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!

Preview: Blackhawks host Flames Monday on CSN

Preview: Blackhawks host Flames Monday on CSN

The Blackhawks (3-3, 6 points) take on the Calgary Flames (1-4-1, 3 points) on Monday, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins with Blackhawks Pregame Live at 7 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final horn to get analysis and player reaction on Blackhawks Postgame Live.

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Kerry Wood on Cubs World Series berth: 'More emotional than I thought it was gonna be'

Kerry Wood on Cubs World Series berth: 'More emotional than I thought it was gonna be'

Kerry Wood couldn't resist a 5 Outs joke. 

The iconic Cubs pitcher was a huge part of that 2003 team that famously came just five outs from the World Series before a Game 6 meltdown in the National League Championship Series.

As if to toy with history and laugh in its face, Joe Maddon made the five outs drama last even longer Saturday night.

Kyle Hendricks gave up a one-out single in the eighth inning with the Cubs up five and Maddon came out to make a pitching change. 

Of course, it all turned out just fine. The Cubs went on to win and silence any talk of curses or jinxes and made Steve Bartman and that 2003 just another chapter in history.

"I was good once we got past five outs away," Wood joked with reporters outside the champagne-soaked Cubs clubhouse about 90 minutes after the Cubs clinched a trip to the World Series for the first time in 71 years.

"These guys got to experience what we didn't get to experience. We got to play in this game, we just didn't get to celebrate after. Obviously extremely happy for the city. These guys have cemented themselves in history and they're gonna be linked forever.

"It's just great. We got four more to go and it's the right group to go with."

Wood said he "felt" it coming to the game, predicting with his buddies that the Cubs would jump on Clayton Kershaw and score on him early in the game.

The Cubs scored twice in the first, once in the second and then added on with solo tallies in the fourth and fifth innings off Kershaw.

"They don't listen to the history," Wood said. "It doesn't bother them. These guys come out and seem unaffected by the history. So, obviously, we're in a good place we haven't been in a long time. It's a great night.

"It's mind-blowing. Being out there with the crowd, it's such a cool experience."

[SHOP: Buy a "Try Not to Suck" shirt with proceeds benefiting Joe Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation & other Cubs Charities]

Wood pitched 12 seasons for the Cubs, but if you include the year he missed for injury (1999) and the time he's worked for the organization since retirement in 2012, he's spent nearly two decades on the North Side of Chicago.

So when he saw the Cubs record their final out and put history in the rearview mirror, Wood was overcome with emotion.

"Surprisingly a bit more than I was expecting," he said. "Just watching the guys do their thing on the field and celebrate. [MLB chief baseball officer] Joe Torre's talking and tryin to do his thing and the guys just split up and spread out and went and saw the fans - which is exactly what they should've done.

"It's a little more emotional than I thought it was gonna be."

Wood said he really started believing it was all possible when Addison Russell and Anthony Rizzo woke up with the bats in Game 4 in Los Angeles and the Cubs looked like they got their mojo back.

He also marveled at the team's youth and how poised they were throughout the entire season, especially in the face of adversity.

"I don't think [the weight of history affected them]," Wood said. "That's the key. And not saying it affected us. I don't think it affected us either. We'd go out there and play the game.

"S--t, half these guys weren't born when this stuff was going on. It's great. They got a young group and I think Joe leads them in the right direction and doesn't let them get caught up in the off-the-field stuff. It's just a great combination top to bottom."

Wood threw out the first pitch before the historic Game 6 Saturday night, wearing a Ron Santo jersey.

Three hours later, he was still wearing the jersey, even celebrating with fans:

And he plans right on wearing the No. 10 jersey for at least another week.

"Ronnie didn't get to see this," Wood said of Santo, who died in 2010. "He didn't get to witness this night. Definitely going to wear it all the way through. Hopefully that will let him experience it a little bit with me. 

"I expect big things and I'll see you guys in Cleveland."