- Ryan Hockensmith
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Here we go now:
Wow, what a win for Georges St.-Pierre.
It's rare we've ever gotten to see two top five pound-for-pound guys go at it, and it's hard to believe we'll ever see one P4P star dominate another elite-level fighter like GSP dominated BJ Penn. The biggest edge, clearly, had to be GSP's size and strength. This makes his likely matchup with Thiago Alves so appealing. Alves is one of the biggest, strongest 170-pounders on the planet, and in his last three fights, he's beaten Josh Koscheck, Matt Hughes and Karo Parisyan. It'll be interesting to see how much that neutralizes the advantages GSP enjoyed over Penn.
Let's hope we see a lot more from Jon Jones. He's one of the most creative and explosive fighters at the division. One thing to watch, though—other fighters say guys like Jones have to be careful not to get too fancy in there. In MMA, it only takes one botched crazy move to end a fight badly for somebody.
LESNAR'S TAKE ON THE MIR FIGHT
We all saw Brock Lesnar at cage-side for the Frank Mir/Minotauro Nogueira fight. But as most of us marveled at Mir's improved striking ability, Lesnar wasn't impressed.
"I thought it was more about Nogueira looking like crap than Frank looking great," Lesnar says. Not sure I agree with that assessment. No doubt, Mir's standup looked amazing. But I also see Lesnar's point—Nogueira didn't look like the same world-class fighter. And truth be told, Lesnar did dominate Mir with his standup in their first fight. That makes for a fascinating matchup in May.
HEATH HERRING'S FUTURE:
What will the UFC do next with Heath Herring? He's an interesting matchup dilemma—and even he knows it.
"I don't know who I'd put myself in with next," he says, laughing.
The most logical opponent for him, under most circumstances, would be Nogueira. That fight isn't incomprehensible, considering Herring basically had Nogueira knocked out in their last fight. Only problem with that: Nogueira has beaten Herring three times. A fourth fight would be a tough sell. And besides that, one Xtreme Couture source says Randy Couture is expecting to fight Nogueira next. The name being whispered the most behind the scenes is Cheick Kongo. Herring beat Kongo by a controversial split decision in March 2008. It's possible the UFC books a rematch for April or June.
JAKE ROSHOLT IS ONE TO WATCH
This Saturday's UFC Fight Night will feature Joe Lauzon against Jeremy Stephens in the main event. But there are two undercard fighters to watch in the coming year. At 185, Jake Rosholt is getting tons of buzz, and rightly so—the dude is a hammer. And keep an eye on heavyweight Cain Velasquez. He's a rising star, too, with good wrestling credentials and a true heavyweight body. Sound like a certain UFC heavyweight belt-holder? Velasquez could be a really tough matchup for Brock Lesnar somewhere down the line. And the way things are going, Velasquez might not be too far out of the title picture.
What's next for St. Pierre, Lesnar and Herring, among others?