When the Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to pay per view for UFC 162, the results of the evening might have taken some by surprise. I know they caught me off guard. From the upset of all upsets with Chris Weidman winning the UFC middleweight title from the greatest of all time, Anderson Silva, to impressive and dominating performances from Mark Munoz, Tim Kennedy and Frankie Edgar, to a featherweight fighter looking for redemption, the card was action packed and featured something for every MMA fan across the globe. Let’s take a closer look at the results and what’s next for some of the biggest winners and losers.
UFC Middleweight Championship: Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman
This was one of the weirdest fights I have ever witnessed. Silva came into the fight as the favorite to win his 17th straight fight inside the Octagon. As I mentioned in my betting odds preview, this fight would be won or lost depending on how serious of a threat Silva took Weidman to be:
“This is one of those fights that could go either way, but it all depends on how serious Silva takes his opponent. If Silva comes in and treats Weidman with no respect like he did in the first Chael Sonnen fight, he could lose his title quickly. If he goes in prepared to lose and is ready for anything the powerful wrestler throws his way, he should get the win easily.”
Obviously, with the way this fight turned out, Silva did not take Weidman seriously and lost his title because of it. In the first round, Weidman took Silva down immediately, as expected. When on the feet, Silva begged Weidman to hit him and the undefeated challenger began playing Silva’s game. In the second round, it was more of the same, but as Silva kept playing around, he got caught with a left hook that knocked him to the mat and a right hand followed that finished things off.
UFC President Dana White already stated before the fight that even if Silva lost, he would get an immediate rematch at the title because he deserved it, so it is safe to assume we know what fight both men will be involved in next. Whether that’s a good thing for the 38-year-old Silva remains to be seen as this may be the decline in his career people have been calling for the past couple of years.
Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira
This was a fun fight to watch and it was one that Edgar needed to have a solid performance in. Coming in, the former UFC lightweight champion was riding a three fight losing streak and could ill-afford to suffer another defeat if he wanted to fight for a world title again in the next several years.
This 15 minute fight kept the fans in attendance at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on their feet and Twitter feeds going crazy with fight updates and exclamation points. At the end of the day, it was Edgar earning the unanimous decision win against Oliveira, cementing his position in the featherweight division.
When it comes to who the UFC may decide to pit him against next, we might be looking at a man who won impressively at UFC 162 by knockout, Cub Swanson. For Oliveira, this was his last chance to fight a top-tier guy. He is now 0-3 against those considered the best in their respective divisions and will be stuck in preliminary card oblivion for the rest of his UFC career.
Tim Kennedy vs. Roger Gracie
This was just another weird fight for the evening. Kennedy controlled most of the fight against the world champion Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner, but the former Strikeforce star Kennedy was not afraid to take the fight to the ground. He took Gracie down and kept moving on top of the talented fighter.
When the official results were announced, it was no surprise that Kennedy got the unanimous decision ruling. For Kennedy, I’m not too sure who to see him against next. The middleweight division is going to be wide open with Weidman the champion now, so it’ll be interesting to see what the UFC does with him next.
Mark Munoz vs. Tim Boetsch
This is a fight I will admit I got completely wrong. I thought Boetsch was going to be able to take a punch better and dish them out better than Munoz, but The Filipino Wrecking Machine was prepared. After a nearly year-long wait to return to the Octagon, Munoz had taken all his built up rage and unleashed it on Boetsch on his way to the unanimous decision win.
For Munoz, he will look to get back into the title discussion and could be an interesting fight for Kennedy if the UFC wants to go there. Without Silva at the top of the middleweight division, everything is truly up for grabs. For Boetsch, this could signal the beginning of the end for his UFC career. He had mixed success in the light heavyweight division and after a 3-0 start at middleweight, has now dropped two straight.
Cub Swanson vs. Dennis Siver
I said that this fight was going to be the beginning of Swanson’s rise up in the sport of MMA and after his third round TKO via punches, Swanson may have proved me right. Many people will still remember Swanson as the guy that current UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo knocked out in World Extreme Cagefighting eight second into the fight with a flying double knee, but that will soon change. With the TKO win, Swanson now has a 20-5 record and has won five straight in the UFC after dropping his debut to Ricardo Lamas. With wins against Ross Pearson, Oliveira, Dustin Poirier and now Siver, Swanson may be looking at a title shot.
The title fight between Swanson and Aldo would be a fun one for the MMA community. It doesn’t mean it will happen as the UFC may decide to go a different route and put Swanson inside the Octagon against Edgar in a title eliminator fight. I think Swanson deserves his title shot next, but wouldn’t be shocked to see him go at Edgar.