UFC 149 saw a new interim bantamweight champion crowned in Renan Barao and Tim Boetsch notch a controversial victory over debuting Bellator Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard. The time to look at what comes next for the evening’s headliners is now.
Renan Barao: It was a performance vaguely reminiscent of WEC 48’s anchoring bout as Urijah Faber saw his legs attacked and was unable to to put together any sustained offense against Renan Babaro. While his Nova Uniao stablemate, Jose Aldo, was much more impressive in his victory over “The California Kid”, Barao soundly shut out Faber, taking virtually no damage in their interim title bout.
While Barao originally stated that he was content to sit back and wait for his title unification bout reigning bantamweight king Dominick Cruz, his tune has seemed to change. Barao now says he is willing to defend his newly acquired hardware before meeting with “The Dominater”. There is realistically one man in the division that has earned his shot and that is Michael McDonald. “Mayday” is undefeated in five Zuffa appearances and a recent first-round knockout win over former champion Miguel Torres has him sitting pretty near the top of the division.
Next up: Michael McDonald
Urijah Faber: There’s never been a fighter in such a precarious position as Urijah. The poster boy for the lighter divisions is currently 0-5 in his most recent title bouts. The Sac-Town native should now find himself out of the title picture for a long, long time. He will now likely occupy what has not so affectionately been named “the Jon Fitch seat”, meaning he will likely be facing tough opposition outside the stream of contendership.
Although it’s lost its luster since it was first dreamed up by MMA fans in 2008, if there was a time to pull the trigger on what was once considered a dream match with Miguel Torres, it’s now. Both men are coming off of losses and struggling to stay relavent in the division. It would promise to be an exciting bout, although at this point it may be robbing Peter to pay Paul as it may completely bury the loser.
Should be: Miguel Torres
Tim Boetsch: Despite the controversial win in the tepid bout with Hector Lombard, Dana White says Boetsch is still in a “good position” at middleweight. With Chris Weidman putting on the performance he did against Mark Munoz, it’s still very likely that he will be the next man facing Anderson Silva. Couple that with the fact that Dana White absolutely loathed the fight between Lombard and “The Barbarian” and it’s clear that Boetsch will not be competing for the title his next time out.
Stann and Bisping are tied up facing one another at UFC 152, leaving one man in contention free, Alan Belcher. A match-up with “The Talent” is sure to deliver the action that last night’s middleweight match-up lacked.
Ideally: Alan Belcher
Hector Lombard: While many felt the Bellator Middleweight Champion was robbed of a victory last night, it really won’t change the fact that he now has a loss in his UFC debut. Dana White feels Lombard should make the trek down to 170, but it’s unlikely that the move will actually take place. As for what’s next, Lombard pretty much made the match-up for himself. Mark Munoz’s comments on Lombard didn’t sit well with the ATT product, who said he wished to face Munoz if he beat Boetsch. He didn’t, and Munoz is coming off that mugging by Chris Weidman, a match0up between the two is a no-brainer at this point.
Next up: Mark Munoz