Last night at UFC Fight Night 61, fans witnessed a night full of upsets with only one fighter who was favored to win walking away from the cage with a victory on their record. Both headlining fights saw upsets as Michael Johnson seemingly easily solved the puzzle that has been Edson Barboza and Frank Mir showed the world that he's not ready to hang up his gloves quite yet with a stunning first round knockout of Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva. Let's take a look at who would be some intriguing matchups for these four fighters.
Edson Barboza vs Michael Johnson
It seemed almost too easy at times for Michael Johnson to land strikes on explosive striker Edson Barboza. Johnson pushed forward for the full fifteen minutes of the fight giving Barboza almost no room to operate and throw those devastating kicks he is known so well for. There were times that Barboza landed good strikes and seemed to hurt Johnson, but Johnson's insatiable will to push forward the whole fight gave Barboza very little chance to push forward himself and capitalize.
Barboza was ranked as the Number six lightweight in the world, while he is sure to drop a couple spots he is still one of the most dangerous men in the division and could make a good opponent for someone like Myles Jury or Rustem Khabilov. Myles Jury coming off of a loss against Cowboy Cerrone where he seemed to be just outclassed, the young up and coming fighter has showed tons of potential. This fight could be an entertaining one as both men love to stand and trade. The Khabilov fight in an interesting one. No one expected Khabilov to be outwrestled by Adriano Martins. With both men coming off losses, they will both want a good performance to shoot them back into possible title contention sometime in the future. Barboza may be cautious to take this fight, however because of Khabilov's wrestling pedigree.
Michael Johnson called out Benson Henderson after the fight. While a win over Ben Henderson would definitely make a case for giving Johnson a title shot, I believe he may be looking too far ahead. I'm not saying he couldn't beat Benson I'm just saying it is a tough fight for anybody. I would like to see Johnson take on someone like #7 Ranked Josh Thomson instead. An all around fighter with a great resume; a win over Thomson could go a long way in pursuing a title shot. It would at the very least keep johnson active until another big name fighter is freed up.
Frank Mir vs Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva
There really isn't much to be said about this fight, seeing as how it didn't last very long. Mir came out looking sharp and fresh while Bigfoot came out looking sluggish and sloppy. It wasn't long before mir landed a picture-perfect left hook and put "Bigfoot" out for the night. That makes two straight fights where Silva has been knocked out in the first round by 15-year veterans of the octagon. It may be time to hang up the gloves for Antonio silva, but while no such announcement has been made, we have to assume he will fight again. Possibly the winner of the Cro-cop vs Gonzaga rematch or Seven foot tall Stefan Struve. Both these fights would be beneficial to the winner.
Frank Mir recently said that he would "absolutely" like to fight Brock Lesnar one more time, however; Brock's future with the WWE is uncertain. With that being said, a fight with Veteran Ben Rothwell or the always dangerous Matt Mitrione would make perfect sense. A win over either of those opponents would go a long way towards one more title run for the legendary Frank Mir.