In a recent interview with Fighters Only, UFC president Dana White revealed that the next time Michael Bisping steps through the doors of the Octagon to compete, he will be staring across the cage at a top five opponent.
Considering the options, it’s a pretty safe bet that said opponent will be the loser of the UFC 122 bout between Yushin Okami and Nate Marquardt.
Let’s look at the simple deductive reasoning we used that helped us come to our conclusion:
Adding an odd wrinkle to this story is Belfort’s trainer Shawn Tompkins, who semi-responded to the reports on Facebook late last night, writing, "you will recieve Vitor Belfort news very soon…All I can tell you as his coach is that he is 100% healthy." Belfort might be physically sound, but that doesn’t mean he’s not withdrawing from the event for other reasons. Could the UFC be promoting him to an immediate title shot at UFC 125 in Chael Sonnen‘s place? We’ll update you when we know more…
("Stop it? My naughtiness, I thought you said, ‘Snap it.’"
When Rousimar Palhares inexplicably stopped to tell the ref that he thought Nate Marquardt’s leg felt greasy in their Ultimate Fight Night 22 bout Wednesday night, armchair fighters, referees and coaches alike collectively yelled, "What the hell are you doing?" at their television screens.
It turns out, they weren’t the only ones yelling.
Palhares’ longtime Brazilian Top Team trainer and coach, Murilo Bustamante told Tatame that he too was screaming from the sidelines for his charge not to let up and says that they have learned from the rookire mistake that may have cost Rousimar a title shot in the near future.
“We’ve talked about it a lot, he knows what he did wrong. I guarantee it won’t happen again, he learned the lesson on the worst possible way, paying for his distraction and lack of naughtiness," Bustamante explained. "Maybe the other fighter could stop to see what it was about, but Nate kept on going and didn’t do anything illegal. It was a lesson learned. It happens.”
Knockout of the Night:Brian Foster, for his 67-second storming of Forrest Petz, which was the lone stoppage on the preliminary card. Petz now drops to 0-2 in his current UFC stint, and will most likely be shown the door.
Submission of the Night (1):Cole Miller, for dropping Ross Pearson with punches in the second round of their fight, then icing him with a rear-naked choke. Miller has scored the SotN award in three of his last five appearances, and officially enters the UFC Performance Bonus Leaderboard.
Submission of the Night (2):Charles Oliveira, who pushed his record to 14-0 with a huge win over TUF 8 winner Efrain Escudero, secured via standing rear-naked choke in the third round. Though he had trouble getting Escudero to the mat in the first two frames, Oliveira showed off his tenacity in the victory, as well as some impressively unorthodox striking.
Fight of the Night:Kyle Kingsbury and Jared Hamman, for their fast-paced three-round brawl in the prelims. Despite a third-round rally from Hamman, Kingsbury’s domination and damage in the first two frames secured him 29-28 scores from all three judges.
As for UFC 118, some shifting will need to be done to fill the empty main card slot, and potentially fill the hole that the replacement could create in the Spike TV Prelim broadcast. The lineup currently looks like this…
On his loss to Sonnen: "I didn’t follow my gameplan, and I paid for it. I put on a good show, but mentally I wasn’t there…I fought a wrestler exactly how you’re not supposed to fight a wrestler — just stepping straight forward, trying to knock him out with every punch. So, I learned my lesson. I put on a good fight so I think that’s important as well, but I definitely plan on being a lot stronger mentally this next fight."
("The creepy guy behind the ring? Don’t worry Rachelle, that’s just James McSweeney. He’ll probably ask you for a lock of your hair before you leave, but he’s cool." / Photo courtesy of twitter.com/nathanmarquardt)
— Speaking of UFC 116, Sportsnet‘s Showdown Joe Ferraro first passed along rumors that the stacked event will also host bouts between Nate Marquardt and Alessio Sakara, and Brendan Schaub vs. Chris Tuchscherer. MMA Junkie has since confirmed those reports. UFC 116′s current lineup is after the jump; kill whoever you have to in order to get tickets.
(Chael Sonnen explains that it’s the Ultimate *Fighting* Championship, not the Ultimate Mitt-Hitting, High-Altitude Training, Flipping a Tire Around, Screaming the Word "Yes" Championship. Props: MMA Fighting)
Following an expectation-exceeding night of action at UFC 109, the UFC handed out $60,000 pay-bumps to the following competitors:
Fight of the Night: Chael Sonnen and Nate Marquardt, for their bloody 15-minute grind, in which Sonnen survived a nasty choke attempt in the third round to secure the decision victory and earn a middleweight title shot.
Knockout of the Night:Matt Serra, for beating down Frank Trigg and proving that his hands are always dangerous, even if they’re on the end of very short arms.
Submission of the Night: Paulo Thiago, for putting Mike Swick to sleep with a D’Arce choke after knocking him to the mat in the second round of their fight. Thiago: 2, AKA: 1.