After The War: UFC Fight Night 57 – Edgar vs Swanson – What’s Next for Main Card Winners and Losers?
Statement made! Edgar destroyed the red-hot Cub Swanson on Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 57 and reminded everyone why he was still one of the UFC’s best P4P best—the uncrowned king. Edgar was only a slight favourite heading into the fight but thoroughly punished Cub outlanding him by over 200 strikes, taking him down seven times and spending most of the fight beating him on the ground. Frankie is ready to make a second run at the title. The only question is when?
Should Fight: Chad Mendes: the UFC may give the title fight to Conor McGregor (assuming he starches Siver); Frankie deserves a title shot but isn’t the type to sit out wait. A bout with Chad Mendes is intriguing to determine who the division’s second-best fighter really is.
Barboza pulled off arguably the biggest win of his career when he outclassed Bobby Green to the tune of a unanimous 30-27 score card. Green taunted and pressured Barboza throughout the fight but the Brazilian remain focused and landed the bigger shots including a sweet spinning kick that nearly decapitated Green. Barboza finally breaks the UFC’s top ten rankings.
Should Fight: Eddie Alvarez-Benson Henderson Winner: another fight with Donald Cerrone (as Barboza asked for before) would be fun but not for now. The Alvarez-Henderson winner would prove Barboza’s biggest test and could solidify him as a true title threat.
The secret MVP of this card; it’s a shame the debuting VanZant’s fight was buried on Fight Pass as not as many saw her and Kailin Curran engage in a three-round war that brought the arena to its feet. VanZant looked great over the course of the event from her enthusiastic entrance to her Fight of the Night performance and her emotional victory. A budding star may be born.
Should Fight: Juliana Lima: the Brazilian seems like the only option outside of a newcomer or a TUF castmember ranked outside the top ten; VanZant won and had a terrific night but she’s a few fights from making a claim at a top ten position
The Ukrainian-Russian submission specialist pulled perhaps the biggest stunner: a knockout of the streaking Jared Rosholt. Oliynyk is not known for his striking or his power (only his fifth KO in 60 fights) but he put out Rosholt fast. Oliynyk won his first Performance of the Night bonus and put the entire division on notice.
Should Fight: Shawn Jordan-Jared Cannonier Winner: Oliynyk will continue his campaign for a berth in the division’s rankings and the winner of Jordan-Cannonier fight could likely be next
“The King” made his successful flyweight debut by upsetting longtime vet Brad Pickett to take home a split decision. Camus outstruck Pickett 94-72 and put on the best performance of his UFC career. The division may have gained a new contender.
Should Fight: Louis Smolka: coming off a spectacular win over Richie Vaculik, Smolka looks to be similar in ranking with Camus and both could put on a fantastic fight and make a bid for the division’s top-15
NO SHAME IN DEFEAT
No fighter lost more than Cub Swanson. The contender saw both his six-fight winning streak and bid for a title shot destroyed by Frankie Edgar. Cub was manhandled for four of the five rounds en route to a very late submission. It was the most brutal loss of his career, the type that crushes a fighter’s spirit. Here’s hoping he can come back strong and make another run.
Should Fight: Dennis Bermudez: obvious fight as Bermudez is also coming off a bad submission loss to Ricardo Lamas (who also beat Swanson in the past); the winner of the fight should see themselves back as a contender while the loser could be relegated to gatekeeper status
Not unlike Cub Swanson, Bobby Green had his eight-fight winning streak snapped after dropping a clear-cut decision to Edson Barboza. Green withstood everything Barboza threw at him including a highlight reel spinning kick but didn’t come close to matching his output. Green will be going back to the drawing board but is still firmly entrenched as a divisional standout.
Should Fight: Donald Cerrone-Myles Jury Loser: Green was originally booked to face Cerrone until Eddie Alvarez crashed the party. He could still get the match if Cerrone loses to Jury and if he doesn’t Jury will prove to be a true test to see which fighter stays in the top ten.
Curran lost the fight but will have to settle for a moral victory and a Fight of the Night bonus paycheck, which all things considered isn’t too bad. Curran was overpowered by VanZant but had her moments and her stock shouldn’t be too diminished from the loss.
Should Fight: Newcomer: hard to pinpoint a new opponent; it could be Nina Ansaroff but to further build Curran as a starlet she could get a much lower-ranked newcomer
The slow-rolling quiet hype train of Jared Rosholt was all-but squashed on Saturday night. The NCAA Division I wrestler was a 3-1 favourite against Oliynyk but was knocked out cold. Oliynyk wasn’t known as a good striker so the loss exposed Rosholt’s glaring weakness. Fortunately, it won’t take much for Rosholt to get back on track thanks to the division’s shallowness.
Should Fight: Todd Duffee-Anthony Hamilton Loser: the winner could get a high-profile top-15 opponent next while the loser may be meeting Jared Rosholt to determine which heavyweight will be worth looking out for as a divisional mainstay
The British brawler was out-struck by a more prepared Chico Camus and has now dropped two fights in a row; Pickett is on the decline but will still put on mildly entertaining fights. He could stay at flyweight but hinted moving back to bantamweight. Regardless where he fights he’ll continue being one of the UFC’s more crowd-friendly fighters, win or lose.
Should Fight: Chris Cariaso: if Pickett stays at flyweight, Cariaso could be a great stylistic matchup. Both men love to keep fights standing and throw volume combos like video game characters. The winner would keep themselves relevant in the ever-shifting flyweight division