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Monday, 07/29/2013, 11:33 am

EDITORIAL | The Monday Morning Aftermath, UFC on FOX 8 Edition

By JAKE CHASTAIN

| This is the first installment of BJPenn.com’s Monday Morning Aftermath column, which will consist of breaking down the previous weekend’s top news and touching on what fans can expect to look for the following week as aftermath from that action. This column will also give the fans a head’s up on anything MMA that they should be watching for throughout the upcoming week. Here is the July 29th edition of The Monday Morning Aftermath:

We had an exciting weekend of UFC fights take place this past Saturday in Seattle at UFC on FOX 8 and a lot of action means a lot more will unfold as a result of those fights in the coming days and weeks.

First and foremost we have to discuss the aftermath of UFC on FOX 8, where Demetrious Johnson successfully defended his UFC flyweight title against John Moraga. Mighty Mouse scored a 5th round submission (armbar) to retain his strap and many fans are now questioning the depth of competition left in the flyweight division waiting for Johnson after his 2nd consecutive title defense.

Demetrious Johnson looked extremely good in his dominant performance over Moraga, who is no slouch himself inside the cage. Johnson defeat Moraga in every aspect of the game and is really looking like one of the top pound-for-pounders in the world. Johnson now holds victories over the top 4 ranked contenders in the division and many people believe that a rematch with current number one ranked contender, Joseph Benavidez, is on the horizon next for the Champ. Benavidez is scheduled to fight the current number 5 ranked contender, Jussier Formiga, on September 4th. Formiga is the only contender in the top 5 that Johnson has not yet fought and if Formiga can defeat Benavidez in September look for Jussier to be the next in line to fight Mighty Mouse. However, if Formiga falls to Benavidez it is likely that we’ll see a rematch between Johnson and Joseph Benavidez for the flyweight strap next. September 4th at UFC Fight Night 28 is a big event for the UFC flyweight division. That bout between Formiga and Benavidez will probably give Johnson his next contender. We’ll definitely be keeping our eyes on that matchup.

There were many winners from this past weekend that will jump up in the rankings following their performances on Saturday (July 28th), but one winner will probably not see much movement in the rankings or even a step up in competition in his next bout. That man is Rory MacDonald. Rory is currently ranked 3rd in the UFC welterweight contention line and his rather uneventfully, however tactful, performance over Jake Ellenberger didn’t earn him any praise from UFC President Dana White. Rory has made it clear that he will not fight current champion and training partner, GSP, in the future, so that really leaves only a couple of options for his next bout. Both men ranked ahead of him in contention, Carlos Condit and Johny Hendricks, are already scheduled for upcoming bouts, so if Rory is going to get an opponent in the coming days it will be against a lower ranked fighter than himself. Although this may seem like a bad thing it really isn’t too horrible, especially for the UFC.

There are several intriguing fights for Rory in the welterweight division, including a possible matchup with Robbie Lawler, who scored a huge head-kick KO victory over Bobby Voelker on Saturday. That puts Lawler at 2-0 since making his UFC return, and it’s an impressive 2-0. That is a great match-up in my eyes and, although Rory would likely be heavily favored, Lawler would bring him a fight, unlike Ellenberger did on Saturday.

If they don’t draw each other, other contenders in the division that could be possible next fights for either of them could be Tarec Saffiedine (former Strikeforce WW Champion), Demian Maia, or even Martin Kampmann or Carlos Condit (these two fight each other on August 28th). Those are all possible matchups that could be pieced together very soon and we’ll keep an eye on this division in the coming days.

More news to watch out for this week will be the next draw for Liz Carmouche. She has stated that after losing to Ronda Rousey in February that she is trying to gain herself another crack at the Champ, but she’ll have to rattle off a few wins before she places herself at the top of the contention ladder again. She began that journey this past Saturday as she completely ran through Jessica Andrade on her way to a TKO victory in the second round. She was better on the feet, she was better on the ground, and she was obviously the better fighter all around in Seattle. Her power, speed and the flow of her transitions make her a scary matchup for many of the women in the UFC. Liz was ranked #5 in the rankings heading into that fight and she’ll likely want a top 5 opponent in her next bout, although she may not get it. #2 ranked Sarah Kaufman and #4 ranked Sara McMann are going to battle each other on August 28th and I would like to assume that the winner of that bout at the end of next month will be the next opponent for Carmouche. However, there are a few other contenders that are ranked below Carmouche that may be knocking on her door, such as Germaine De Randamie. Germaine was ranked #10 heading into Saturday but is probably going to move up in ranking as she put on a nice performance this past weekend to defeat #8 ranked Julie Kedzie by spilt decision. Alexis Davis (Ranked #6 by the UFC) would also be a nice matchup for either Carmouche or De Randamie considering Davis just defeated Rosi Sexton at UFC 161 a few weeks ago. There are lots of open possibilities for the women and we’ll surely keep an eye on these possible key matchups.

And last but not least, Melvin Guillard put on an amazing performance as he knocked-out Mac Danzig in their lightweight bout and also earned himself KO of the Night honors following the event. Guillard has had his ups and downs in the UFC and he is currently not ranked in the top ten of the division. However, this weight class is so loaded that a possible matchup could come from anywhere. Guillard will likely fight a high profile name in his next bout and another win for Melvin could start another climb toward a possible contention fight. Guillard has so many options in front of him for a next bout, considering he’s not in the top ten and cannot demand a fight against a top contender only, so it’s hard to pinpoint what the UFC may want to do with their longtime lightweight next. Keep your eyes on Guillard because although his next fight may not be against a top ten name, he’ll probably draw an accomplished fighter with solid credentials inside the UFC. Two names that immediately pop up as possibilities are two other lightweights that won in Seattle on Saturday: Daron Cruickshank and Jorge Masvidal. Either one of these men would be a fun matchup  for Guillard, or even for each other, so we’ll keep a watch over these lightweights in the coming week.

There were many successful fighters that performed this past weekend and we here at BJPenn.com will be keeping a close eye on all of them as they get ready to book their next bouts after performing at UFC on FOX 8 in Washington this past weekend. But now it’s time to focus on what’s coming up this week in the MMA world.

First, Bellator is hosting another summer series event this Wednesday (July 31st) on SPIIKE TV as Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler will be defending his title against David Rickels and Welterweight Champion Ben Askren will be defending his strap against the undefeated Andrey Koreshkov. The show will also host the light heavyweight and heavyweight tournament finals, featuring King Mo vs. Jacob Noe and Ryan Martinez vs. Vitaly Minakov. This is going to be an explosive day for MMA and the cable television broadcast will be available to MMA fans for free on SPIKE TV. The event will be followed by Bellator’s new reality show, Fight Master, and things are starting to heat-up between the competitors and coaches on the show. Wednesday night is a SPIKE TV must for all fight fans.

And then on Saturday, August 3rd, the UFC will host another amazing fight card in Brazil as featherweight Champion Jose Aldo defends his strap against Chan Sung Jung. Also featured on the card will be a light heavyweight battle with heavy implications on the title contention picture in the division as Lyoto Machida takes on Phil Davis. This main card will air on PPV with the prelims broadcasting on FX and Facebook and, although it has been shuffled around a bit due to injuries, this is another greatly anticipated event in the MMA world. Don’t miss it.

That just about wraps it up for the first addition of BJPenn.com’s Monday Morning Aftermath.

Stay glued to BJPenn.com for all of you MMA news, announcements, and updates.

Cheers, fight fans.

-Jake Chastain

@jchastain45

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