This is the Thomas Transition. In this segment I channel my inner UFC matchmaker, picking what’s next for the Winners and Losers of the latest UFC event, while recapping the previous nights fights. This segment is simply for every Mixed Martial Arts fan. It’s time to delve into one of the most memorable events in UFC history. UFC 200!

UFC 200 is officially over. All of the MMA world can breathe a sigh of relief or wish we could relive it. I will have to choose both. But for a whirlwind of a week the UFC’s biggest and baddest card fit the billing. My favorite non-fight production moment of the night was watching the timeline and the evolution of the UFC. Where I was when Georges St-Pierre told Matt Hughes he was “not impressed” by his performance. The bad blood rivalry between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz, BJ Penn’s Lightweight championship reign– just reliving those moments was really nostalgic for me as a huge UFC fan and it really showed me that this sport has come such a long way. What was everyone’s thoughts on the yellow octagon? My first thought was what is wrong with my TV? Not again! But once I realized it was just the canvas, I immediately thought that is very unique. Also Reebok stated that fighters will continue to have more fight trunk color choices. Bring on the individuality. In this edition I will cover the winners so keep those eyes open for the next article featuring what’s next for the losers of UFC 200.

UFC 200
(USA TODAY Sports)

Amanda Nunes: After Tate vs Nunes had ended I had immediately thought well that’s all she wrote. The ‘she’ in the term represents Amanda Nunes the new UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion winning the fight in the first round over the favored now former champion, Miesha Tate. The fight ended 3:16 seconds into the first round, with Nunes landing crisp straight left and right hands. My biggest takeaway from Nunes is her raw natural power that she carries in both hands. She is a handful for anyone in the division. The MMA game is a true puzzle piece and that is more than evident with championship turnover of the 135 lb women’s division. From Rousey-Holm-Tate-to now Nunes who knows what else could happen? This is the most unpredictable division in the UFC, which makes it one of the most exciting divisions in the UFC. As for what is next for Amanda Nunes one can’t help but wonder where is Ronda? Will the former Bantamweight champion get an immediate title shot upon her return? Most likely— when that will be? Nobody knows. Rumblings throughout the media stated that Ronda would be back for UFC 205 until her latest knee surgery which could push her return till January. Nunes just finished this fight inside the first round so I expect a title defense soon. One fight for fans to keep their eye on is Holm vs Shevchenko. The winner of that fight could also be the next title contender.

Nunes takes on the winner of Holm vs Shevchenko

(USA TODAY Sports)
(USA TODAY Sports)

Brock Lesnar: WOW I am very happy to say Brock Lesnar proved me wrong. While most casual fans don’t find a strict ground and pound entertaining, I beg to differ. This is Mixed Martial Arts not boxing. Wrestling is a part of the sport and obviously this is Brock’s clear-cut and dry best attribute. Lesnar controlled Mark Hunt in rounds 1 and 3 primarily, and this was more than enough for him to get the decision nod on all three judges scorecards. Going into the fight, Mark Hunt was ranked #8 on the UFC ranking system. So with this win is Brock Lesnar a now top-10 UFC Heavyweight? The answer is yes. Five years removed from the sport, Brock really impressed me with his ability to control Mark Hunt and avoid the big shot. Entering this fight Hunt had a career 75% take-down defense rate. Brock was able to take Mark Hunt down five times inside of three rounds. Not only did Brock look sharp in his fight, he appears to be well aware of where he is at physically and mentally in his second act in the UFC. After the fight Joe Rogan asked Brock what is next and he simply said “one day at a time”. This shows that Brock is humble and well aware of the state of killers in the UFC’s heavyweight division. Will we see Brock Lesnar again in the UFC? I would say yes and it will not be an easy fight but has any fight in Lesnar’s career been an easy fight?

Lesnar battles Randy Orton at Summer Slam in August and takes on the winner of Barnett vs Arlovski at Madison Square Garden at UFC 205 in November. The second act continues once again on the grandest of stages.

(USA TODAY Sports)
(USA TODAY Sports)

Daniel Cormier: Can we all just pause for a moment and clap for Daniel Cormier. Okay now that is out-of-the-way let’s recap last night’s fight and discuss what is next for the 205lb Champion. Cormier had a last-minute opponent change from Jon Jones to Anderson Silva. As a matter of fact it was the latest fight replacement for a champion in UFC history. Simply put, Cormier had nothing to gain and a lot to lose and he fought as such. Although looking for the take-down and keeping Silva on the ground was the same game plan Cormier would have had for Jones— mission accomplished. Cormier did what he needed to do to win a fight, that was his main objective and it was accomplished. Anybody that says the fight was exciting I wouldn’t correct you but what I would do is ask you, ‘if you were a fighter and you knew you had a clear-cut strength in one discipline over your opponent wouldn’t you take advantage of that?’ You would be crazy not to. DC notches himself a win over one of the all-time greats. While Anderson Silva was not in the best of shape for this fight, he is still Anderson Silva and he poses a threat with his striking which DC neutralized with his wrestling. There should no longer be any debate as to who is “the real” UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. DC has conducted himself like a Champion inside and outside of the octagon. Handling the Jon Jones mess with true class. What really impresses me about Daniel Cormier is that in spite of everything that has happened over the last few days, he stayed mentally focused. That is the mark of a true champion.

Daniel Cormier defends his belt against the winner of Anthony Johnson vs Glover Texiera


Jose Aldo: That’s the real Jose Aldo. My biggest fear for Aldo was his mindset after the 13 second knockout loss to Conor McGregor which was his first loss in a decade. Aldo picked his punches and kicks extremely well, like the Aldo of old. What impressed me most about Aldo last night was his level changes and his ability to defend the take-down. Frankie was trying to land the take-down and Aldo would just not allow it. Now Aldo is the Interim Featherweight Champion. But is he? With Conor McGregor finding fights in other weight classes I have my doubts whether we will see McGregor cut the weight to get back to 145 lbs again. Which would mean that Jose Aldo is once again the UFC Featherweight Champion in my eyes. There are a lot of unanswered questions heading into the main event of UFC 202. If McGregor dispatches Diaz who knows what thoughts could cross Conor’s mind. At one point we lived in a reality where Conor McGregor thought he could beat Robbie Lawler. Let’s all just let that digest pause and then laugh. Basically the key to what is next for Jose Aldo is whether or not McGregor returns to the division and I have my doubts, but for the sake of argument if McGregor returns, the next fight for Aldo will be Conor McGregor and it will be one of, if not, the biggest rematch in UFC history.

Aldo faces Conor McGregor to unify the UFC Featherweight Championship at UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden in November


Cain Velasquez: This fight was as easy to call as any. In my mind I saw no real possibility for Travis Browne to win this fight. No disrespect, but come on. Cain is just Cain. It’s that simple. With the exception of a 64 second knockout loss to Junior Dos Santos and a high-altitude title loss to Fabricio Werdum, Cain’s resume is virtually unscathed. This performance was vintage Cain. He simply pushed the pace of the fight using his wrestling clinch game and his devastating striking. Just like that Cain is onto the next one.

Velasquez faces the winner of Miocic vs Overeem for the UFC Heavyweight Title

Julianna Pena: This was probably one of the more boring performances on the card. There is a difference between working for position/scoring and just trying to stay on top and Pena really did neither. I found myself very bored while watching this fight I don’t know if it was because I had a full plate of nachos in front of me or if it was because it was just that boring. No disrespect, Julianna Pena did what she needed to do to win the fight. Although it was close, the three judges leaned towards Pena for the win. With this win over a former title challenger in Cat Zingano, Pena has now put herself in the conversation of a top 3 female Bantamweight. What a scary thought for a woman who is only a couple of years removed from winning the Ultimate Fighter. In the hodge podge of the Women’s Bantamweight Division things can get a little messy. Where Pena belongs is within the top three being the fact that she just beat the #3 ranked fighter in Cat Zingano but it wasn’t a dominate win that would warrant a title shot. What is next is a step up in competition and a true test vs a fighter that will now have a big chip on her shoulder.

Pena faces Miesha Tate in a fight where both women have a huge chip on their shoulder this one would produce fireworks

Kevin Gastelum: A highly technical and solid performance was turned in by Kelvin Gastelum as he picked his shots and landed beautiful head-body combinations to the former champion Johnny Hendricks. As I stated in our UFC Staff Picks, Gastelum has put together a quiet but successful career in the UFC. Sure he has had his bumps in the road but what he has done is remain competitive in the UFC’s shark tank division. With some big fights ahead for the Welterweight division there are a couple fights that I like for Gastelum but I don’t believe he should be given just yet. While the win was impressive, you can’t shoot from 12-1, well unless you are Dan Henderson. But anyways I have a few ideas for what is next for Gastelum and they would all be vs a higher level of competition.

Gastelum faces the winner or loser of Condit vs Maia

T.J. Dillashaw: Killashaw or Thrillashaw he is TJ Dillashaw. Dillashaw avenged a split-decision loss from three years ago by beating Rafael Assuncao by unanimous decision. With this win TJ puts himself right back into title contention vs Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz, the man who took his belt back from him.

Dillashaw faces Dominick Cruz at UFC 205 . According to me UFC 205 will be the best card ever at this rate

Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) knees Enrique Marin (blue gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. (Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports)
Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) knees Enrique Marin (blue gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. (Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports)

Sage Northcutt: Super Sage Northcutt notched himself a hard-fought victory on a huge stage for any fighter let alone a 20-year-old. Haters gonna hate. Most fighters within the UFC root for this guy to lose just because of the media push he retrieves. While that might not be well-deserved he is an extremely talented young man who is a budding prospect in the UFC and in any case he is an exciting fighter to watch because you know you are watching someone grow fight by fight win, lose or draw. Sage will continue to be a draw and fight durable opponents straight out of the matchmaking hat of one, Joe Silva but who he fights next is really anybody’s guess but I am more than willing to take a stab at it.

Northcutt takes on #15 ranked Lightweight Francisco Trinaldo

Joe Lauzon: In a fight that was highly anticipated by hardcore MMA fans like myself, I expected it to be a long drawn out battle between two of the UFC’s longest tenured fighters– which both acclaimed fame from prestigious series, The Ultimate Fighter. I got the complete opposite. In a fight that was over in a matter of minutes, Joe Lauzon was the one getting his hand raised— ding ding I got it right but I thought if anything Lauzon would finish the fight on the ground but his boxing has always been extremely underrated. Lauzon notches yet another UFC win and continues to be one of the most exciting fighters out there.

Lauzon takes on Jim Miller in a rematch

Jim Miller: Speaking of Jim Miller the most underrated fighter in the UFC today, this guy just continues to show up adding another name to his long resume and another finish to his record. Miller like Lauzon, is a game fighter, always ready and always prepared for a fight. Watching Jim Miller fight is just fun you know something interesting is going to happen. I want more.

Miller takes on Lauzon in a UFC Fight Night Co-Main Event. In a rematch that won both fighter’s fight of the night honors back in 2012 at UFC 155


There you have it ladies and gentleman that was The Thomas Transition-UFC 200: The Winners. Keep your eyes open for what I believe will be next for the losers of UFC 200! ThomasAnalysisBoxingMMANews and UpdatesRecent PostsAmanda nunes,Brock Lesnar,Cain Velasquez,Daniel Cormier,Jim Miller,Joe Lauzon,Jose Aldo,Juliana Pena,Kelvin Gastelum,MMA,Sage Northcutt,TJ Dillashaw,UFC 200This is the Thomas Transition. In this segment I channel my inner UFC matchmaker, picking what's next for the Winners and Losers of the latest UFC event, while recapping the previous nights fights. This segment is simply for every Mixed Martial Arts fan. It's time to delve into one...