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Home MMA UFC 103: After the Fact
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UFC 103: After the Fact

 

ufc103_13_belfort_vs_franklin_007Vitor Belfort made a successful return to the octagon Saturday night when he finished former middleweight champ Rich Franklin early in the first round. Belfort dropped Franklin with a looping left hook and delivered several vicious shots directly following to earn the victory, one that should immediately vault him to the top of the middleweight heap. Junior Dos Santos was also victorious as he dominated MMA legend Mirko “Cro Cop” Filopovic, eventually causing the vet to verbally submit in the third round. Paul Daley was a late substitute for the injured Mike Swick and he took full advantage of the opportunity. Daley came out swinging, eventually landing a multitude of devastating punches to the head of Martin Kampmann, forcing the referee to jump in before any further damage was done. Frank Trigg’s comeback was an unsuccessful one as Josh Koscheck stopped him early in the first round and Tyson Griffin was able to finish Hermes Franca in the second round of their contest.

What’s Next for the Winners?

Even before the dust has completely settled from Saturday night’s fights there is already talk of a possible Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort matchup. Although Dan Henderson and Nate Marquardt have both been mentioned as possible number one contenders in the middleweight division, Belfort is probably the most interesting matchup. Silva has apparently stated he would fight Belfort following his recovery from surgery so this fight is a definite possibility. Expect Henderson vs. Marquardt to be set up soon as well, with the winner to face the winner of Silva vs. Belfort.

Junior Dos Santos has certainly arrived. Minotauro’s star pupil made Mirko Cro Cop look like it was his first time in the cage and will seeking another top ten heavyweight for his next fight. Cain Velasquez is another up and comer in the division and would certainly make a very intriguing opponent for Dos Santos. If Velasquez can get by Ben Rothwell at UFC 104 it would be no surprise if this fight was announced.

Paul Daley’s win over Martin Kampmann has put him on the fast track to a welterweight title shot. Kampmann was originally supposed to face Mike Swick to determine the number one contender before Swick suffered a concussion in training and was forced to back out. With Kampmann losing to Daley the next logical step is to set up a Swick vs. Daley match to determine who has the next fight with Georges St. Pierre.

It shouldn’t have been a shock to anyone that the younger, stronger Josh Koscheck did away with Frank Trigg rather easily. With Carlos Condit also recently winning at Ultimate Fight Night 19 it would make sense to pair these two up for their next bout.

Tyson Griffin’s impressive win should insure him a top opponent in his for his next fight. For now we’ll have to wait and see what unfolds in other lightweight fights. Depending on Frankie Edgar’s performance in his next fight a rematch between these two might prove to be a good one.

What’s next for the Losers?

Where does Rich Franklin go from here? He’s lost two of his last three fights, and with rumours that Franklin’s perfect foil (or everyone’s foil for that matter) Anderson Silva could be moving to light heavyweight in the near future things aren’t looking good for the UFC veteran. Keith Jardine is in a similar situation coming off two straight losses so perhaps a Franklin vs. Jardine bout would make sense for these two, but only time will tell.

Mirko Cro Cop has stated on numerous occasions that we have yet to see the best of the Croatian in the octagon. It’s apparent after Saturday night’s showing that we’re still waiting. Does the former PRIDE star have anything left? Cro Cop could now be relegated to being a gate keeper, someone pitted against up and comer’s to see if they are up to the task and ready to move on to bigger and better things. Chances are Cro Cop’s best days are long gone.

Martin Kampmann came within one fight of getting a shot at the title. His lost to UFC new comer Paul Daley means it’s virtually back to square one for “The Hitman.” Depending on how they do in their next fights, Karo Parisyan or Dan Hardy seem like good choices to fight Kampmann next.

What’s next for Frank Trigg? Retirement would be his best option. The man was once a good fighter, but those days are a distant memory. He tried to make a comeback and he failed. Time to call it quits Frank.

The loss against Griffin makes it Hermes Franca’s third in his last four fights.  Another loss could spell disaster for him. His next opponent will likely be lesser know so perhaps he can take advantage of it.
 
Photo by Josh Hodges, UFC

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