UFC Fight for the Troops 2 is in the books and it’s time to take a look at what’s next for the main card winners from Saturday’s show in Fort Hood, Texas.
Obviously, Mark Hominick earned a one-way ticket to Toronto to face UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo following his destruction of George Roop, so we’ll take a look at the other four main card winners.
Melvin Guillard: Guillard impressively knocked out Evan Dunham in under three minutes Saturday, moving his win streak to four in a row. Guillard seems like a different fighter these days. It’s no coincidence these changes have come about since he started training with Greg Jackson’s camp in New Mexico. Guillard might be the most powerful striker in the UFC lightweight division, but his ground game remains a giant question mark. Of his eight career losses, seven have come by submission, including all four of his UFC losses. He needs to be tested in his next fight with a strong grappler. The lightweight division is quite clogged right now. You’d have to think Anthony Pettis would get a title shot if he beats Clay Guida. Then there’s Jim Miller and George Sotiropoulos, not to mention Guida should he beat Pettis. All these fighters are solidly “in the mix.” With the timing being what it is, I think Guillard should fight either Sotiropoulos or Miller next. Joe Silva has his work cut out for him with this division during the next 18 months.
Matt Mitrione: There is no doubt Mitrione is constantly improving. His age, though, is going to be the only thing holding him back as time wears on. He is not a spring chicken and is getting a baptism by fire in the UFC heavyweight division. His list of opponents thus far have not exactly been the “who’s who” of the heavyweight division. The UFC has an interesting dilemma on its hands in regards to Mitrione. He’s got a sort of wacky charisma that endears him to people and has some decent, but rudimentary, skills. Having won four in a row, does the UFC continue to treat Mitrione with kid gloves or do they feed him to a heavyweight? If the UFC wants to do something interesting, they’ll pair him up with the returning Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in Brazil in August. If not, if Christian Morecraft beats Sean McCorkle at UFC Fight Night 24 in March, that’d be good.
Pat Barry: Watching Barry against Joey Beltran was slightly infuriating. Outside of the devastating leg kicks, Barry really didn’t do a whole lot. He’s shown a complete lack of killer instinct in his last two fights despite having both his opponents on the ropes. It’s tough to peg an opponent for Barry at this point. He’d have a real tough time with any wrestler, so fighters like Jon Madsen or Mike Russow are probably out of the question. I’d be real interested in hearing who everyone here thinks Barry should fight. The only thing I can see is Mark Hunt if he beats Chris Tuchscherer at UFC 127 next month.
Matt Wiman: Wiman completely humbled and dominated Cole Miller on Saturday, earning his third straight win following a two-fight losing streak. There’s one fight out there that makes total sense for Wiman: a bout with Mac Danzig to rematch their controversial UFC 115 fight which was stopped prematurely when Wiman had Danzig in a guillotine choke in the first round. Referee Yves Lavigne stepped in, thinking Danzig was out but he was anything but. Danzig is coming off a big knockout win at UFC 124 against Joe Stevenson, so this is an extremely prudent fight right now.