDonald once, back in a 2010 bout that saw Condit survive early adversity to get a TKO stoppage over the younger Canadian fighter. Condit would hand McDonald his first career loss and propel himself into title contention. McDonald has spoken out about wanting to avenge that loss and that very well may happen depending on the outcome of the Condit/Woodley bout.
Currently, #1 and #3 ranked fighters Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler are tentatively scheduled to fight for the vacant division title. That match-up leaves #2 Carlos Condit and #4 Rory McDonald on a collision course in the future.
Stephen Thompson vs. Robert Whittaker
This one is a little far-fetched but I will give you my reasoning behind the thought process. The “Wonderboy” Stephen Thompson is definitely being groomed by the UFC to take on strikers after his hype train was derailed by the grappling of Matt Brown. Thompson’s exciting striking talents have earned him impressive and highlight-reel stoppages in three of his last four victories. I believe the UFC will stray away from matching Thompson with someone who has the ability to take him down.
Well how about match him with someone who has zero interest with taking him down instead?FIT NHB’s Tim Means is one of the most offensive strikers in that weight class (if not in all of MMA) and easily one of the most violent finishers in the game today. Currently on his comeback trail to the UFC, Means has finished two opponents under the Legacy FC banner and looks poised as ever to return to MMA’s premier promotion.
If the UFC wants to see Thompson strike, don’t give him a squash match against an outgunned grappler. Let’s see how he does against a striker who won’t stray away from wanting to exchange leather. I think those two would guarantee fireworks and the smart money would be on an emphatic finishing sequence.
Daniel Cormier vs. Patrick Cummins
This bout was as close to a squash match as you’ll ever see in a UFC bout, and essentially we learned absolutely nothing new about Cormier in victory. He did exactly what he should have done in that bout and while he earned the stoppage, the fight had little substance to write home about.
Except….. Daniel Cormier made 205-pounds.
With the win and the successful cut to 205-pounds, Cormier has now become a viable contender for the Light-Heavyweight Title that currently wraps itself around Jon Jones. While Cormier may not be the next in line (Alexander Gustaffson is the #1 contender unless he loses his upcoming squash match), Cormier can easily fill in a slot or contender spot should there be an injury atop the pecking order.
Cormier also has documented “beef” with Champion Jon Jones and placing him in a title fight will be an easy call due to the match-ups high marketability. Jones has his next title fight lined up for April against Glover Texiera and the future after that is absolutely “up-in-the-air” at this point. Cormier may very well be the next fight for Jones whether he wins or loses in April.
Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann, Alexis Davis vs. Jessica Eye – WMMA Bouts
Each time there is a WMMA bout being held on a UFC event, New Mexico buzzes in their talks of support for the state’s most celebrated and beloved fighter, Holly Holm. While it is evident that the fans within New Mexico are celebrating her current regional run towards a UFC-signing, they might be slightly premature in assuming she is anywhere close to a title shot against Ronda Rousey.
While Rousey showed her empathic dominance once again, winning in just a little over 60-seconds, it was the evenings first WMMA bout that should speak significantly to the career of Holm in the near future. It would be extremely unlikely that Holm walks into the UFC and gets a title shot and much more likely that she would have to fight 1-2 times in the UFC prior to getting that shot. Women like Eye and Davis are exactly the type of competition she would expectedly face which is of much higher competitive level then she currently takes on.
Both Eye and Davis exchanged in a tactical battle for three rounds and they both displayed the type of adversity that Holm may face. Jessica Eye for example, has crisp boxing talents; maybe not to the level of Holm Championship caliber boxing but Eye’s striking is much more fluid for MMA then most of their WMMA counterparts. Alexis Davis works the leg kicks and is very sound on the ground where she can get you there with very methodical takedowns. Either of those women would offer Holm challenges she’s yet to see in her MMA career and wins over them would definitely align herself for a bout with Champion Ronda Rousey.