This past weekend, UFC rolled out with UFC 191 live from Las Vegas, Nevada. The card was headlined by Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson for the UFC Flyweight title. The co – main event saw Andrei Arlovski taking on Frank Mir. While both the bouts looked impressive, it was a fight on the prelims card which arguably stole the show.
A lot of people consider “Mighty Mouse” as arguably the best pound for pound fighter on the planet at the moment, and Johnson did those opinions no wrong, as he outfought John Dodson in the five round main event.
Although few people consider Johnson to be a “boring” fighter, he once again proved that he is untouchable in the flyweight division, and has cleaned out the entire division with his dominant win over Dodson. After their first fight, everyone thought Dodson, with his serious pace and incredible punch speed, would be the one to finally dethrone Johnson, but that wasn’t to be.
Meanwhile, Andrei Arlovski and Frank Mir were engaged in a rather lackluster fight, especially after the show Travis Browne and Arlovski put on in their previous encounter. After a sluggish 3 round marathon, where both the fighters showed that the fight was indeed a decade too late, Arlovski picked up the victory via unanimous decision.
Anthony Johnson might not have had a smooth sailing in the past few weeks, but his fight with Jimi Manuwa ended exactly how people expected it to end. Johnson expressed confidence going into the fight, telling us in an exclusive interview that he wouldn’t mind going to the ground with Manuwa, but it was his stand up game that proved to be decisive in the end. Johnson knocked Manuwa out in the first 30 seconds of the second round, essentially leaving a calling card for the winner of Gustafsson and Cormier at UFC 192.
UFC’s hottest new star, Paige VanZant continued her impressive run, as she ran through Alex Chambers. As PVZ told us during our exclusive chat, she kept pushing Chambers with her pace, unsettling her before trapping her in the armbar submission hold.
But it was the fight between John Lineker and Francisco Rivera that stole the show on the prelims card. Lineker once again proved why he is a force to be reckoned with, as he bulldozed his way through Rivera, eventually ending the fight in the very first round via guillotine choke. What does the future hold for all these fighters? Let’s take a look.
Demetrious Johnson: Pound for pound king
So what is left for Mighty Mouse to accomplish in the flyweight division? Unless there is a new addition to the weight class, DJ would likely face the winner of Jussier Formiga vs. Henry Cejudo. Cejudo would likely be shielded for the time being, but the prospect of DJ facing an Olympic gold medalist is definitely enticing.
But one already feels that the next logical step for DJ would be to move up to a higher weight class, where he can challenge for the bantamweight title. With Cruz still out with an injury and TJ Dillashaw dominating the division, it would be a fresh challenge for DJ, and would provide him with the opportunity to cement his claim as the p4p king by beating TJ and winning the UFC Bantamweight title. However, that would be highly unlikely, as the UFC is banking on Cruz – Dillashaw showdown in the near future.
Does “The Pitbull” deserve a shot at the UFC Heavyweight title?
Arlovski headed to UFC 191 with a head full of steam, and with Mir also rejuvenating his UFC career, it was essentially two war horses trying to once again make the uphill climb. The fans expected some hard hitting action, but unfortunately, that wasn’t to be. Some felt that Arlovski did enough to edge past Mir, while a few others (including Dana White) thought Mir had done enough to get the nod from the judges. In the end, both fighters did little justice to the hype surrounding their fight.
So what’s next for Arlovski? Dana will not grant Andrei the title fight after a lackluster performance, while Cain Velasquez has already been announced as the next challenger for Werdum. With Werdum set to be sidelined till next March, it would leave Arlovski in an all too familiar situation – he can either sit out, or take a fight and remain active.
Arlovski will likely face the winner of the heavyweight clash between Rothwell and Miocic, which will take place during UFC Fight Night 76. If Andrei manages to pick up one more victory, he will undoubtedly be in contention for a shot at the winner of Cain – Werdum next year.
Rumble, young man, rumble
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson might not be the most liked fighter in the UFC today, but he took all the aggression and negativity inside the Octagon and came out with yet another impressive performance. Manuwa wasn’t a challenger to be taken lightly, and “Rumble” made sure that he came out victorious, knocking Jimi out in the second round.
It is unlikely for Johnson to face the winner of Cormier – Gustafsson, but one feels that Johnson is just another victory away from fighting for the title yet again. With Glover Teixeira picking up an impressive victory over Saint Preux, Johnson will likely face the winner of Teixeira and Patrick Cummins early next year, with the winner fighting either Cormier or Gustafsson.
Is Paige VanZant ready for a big name?
PVZ has been making headlines, and for all the right reasons. The strawweight has been one of the fastest rising stars in UFC today, and with her dominant victory over Alex Chambers, Paige has yet again silenced her critics. Facing a much older, seasoned opponent, Paige made sure that Alex didn’t get into her rhythm, as she kept pushing Alex throughout the fight.
In our recent interview, Paige said she will be delighted to fight the champ, Joanna one day, but it is clear that Paige isn’t ready yet for the big fight, with the champ being in an entirely different league of her own. Paige, who is at number 7 in the official UFC rankings, will likely face 6th ranked Randa Markos, as she begins her long journey to the top.