(“Hate to say Bones told you so…” Photo via Getty.)
It wouldn’t be hyperbole to say that UFC 172 was easily the greatest card of 2014 thus far. With brilliant, jaw-dropping finishes from top-to-bottom and perhaps the most complete performance of Jon Jones’ career, UFC 172 was a faith-restoring night of fights to say the least, and one that dramatically altered the fates of those who competed on it.
But today, we look forward. While Jon Jones‘ victory over Glover Teixeira can only mean that a highly-anticipated rematch with Alexander Gustafsson is surely on the horizon (a rare instance of the MMA Gods actually granting us a wish with no strings attached *fingers crossed*), there are still several potential matchups worth discussing, so let’s see what the future holds for UFC 172′s biggest winners and losers…
Anthony Johnson: What can you say about “Rumble” that hasn’t already been said? He looked damn-near perfect against Phil Davis, shutting down the four-time NCAA Division I All-American’s takedown attempts with ease and making him look like even more of an amateur on the feet. After two rounds had passed, we were all left wondering how Davis was ever considered the favorite heading into this matchup, and when/if Johnson’s gas tank would expire. It never did, and in his first fight back in the UFC since 2012, Johnson firmly established himself as a top contender at 205 lbs.
Personally, I think “Rumble” should use this opportunity to finally call out GSP, but a match against the Ryan Bader-Rafael Cavalcante winner probably makes more sense from a logistical standpoint. Bader has become a weigh-station for future contenders over the years (and I say that with all due respect), so should he get past “Feijao” at UFC 174, he would make for a fine addition to Johnson’s highlight reel (again, with all due respect). And if Cavalcante emerges with the W, you’ve got yourself a slugfest for the ages right there.