By Benjamin Bieker
Prior to the event we reviewed the top story lines heading into this past Saturday’s UFC on FX 7, and while it is not always the case we got some definite answers to the questions posed.
The top three debatable topics heading into the UFC on FOX7 were whether or not Michael Bisping was championship material, the forgotten heavyweight matchup of Gabriel Gonzaga and Ben Rothwell, and if prospects on the undercard could reassert themselves within their perspective divisions. Now, lets take a look and see how those questions were answered.
Who will make it off the Undercard?
Francisco Trinaldo, Ildemar Alcantara, Yuri Alcantara, Edson Baborza, Nik Lentz, and Ronny Markes all showed a lot of potential on this event’s undercard. Edson Barboza, Nik Lentz, and Ronny Markes in particular looked to have shown the type of dominance needed to be a contender. There was a lot of questions about whether or not Barboza was the real deal since in his last fight Jaime Varner defeated him. Well, his first round thrashing of Lucas Martins spoke for itself. Now 5-1 in the lightweight division with finishes in three of his five wins he will look for a bigger challenge in his next fight. Does Strikeforce import Josh Thompson sound good to anyone?
For Markes, he has earned three straight wins in the Octagon over mostly mid-level talent. Now, he will surely get a jump up in competition, but the question is how high can he go? Since his only loss came by submission it would be nice to see his ground game tested. Maybe a match up between the winner of Nick Ring versus Chris Camozzi would be a good idea.
Lentz absolutely dominated former top ten featherweight Diego Nunes through their fight. For a fact that demonstrates his dominance just look at the over 200 punches he landed. Hard to say what should be next for Lentz, but he needs someone who can counteract his grappling heavy style. While it may be a really big leap, a match up with Chan Sung Jung would be intriguing and the Korean Zombie has been out far too long.
Gonzaga submits Rothwell, but what does it mean?
Gonzaga was the first man to submit Ben Rothwell since 2005, and while it was not the biggest win in the world it shows what grappling can do when used right in the Octagon. At one time, Gonzaga was 8-1, a 27 year old Brazilian phenom, and challenging for the UFC heavyweight title. Now six years later, he has went a paltry 6-5 where he was knocked out in four of those five losses. He will have to do a lot to prove he is once again a contender, but a focus on his BJJ roots shows he still has potential. The question still remains whether or not if he can take a big punch, and while it seems crazy is that he has never fought UFC veteran Cheick Kongo so maybe that is the next match to make.
Did Michael Bisping prove himself as championship material?
That was the biggest question heading into this event, and the short answer is no. Every time he has been close to a title shot he seems to lose whether it was to Belfort, Henderson, or Sonnen. Plus, with him showing the ability to be knocked out it does not look well for a match between him and longtime middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Where Bisping goes from here is hard to say. It looks like for now he will act as a gatekeeper, and the matchup between Bisping and Tim Boetsch may happen now since both are coming off devastating losses.
What are your thoughts?