UFC’s Super Bowl weekend show was a mixed bag of highs, lows, and anticlimactic disappointments. However, as the Zuffa wheels keep turning, so do the careers of the stars of UFC 169. Where will they go from here? Our own ‘Ultimate Writer’ Sean Ross Sapp (@SeanRossSapp) takes a look.
Renan Barao- We’ve all heard Dana White sing the praises of Barao. He’s hands down a top-5 pound for pound fighter, and looks more impressive with each UFC appearance.
Barao already holds victories over the most dangerous competitors the division currently has to offer, and former champion Dominick Cruz is likely to take a non-title fight before meeting Barao. Raphael Assuncao and Takeya Mizugaki are next in line to dive in to the shallow pool of title contenders that the bantamweight division has to offer.
Urijah Faber- You have to feel bad for Faber. He lost his sixth consecutive title fight, and probably shouldn’t have–at least not at that point of the bout. A loss to Renan Barao knocks Faber down a few pegs on the bantamweight pecking order, but due to the nature of the defeat, it doesn’t knock him down far.
The most intriguing UFC fight for Urijah Faber is a 145-pound fight with Frankie Edgar, which would be a fantastic Fox main event. However, Edgar is booked against BJ Penn, so Faber taking on Dominick Cruz for a third time would be an appropriate and suitable alternative.
Jose Aldo- Well, this one is easy. Jose Aldo’s dissection of Ricardo Lamas served as his curtain call in the 145-pound division. The Featherweight champion holds wins over the top 5 ranked 145-pounders, and has effectively cleaned out the division.
Jose Aldo vs. Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis in a superfight is the next fight to make, and quite frankly, probably the biggest UFC fight of 2014.
Alistair Overeem- UFC 169 was important to Alistair Overeem on many levels; It was his first UFC win since 2011; He paced himself; He kept himself in the top 10.
With one victory, Overeem’s world opens up, and two names stick out– Junior Dos Santos and Josh Barnett. Both are coming off of losses, all three involved are marketable fighters, and the UFC would like to keep at least one of them on the winning track.
With Mark Hunt injured, Antonio Silva hurt, Frank Mir on his way out, and Daniel Cormier dropping to 205 pounds, this summer could be crucial to Alistair Overeem’s career.
Frank Mir- Some of you will think I’m crazy–but the only fight left for Frank Mir in the UFC is a rubber match with Brock Lesnar. It doesn’t need to be this year, it doesn’t need to be next year, but it’s a big money fight for all involved, and about all that Mir has left to offer to the UFC.
Ali Bagautinov- This Russian is in the good graces of the UFC. Ali Bagautinov’s victory over John Lineker made the UFC’s decision to not give Lineker– a persistent offender in regards to missing weight– a title shot. Bagautinov could have sealed his own.
Ian McCall only has one win in the UFC, but he’s set to face Brad Pickett soon. If McCall wins, he’ll probably get another crack at Flyweight Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, despite having a loss and a draw to Johnson.
If McCall doesn’t win, Bagautinov will become number-one contender to Mighty Mouse, in a division starving for contenders. Worst case scenario, Bagautinov is fighting John Dodson.