UFC on FX 5 concluded with a wealth of MMA highlights, from awesome KOs to slick submissions. Top to bottom the fights were entertaining,and provided a good window of opportunity for these fighters to get their names out. Per usual, it's time to call what is next for the fighters. Quite a few fighters will be returning to regional circuits given some poor UFC records, but this will enable a chance to one day return to the UFC with new skills and more experience.
Fighters To Keep: Antonio Silva, Travis Browne, Jake Ellenberger, Jay Hieron, John Dodson, Jussier Da Silva, Justin Edwards, Michael Johnson, Danny Castillo, Mike Pierce, Marcus LeVesseur, Jacob Volkmann, Diego Nunes, Darren Uyenoyama
Fighters To Drop: Josh Neer, Aaron Simpson, Carlo Prater, Shane Roller, Bart Palaszewski, Phil Harris
Antonio Silva: Silva returned to the win column, taking out the heavily hyped Browne in the process. Silva desperately needed the victory, and could have been possibly cut from the UFC had he loss, but he took advantage of the fight and capitalized with a stoppage win. This will definitely make him a contender for the UFC strap, and he'll need at least a couple more wins over top fighters to get the title shot.
Next Fight: Stefan Struve
Travis Browne: Unfortunately, it seemed Browne may have injured himself, as his knee looked pretty unstable midway through the Heavyweight tilt. Browne could not stop Silva, and was a target for the massive Brazilian's fists, and he succumbed to a TKO in the first. Regardless, he failed to strike out Silva, and will now look to getting back on track. I am sure the loss won't hurt Browne's stock terribly, as he lost to a man who has defeated Fedor Emelianenko, and it was Browne's first lost to boot. I say match him up with another fighter rebounding from his first loss, Stipe Miocic.
Next Fight: Stipe Miocic
Jake Ellenberger: Ellenberger is back to winning ways with a gutsy and smart three round decision win. The notoriously aggressive fighter remained a bit calm against Hieron, a man he had lost to in the past. It wasn't the vintage Ellenberger everyone expected, but still, he came out with the W, and will now seek higher competition. The original fight he was booked in, against Koscheck, should materialize in the coming months.
Next Fight: Josh Koscheck
Jay Hieron: Hieron's shockingly long absence from the octagon resulted in a troubling decision loss for the Welterweight. Hieron remains winless in the UFC, and will need, I mean need, to win his next UFC bout in order to stick on the roster. At 0-3, albeit against tough Welterweights like Ellenberger and Welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre, Hieron will need to use his crisp boxing and wrestling to win. A fight against Maguire, would give either man who wins a good standing in the loaded Welterweight division.
Next Fight: John Maguire
John Dodson: The likeable Dodson cruised to a second round TKO over a world ranked opponent in Da Silva. With his second straight win at Flyweight, Dodson becomes the first ever UFC Flyweight challenger. He'll face champ Johnson, it would is sounding like Fight of the Year material. Both men are among the fastest in MMA and I am truly hyped for this one!
Next Fight: Demetrious Johnson
Jussier Da Silva: Da Silva just couldn't handle the speed and power of Dodson, and relinquished a shot at the Flyweight belt, too. The formerly top three Flyweight now seeks redemption, and it would be great to see him face a man who is making a name for himself at Flyweight, Darren Uyenoyama.
Next Fight: Darren Uyenoyama
Justin Edwards: With probably the biggest upset of the night, Edwards put MMA veteran Josh Neer to sleep in less than a minute. In an incredibly impressive performance, Edwards will now look to climb the Welterweight ladder. Sadollah would be a great start.
Next Fight: Amir Sadollah
Michael Johnson: Showing a great chin and an ability to hang in adversity, Johnson got the comeback KO over Castillo. The win made it three straight in the UFC. Johnson continues to evolve, and definitely shows promise given his new training regiments. I think he is ready for perennial Lightweight contender Wiman.
Next Fight: Matt Wiman
Danny Castillo: Despite a great start and almost taking out his opponent in the first, Castillo was absolutely rocked in the second round of his bout with Johnson. The loss leaves Castillo at 4-2 in the UFC, which is still impressive. He will probably be on the shelf for quite some time following the brutal loss, but expect a return in early 2013.
Next Fight: Paul Sass
Mike Pierce: I know for my last piece I said Hathaway should face Ellenberger, but for some reason I forgot that Koscheck and Ellenberger was originally the plan for this fight card. I also thought Pierce should face Hardy, but with I think Hathaway makes more sense. In any case, Pierce should face Hathaway, as Pierce needs more wins, Hathaway is higher ranked than Hardy, and a fight with Hathaway may give Hathaway a chance to show why is really an exciting fighter.
Next Fight: John Hathaway
Marcus LeVesseur: LeVesseur shocked fans with a win over seasoned veteran Carlo Prater. With his first octagon win in the books, and his vast load of experience, a fight with Nunes would prove useful.
Next Fight: Diego Nunes
Jacob Volkmann: Volkmann retired Shane Roller with a quick first round submission win. It was the kind of showing Volkmann desperately needed, a finish! He had compiled wins, but all by decision, and was starting to become known for going the distance. With that in his rearview mirror, Volkmann looks to ascend the Lightweight ranks once again.
Next Fight: Winner of Cristiano Marcello vs. Reza Medadi
Diego Nunes: Nunes won a decision over a challenging opponent, and quickly returns to the higher tier of the Featherweight division. I am sure we will see him on the main card his next fight out.
Next Fight: Marcus LeVesseur
Darren Uyenoyama: Uyenoyama continued his rise in the Flyweight division with yet another victory. I think it's time he faces a stern test, and he'll need it, if he wants to be the next contender. With two straight in the UFC, including a win over "Kid" Yamamoto, this fighter is looking like a future champion!
Next Fight: Jussier Da Silva
Tomorrow I will have my picks for UFC 153 laid out! Stay tuned to first and ten!