At this point I wouldn’t be able to argue if you thought Jones was the best fighter in the UFC. He has not only beaten but dominated top flight competition like Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Lyoto Machida and now Rashad Evans. After a disappointing performance from Alexander Gustaffsen it looks like Dan Henderson will get the title shot against Jones. Hopefully Hendo can be the one to finally test Jones’ chin.
While clearly beaten Saturday night it’s hard to say he really lost. I mean yes he lost all five rounds but unlike past opponents for Jon Jones he was neither knocked out nor submitted. It’s a small victory but by god I’ll give it to Rashad.
Despite his loss I would say that Rashad is still a top level light heavyweight (with this only being his second loss in twenty fights). Personally I would probably have Rashad face Lyoto Machida next. Not only would the winner be in title scene but it also gives Rashad a chance to avenge his only other loss inside the octagon.
Since his loss to Carlos Condit in 2010 MacDonald has been on a tear with wins over Nate Diaz, Mike Pyle and now Che Mills. While all were dominant performances I can’t say that he took on A-List opponents. He fought a guy too small for the division (Diaz) and two that are prelim/openers at best (Pyle, Mills). I think it’s time for MacDonald to take a step up in competition.
That’s why I propose he goes after the winner of Josh Kosheck vs Johny Hendricks. A win over either would put the 22 year old MacDonald on the fast track to a title shot.
Every fighter has a chance. Whether it’s an out of nowhere submission or a lucky KO all fighters have a chance to win a fight. Everybody except Che Mills at UFC 145. For two straight rounds Mills was taken to the ground and beaten bloody. Not a pretty sight. He was clearly outmatched and just wasn’t ready for competition at Rory MacDonald’s level.
I can’t help but think that it’s back to the prelims for Mills. Which is kind of a bummer because I he can have decent fights (Marius Žaromskis comes to mind). Now if it were up to me I would have Che rest up and take on the loser of Dan Hardy vs Duane Ludwig. I think both Hardy and Ludwig have a style that could give the fans an exciting fight to open an FX show.
I don’t think I’m out of line in saying that I don’t see Rothwell being a heavyweight contender anytime soon. While he has had impressive wins in the UFC over Gilbert Yvel and Brendan Schaub he also has was manhandled by title contenders Cain Velasquez and Mark Hunt.
At this stage I view Ben Rothwell as a good gatekeeper for the UFC’s heavyweight division. Keeping with this in mind I would put him up against the winner of Shane del Rosario vs Stipe Miocic.
After losing his first fight in the UFC Schaub seemed to be on the fast track to the belt with wins over Chris Tuchscherer, Gabriel Gonzaga and Mirko CroCop. Then came a vicious knockout from Minotauro Nogueira and an even bigger KO from Ben Rothwell. Once a rising star it’s hard to say the same after these two big losses.
While still a recognizable name Schaub needs to start over if he wants to get back into title contention. What better place to start than against fellow Ultimate Fighter 10 alum Matt Mitrione? Both are coming off losses, both have untapped potential and a win would give their career a good kickstart.