In every contest there are winners and there are losers. The winners go on to fame and fortune, and get to bang the wives of their defeated foes. The losers get shit on, and I think that’s unfair. So let us take a few moments to honor these temporarily fallen heroes, and see where they go from here.
Nate Diaz: Nate took a brutal shot early on that damaged his vision and kept him from really getting anything going. That being said, he was going to lose regardless. Ben Henderson was just too physical, too technical, and too smart – well aside from fighting with a stick in his mouth ‘n all. But Nate has nothing to be ashamed of. He fought valiantly, and even though he was handily beaten, he fought to the bitter end. Losing like he did, the UFC is not going to be rushing him back into the title hunt any time soon, but luckily for Diaz lightweight is stacked, and fights with Evan Dunham, Joe Lauzon, or Terry Etim would be exciting.
Shogun Rua: As much as it pains me to say this, Shogun’s days as a title contender are probably over. I got a text during the fight that read, “Shogun’s done.” I certainly will not go that far, and I berated the offender accordingly, but years of protracted wars, as well as multiple knee surgeries have made Shogun battle worn. True, the dude is only 31 years old, but that’s just a number. In fight years, he’s like 87. I wouldn’t worry about ole Shogun though. He has a smokin’ hot wife, and even in defeat he pulls in 170 large, which is like $9 million in Brazil, or something like that. A fight with Thiago Silva could be a fun tussle.
BJ Penn: First and foremost, some serious soul searching, and if BJ decides to keep on fighting, an acknowledgment that he’s in the wrong division, and regardless of what his wife might tell him, size matters. After that, perhaps a change of scenery (at least for training camps), from the sun and waves of Hilo to the harsh cold of Montreal. Look, I know that shit sounds crazy. BJ is an islander, plain and simple. But he spoke before the fight of wanting some revenge on Tristar gym, and seeing as he’s now 0-3 against them, maybe it’s time to swallow that pride and admit that he don’t know every fuckin’ thing and can benefit from a serious camp far away from the nuthuggers he has around him in Hawaii. Hey, BJ and Matt Hughes are good buds now when they used be mortal enemies. Shit happens. After that, how about a fight with Melvin Guillard, or an old-school bout with Yves Edwards?
Mike Swick: Anyone can get knocked the fuck out in MMA, well almost anyone. But Swick proved both sides of that theory since returning back in August from a 2 ½ year multiple injury hiatus. In the first fight, against DeMarques Johnson, Swick was getting handled on the ground before landing a sweet KO shot in the second. In his fight with Matt Brown, Swick was getting handled on the ground until receiving a sweet KO shot in the second. I’m not going to sit here and say Mike Swick is done or anything crazy like that. What I am going to say is that in those 30 months off, the game seems to have passed him by, and Swick was not a fighter who could afford to lose prime athletic years. Forget the KOs, as aforementioned, anyone can catch that perfect shot. Look at what happened before those shots. Swick got handled by a gatekeeper and a guy who would kill for that distinction. It’s a dreaded term for once-promising fighters, but Swick is now the gatekeeper.
(pic via Esther Lin’s UFC on FOX 5 Gallery)