The Forward Roll: UFC on FX 7 edition

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Before we begin this thing, let's give a collective shake of the head to the situation that robbed the Alcantaras from becoming only the second set of brothers ever to win UFC matches on the same night. Ildemar Alcantara took care of business first, defeating Wagner Prado with a second-round submission. Yuri Alcantara apparently wanted to get to get to the post-fight party post-haste, because he barely took over two minutes to scorch Pedro Nobre. Or so it seemed. Ref Dan Miragliotta, who had warned Yuri about hitting the back of Nobre's head as he rained down punches from back mount, stopped the action with a quick declaration that Yuri had struck another illegal blow.

Mixed martial arts moves fast, so it's hard to blame a referee for making the occasional mistake. Let's be honest, while watching fights, we've all thought that we've seen things we didn't actually see. But upon replay, the truth usually comes out, and this time, it certainly appeared that the Alcantara strikes were legal. And under the rules of some commissions, Miragliotta, after establishing that Nobre could not continue, could have checked out the video to determine whether the injury was caused by a legal blow or a foul.

One problem: the newly formed commission regulating UFC on FX 7 did not have instant replay available. That means no review, and no win.

I guess we should give the commission some slack here; it was the very first show they were overseeing. Still, it hardly seems fair to the fighter. To soften the blow, the UFC paid him his win bonus, but officially, on the record books, it's a no contest. So for now, Dan and Jim Miller remain the only brothers to win on the same night, doing it at UFC 124.

On to the predictions ...

Vitor Belfort

Let's get this straight: Belfort KO'd Bisping, marking his third straight win as a middleweight, and despite the divisional champion sitting in the front row of the arena, he looked right past a potential rematch to ask for another fight with Jon Jones? OK, that was confusing, although I suspect that Belfort's eventual aim is a match with Chael Sonnen, who he spent more time on in his callout than Jones. I'd look for Belfort-Sonnen somewhere down the line.
Prediction: I'd love to see a Belfort-Hector Lombard fight or a Belfort-Chris Weidman fight, but the timing doesn't work for the former, and Weidman's injury makes it hard to book the latter, so instead, he faces Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold.

Michael Bisping
You have to wonder if Bisping just let his last best chance of fighting for a title slip away. He turns 34 next month, and he's creeping up on a decade in the sport. Few fighters have extended success after that age, particularly ones that rely on youthful attributes like conditioning and speed.
Prediction: After ripping "fat" Mark Munoz last year, that seems like a worthy matchup for two fighters coming off losses

C.B. Dollaway

Was anyone else surprised when they mentioned last Saturday night that Dollaway's fight against Daniel Sarafian was the 11th of his UFC career? Where did that time go? Dollaway's biggest issue has always been his inconsistency. While he's 7-4 in the octagon, he suffered upset losses in fights he was supposed to win that continue to influence the perception of him. He's now won two straight, and at 29, and with a more complete arsenal, it's possible this is his best chance to make a run.
Prediction: He fights the winner of UFC 158's Chris Camozzi vs. Nick Ring fight

Gabriel Gonzaga
After Gonzaga's brief retirement in 2012, he's come back redesigned as a jiu-jitsu first fighter, with three straight submission wins. That's actually a smart path to take until you start to reach the higher tier of fighter with stronger takedown defense that might prove to be Gonzaga's kryptonite.
Prediction: He fights the winner of UFC on FOX 6's Mike Russow vs. Shawn Jordan match.

Khabib Nurmagomedov
Now 19-0, the 24-year-old Nurmagomedov is starting to make some waves as a legitimate lightweight prospect after knocking out Thiago Tavares for his third straight UFC win. It will be interesting to see how the UFC handles him. Will he get a bigger name or another fighter still on his way up? Either is possible.
Prediction: He faces Jamie Varner

Ronny Markes
I don't know if it's possible to characterize Markes' win over Andrew Craig as anything other than "lackluster." Markes spent a lot of the first two rounds smothering him against the fence, and then survived a close barrage to escape with the win. So while Markes is 3-0 in the UFC, he's still far from a finished product.
Prediction: You want to grapple? Enjoy your fight with Tim Kennedy.

Nik Lentz
Lentz is a dude with a bad rap. Decried as boring by critics, Lentz is actually quite active in looking for finishes most of the time. In a mild upset over Diego Nunes, Lentz landed 205 strikes, scored 10 takedowns and passed guard eight times. This wasn't a guy just looking to stall his way to a win; he was just fighting a good opponent. Now 2-0 at featherweight, Lentz shows the ability to wedge his way into the divisional title picture.
Prediction: He fights Hacran Dias

Edson Barboza
Barboza is always a delight to watch, with his wide variety of strikes and graceful fluidity. As it turns out, he had UFC rookie Lucas Martins badly outmatched in a first-round finish.
Prediction: He fights Abel Trujillo

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