In every contest there are winners, and there are losers. The winners go on to fame and fortune, and get to further emasculate and humiliate their conquests by having them serve as their house-boys for a month, performing all sorts of menial, discomforting tasks: laundry, dishes, foot-massages, you name it. Basically, the losers get shit on, and I think that’s unfair. So let’s give some due attention to these temporarily fallen heroes.
Junior dos Santos – JDS endured an incredible beating at the hands of Cain Velasquez. It’s hard to even describe what happened to JDS as a “weakness,” and the good thing for him is that Cain is probably the only heavyweight in the world with the ability to exploit it. And that means after his face heals up, JDS is gonna be looking to lay a serious hurting on whomever the UFC decides to pit him against next. My guess is JDS will face Alistair Overeem should he lose to Antonio Silva.
Joe Lauzon – The fact that Lauzon isn’t an elite lightweight has been known for some time, and shouldn’t diminish whatsoever his legitimacy and/or talents. Lauzon is the new Chris Lytle – a guy who realizes he will likely never be a UFC champion so just goes out there and fights like Maximus while fattening his retirement account with mad bonus checks. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Next up, some well deserved time off to let the hatchet wound over his eye heal up. Then, well shit it don’t even matter. Lauzon will make it a thrilling brawl against anyone.
Tim Boetsch – Sure, Tim broke his hand, took a head-butt and an eye-poke, and looked awful near the end as he got TKO’d by Consta Philipou. But did anyone really believe he was championship material? Tim was getting handled by Yushin Okami before landing that perfect KO shot, and was the beneficiary of a Hector Lombard who looked like he had cinder-clocks attached to his feet. Don’t get me wrong, even though Tim has gone as far as he’s going to go in the UFC, he’s a very tough middleweight who can at least compete with the best of them. And he looks like a guy who slugs Coors from a can and builds decks for a living. We need more guys like that in MMA. As for his next fight, a bout with Jake Shields (if he’s still a middleweight, who the hell knows!) could win the Shittiest Fight of the Decade award. That would be fun for the fans.
Alan Belcher – Okay, is it safe now to say that Belcher was riding some overrated hype based on his win over the even more overrated hype granted to Rousimar Palhares and his mythical leg locks? I think it is. When was the last time you saw a top fighter tapped via leg lock? It just doesn’t happen often. Belcher had nothing for the stifling grappling attack of Yushin Okami…like literally nothing. Being a talented striker means little if you cannot keep the fight vertical. It’s great to add a BJJ blackbelt to the repertoire and all, but at top level MMA, you simply must be able to wrestle. Well, unless you’re Anderson Silva. The good news is that Belcher is still only 28 years old, and is an athletically gifted fighter, which means he can plug this glaring hole in his game. First though, he needs some confidence after getting so thoroughly smothered. Hey, Leben just lost too, sounds like a decent match-up to me.
Chris Leben – Woe is Leben, woe is he. Leben has been battling the same demons he has since we were first introduced to this crazy bastard back in 2005 on TUF 1. Those battles have resulted in two drug suspensions and a 35 day stint in the hokey for DUI. His most recent suspension, for which he was making his return at UFC 155, was for OxyContin – which knocks your fuckin’ block off. Some guys drink. Some take roids. Some break out the hard drugs. Leben has a history of all three. Not good. I sincerely hope one day soon…like now, he can conquer those demons. As for fighting, Leben is much the same fighter he’s always been. He looks to land bombs. Sure, he’s developed a nice guard, but you don’t win decisions from the bottom. Leben has become a UFC staple though, and it’s hard to imagine a middleweight division without him. Until his next fight is announced, let’s just hope Chris can take it one day at a time.
(pic via Tracy Lee’s Combat Lifestyle)