At this moment as a UFC fan I feel like Robert De Niro at the very end of Raging Bull. Locked in a prison cell, punching a wall saying “Why Why Why”. As exciting as this year has been for me as a UFC fan it does have the particular moments along the way that make me think to myself what is next? Since Holly Holm shook up the world last November, many fighters have followed her lead in title-winning efforts. Stipe Miocic, Michael Bisping, Miesha Tate, Amanda Nunes, and now Tyron Woodley. T-Wood did his part following Holly Holm’s lead on Saturday night knocking out ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler in the first round. Adding intrigue to a UFC Welterweight division–the one division where I thought we could possibly see a defending champion come out unscathed once the 2016 calendar year was over. Unfortunately it didn’t go that way and Tyron Woodley is the champion. Whether he earned the title shot in the first place now that is debate-able. So what is next for the winners and losers of the top three fights of the night at UFC 201. Let me tell you.


UFC 201
(USA TODAY Sports)

Tyron Woodley: The ‘Chosen One’ fulfilled his destiny at UFC 201 knocking out ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler in the first round and boy was it a devastating shot. Woodley moved in quickly with a faint which caused Lawler to hesitate and drop his hands. That allowed Woodley to land that perfect right hand that over the course of his career has found a home over the likes of Josh Koscheck and Dong Hyun Kim. The new Welterweight Champion reminds me of Rashad Evans and Anthony Johnson. Woodley has the wrestling skills that Evans carries but the sheer raw power that Rumble carries in both his left and right hand. For that reason alone Woodley is a tough matchup for any challenger— who he fights next is anyones guess. After the fight Woodley called out both Nick Diaz and Georges St.Pierre, two opponents that would guarantee him a big pay-day while leaving the clear number one contender Stephen Wonderboy Thompson in the dust. In 2016 the UFC has chosen “The Money Fight” vs ” The Contender Fight” on numerous occasions and I expect that trend to continue. While this isn’t a decision that I admire from the new champion, I sincerely hope he can last long enough to tell us that it was not a mistake calling out the greatest of all-time. Can we all just laugh that he called out Nick Diaz first?

Tyron Woodley takes on Georges St.Pierre at UFC 205

Karolina Kowalkiewicz: What a performance from one of the UFC’s most underrated fighters. Now 10-0 it is obvious Kowalkiewicz finds herself as the next woman up for the UFC Women’s Strawweight Title. That fight will be a stiff challenge as it would be for any fighter. But out of any fighter in the division I feel Karolina has a strong chance and here is why. While battling with Rose Numajunas , KK did a fantastic job of avoiding Rose’s clinch and forcing the fight at the feet which is her strong suit. While she lacks that next level ability in terms of power and speed compared to Joanna she offers one of the highest fight IQ’s in the division which is simply the reason why her MMA record has a big goose egg in the loss column. The trash talk has already begun between Joanna and Karolina and the fight simply makes sense.

Kowalkiewicz takes on Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the UFC Women’s Strawweight Title.

Jake Ellenburger: The story must start with what took place after Jake’s last fight a unanimous decision loss to Tarec Saffiedine. While on the surface that loss is just one loss, but in his last seven fights Ellenburger had lost five. The juggernaut found himself in the win column and what an impressive win it was. Getting past Matt Brown is no small task and Ellenburger flattened Brown within the first few seconds of the fight while hurting Brown over and over again. Ellenburger is back.

Ellenburger takes on Johny Hendricks



Robbie Lawler: I stated on my snapchat story that if Robbie Lawler lost I might break something. Fortunately nothing got broke just my MMA heart. Robbie it was a good run that I felt was easily one of the most entertaining championship runs in UFC history. While Lawler only defended the belt twice to Rory MacDonald and Carlos Condit the true story of Robbie Lawler’s career made his championship for me as a fan, a complete thrill ride that fully delivered. With this loss I honestly don’t know what is next for the now former champion— but what I do know is I will take a stab at it and I will be watching. Back in April of 2004 Robbie Lawler then an up-and-coming Welterweight fought another up-and-coming Welterweight by the name of Nick Diaz. The fight ended with Lawler’s face flattened to the canvas. From that moment to this very moment, there are few names bigger inside the Welterweight division than Lawler and Diaz. This fight would be huge on any level. Diaz is now back from suspension looking for a dance parter my question is Why not?

Robbie Lawler takes on Nick Diaz in an epic rematch.

Rose Namajunas: While it is easy to say the biggest loser of the night was Robbie Lawler, I would have to disagree. The biggest loser of the night was Rose Namajunas. Namajunas has been within striking distance of a UFC title more times than any other female fighter in the history of the sport. As a contestant on the Ultimate Fighter she lost to Carla Esparza for the vacant UFC Strawweight title. Esparza went on to face a girl named Joanna and the rest is history. With a win Rose was next in line and there is no question about it as she was coming off of two decisive victories over Paige Van Zant and Tecia Torres. With this loss it is back to the drawing board but a clear foe is in her path.

Rose Namajunas takes on Claudia Gadelha ThomasMMARecent Postsufc 201At this moment as a UFC fan I feel like Robert De Niro at the very end of Raging Bull. Locked in a prison cell, punching a wall saying 'Why Why Why'. As exciting as this year has been for me as a UFC fan it does have the...