Tebowing: None of you are doing it right.
Another season of The Ultimate Fighter has come and gone, and we’re not certain what the future holds for it. The entire format of the show we knew and loved, then decided to ignore for a while, then were all like “Dude there’s no way Kimbo gets past Roy Nelson”, then went back to ignoring it when we were proven right, then decided “Well maybe Mayhem will be fun to watch” is about to change yet again. Raise your hand if you got lost during that last sentence.
If there’s one thing we understand at Cage Potato, it’s consistency. No matter how much the show changes, we’ll be around to give you our opinions on what to do with the finale’s biggest names. So let’s get to it, shall we?
Michael Bisping: Since losing to Wanderlei Silva back at UFC 110, Michael Bisping has gone 4-0 and established himself as a Top Ten Middleweight. Or at least that’s what I keep hearing, even though the guys he’s defeated in that time period have been on the lower to middle end of the middleweight division. In his post fight-interview with Ariel Helwani, Bisping hinted that his next fight has already been booked, and it’s against someone he hasn’t fought before. A fight against Alan Belcher makes sense, and should establish the winner as a legitimate contender in the middleweight division. Don’t act too surprised if the UFC uses Bisping as a litmus test for 7-0 (3-0 UFC) prospect Chris Weidman, either.
Jason “Mayhem” Miller: Um, wow. That happened. Admittedly, we’ve seen much worse, but Miller’s wild striking and poor cardio won’t exactly silence his critics. Nor will they guarantee him a second fight in the UFC, as Dana White seems hesitant to give Mayhem another shot after last night’s performance. But for now, let’s assume that Miller will be given another chance. If that’s the case, Miller deserves a gatekeeper like Alessio Sakara in order to properly gage whether or not he belongs in the organization. Because we’re dealing with a marketable Strikeforce middleweight who fell flat in his UFC debut, my inner sadist won’t stop bringing up Cung Le as well. Regardless of the opponent, it’ll be crystal clear that it’s “go big or go back to Strikeforce” for Jason Miller.
Diego Brandao: The TUF 14 Featherweight champion showed off a surprising ground game with his armbar victory over Dennis Bermudez. Or maybe it wasn’t surprising at all whatsoever, considering that the guy is a BJJ blackbelt. Regardless, we weren’t expecting him to win via submission. Because four of Brandao’s seven career losses have come via TKO, don’t expect the UFC to book him against a dangerous striker in his post-TUF debut. Rani Yahya, with zero victories by knockout, makes perfect sense.
John Dodson: The TUF 14 bantamweight champion is in a pretty interesting situation. A natural flyweight, Dodson could- and probably will- stay on the sidelines until the UFC unveils its flyweight division in 2012. But let’s assume that he sticks around at bantamweight until given a specific date for when the UFC will start booking fights at flyweight. An experienced veteran like Jeff Curran or Cole Escovedo would be an interesting, winnable fight for Dodson. Especially Cole Escovedo, if we’re leaning towards “winnable”- as the UFC tends to with its TUF champions in their post-TUF debuts.
Tony Ferguson: Ferguson looked good in his victory against “Thug-jitsu” black belt Yves Edwards last night. Unfortunately for Ferguson, it’s going to take more than a good performance against a gatekeeper like Edwards to earn a contender at lightweight. Ferguson did well stuffing takedown attempts from Edwards, but matching him up against a wrestler like Shane Roller would be a good test for him. Likewise, the winner of the upcoming tilt between Jacob Volkmann and TJ Grant makes sense.
That’s all we have for now. You can decide the fates of the other winners and/or the losers not named “Jason Miller” from last night on your own. Choose wisely.