UFC 123: What's Next?


UFC 123: What's Next?

Monday, November 22, 2010, 2:12 pm

By Greg Schultheis

UFC 123 in Detroit was an exciting card from top to bottom. Rampage actually stuck to a game plan. BJ Penn walked to the cage crazy eyed and mumbling to himself you could just sense something big was going to happen. George Sortiropolous is on his way to the top of the Lightweight Division and both Phil Davis and Edson Barboza are on track to becoming stars in the sport. CSN breaks down what we can expect for some of the winners and losers from UFC 123.

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida

What Happened: Quinton Jackson paid homage to his days in Japan by walking out to the Pride theme song. It showed that he was taking this fight and his career very seriously, which had been in question by many fight fans. During the bout, Jackson controlled the center of the octagon, pushing the pace which forced Machida on the run for most of the match. Being aggressive was the factor that won over the judges for a split decision win (28-29, 29-28, 29-28). Unfortunately, for The Dragon he waited until the 3rd round to attack and it may have been what cost him the victory.

Whats Next For Rampage: This was an impressive win over a very tough opponent. After the fight Rampage said he wanted to give Machida a re-match but later in the post-presser when asked about a rematch Dana White confirmed: "No. There won't be a rematch. As far as I am concerned and as far as the judges are concerned, Rampage won that fight."

Most likely Rampage will be getting a shot at the UFC gold. MMA fans have been clamoring to see Rampage vs. Shogun 2 or if Rashad Evans defeats Shogun in their title fight, Rampage may get his chance to shut Evans mouth for good. Dana White knows Jackson fighting for a title against either of these guys is a PPV smash hit.

Whats Next For Machida: Machida has dropped two straight losses so his stock has also slightly fallen. On a high note, he looked very good in this loss against Rampage, using good footwork. He minimized damage and dominated the 3rd round, even rocking Jackson. Look for Machida to take on either the loser of Bader vs. Jones or possibly the loser of Evans vs. Shogun.

BJ Penn vs. Matt Hughes

What Happened: KO of the Night, thats what happened! It didnt take long for BJ Penn to finish Hughes in the 1st Round. Penn dropped Hughes to the canvas with a solid right, and then knocked him out in just 21 seconds with a nasty flurry of shots to the dome.

Whats Next For Penn: Dana White confirmed he will be facing top contender Jon Fitch at UFC 127. It seems the Welterweight Division is a good home for the Prodigy.
Whats Next For Hughes: Up until getting stopped by Penn, Hughes had been on a roll with three straight wins against high-level opponents. Look to see him in the octagon sooner than later and racking up wins again. Some exciting match-ups could be against Martin Kampman or Diego Sanchez.

George Sotiropoulos vs. Joe Lauzon

What Happened: Sotiropoulos vs. Lauzon took Fight of the Night honors with Sotiropoulos submitting Lauzon via Kimura at 2:43 of Round 2.

Whats Next For Sotiropoulos: In this fight Sotiropoulos showed he has the tools that he is a true contender in the Lightweight Division. He kept his composure and had the ability to put a stamp on his opponent when the opportunity arose. He is now 7- 0 in the UFC and that cannot go unnoticed, he is on the brink of a title shot. His next opponent will be Dennis Siver at UFC 127 in Sydney, Australia.

Whats Next For Lauzon: After being finished, Lauzon really drops in the mix of the lightweight division. Maybe a fight with Tyson Griffin would work with the loser most likely getting cut from the UFC.

Phil Davis and Edson Barboza showed signs of brilliance in there fights, both finishing emphatically. Keep these guys on your radar!

Fast Break Morning Update: Cubs visit White House; Blackhawks, Bulls in action tonight

Fast Break Morning Update: Cubs visit White House; Blackhawks, Bulls in action tonight

Here are some of the top Chicago sports stories from Monday:

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Avalanche tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Bulls host Mavericks in search of third straight win

Cubs meet President Obama in unforgettable, symbolic White House visit: ‘They said this day would never come’

Blackhawks' rough weekend 'a little bit of a wake-up call'

The state of the Bulls after the first half of the season

Reports: Dolphins assistant Jeremiah Washburn to be Bears' new O-line coach

Does Cubs president Theo Epstein have a future in politics?

President Obama, with Cubs at White House: 'Among Sox fans, I'm the Cubs' No. 1 fan'

At Cubs' White House visit, President Obama touts Michelle Obama's Cubs fandom, shouts out Jose Cardenal

Fire trade for midfielder Dax McCarty

The state of the Bulls after the first half of the season

The state of the Bulls after the first half of the season

Who are the Bulls? The team that beat Cleveland and Toronto or lost to Dallas, Minnesota and Milwaukee?

That's the question Bulls fans are currently asking and the one Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill posed in the video above.

The Bulls have had impressive wins and shocking losses, but neither of those should be surprising at this point. The Bulls are, as Goodwill put it, consistently inconsistent.

The first half of the season has proven that Dwyane Wade still has some memorable moments left to give and Jimmy Butler continues to approach superstardom. On the downside, the drama surrounding Rajon Rondo has meant the 'three alphas' that were hyped up in the preseason haven't been the dynamic trio some Bulls fans had hoped.

Coach Fred Hoiberg doesn't have the shooters his system needs, but can he still rally the troops and get something out of Rondo?

Watch the video to see Goodwill's look back on the Bulls' first half and what could be ahead.