With UFC’s return to the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California for the promotion’s fourth Fuel TV offering behind us, some questions have been answered, specifically in relation to Chris Weidman. It’s time to take a look at what logically comes next.
Chris Weidman: While one would have originally thought that it would be best to give the prospect some more time to develop his skills, the virtuoso performance put down by the Hofstra Division I wrestler was a thing of beauty. Shutting down someone the caliber of Munoz in the wrestling department for an entire round and obliterating him on the feet the way he did proves that the Serra-Longo product is ready to compete at the highest levels.
While the fight airing on Fuel did him no favors, after a performance that impressive, he deserves a title shot against Anderson Silva. He certainly seems like the man who offers the most interesting style match-up for “The Spider”. With Hector Lombard’s debut looming as well as Michael Bisping and Brian Stann slated to meet at UFC 152, the Middleweight Champion’s next challenger is yet to be determined, but Weidman certainly made the statement tonight. If he didn’t earn himself a title shot, he will certainly face one of the aforementioned contenders to determine Anderson’s next challenger.
Next up: Anderson Silva or the Winner of Bisping vs Stann
Mark Munoz: I said after UFC 148 that the loser of this bout should face Chael Sonnen. That sentiment has not changed. A match-up between Sonnen and Munoz makes all the more sense when you remember that they were originally slated to meet at UFC on Fox 2 in January. The timeline for a meeting between the two middleweight wrestlers is there, and given their current standings, it makes perfect sense.
Ideal match-up: Chael Sonnen
James Te Huna: It feels a little odd to be thinking about what the next logical step for James Te Huna should be, considering tonight was the first time he was featured on a main card. While Te Huna continued to roll, he showed that some of the old nagging issues that have haunted him in the past are still there, particularly in the conditioning department. A match-up with the winner of the upcoming Jorgen Kruth and Fabio Maldonado tilt seems prime to deliver fireworks and is a decent enough step up in competition for the Kiwi, but still one that won’t see him absolutely overmatched.
Hopefully next: Winner of Jorgen Kruth vs Fabio Maldonado
Joey Beltran: If we can be blunt for a moment, taking nothing away from the heart he showed in his unanimous decision loss to Te Huna, Beltran simply is not a UFC a caliber fighter. While “The Mexicutioner” is tough as nails and has the heart to go to the death, the skills just aren’t there. Given that he not only came in on short notice, but also earned a fight of the night bonus in last night’s outing, he will likely get at least one more chance inside the Octagon. A pink slip derby with Tom Deblass would make sense for the San Diego based fighter, realistically any end of the road 205 lb fighters coming off a loss will do.
Sensible options: Tom Deblass or any bottom rung light heavyweight coming off of a loss.