With UFN INDY in the books more smoke clears in the tense collisions that is the Welterweight division. It went down as a momentum shift and standing dismantling by Carlos Condit with Martin Kampmann on the unfortunate end. There's actually a picture I quite like of Kampmann with desperation and blood leaking from his face while Condit throws coldly, earning his moniker.
One feels for Kampmann while watching him do all he can until a series of knees sits him down against the fence. Yet one knows he would do the same thing to Condit, if he could. His legs gave out and he's had enough while Condit wordlessly becomes a foil to Kampmann. He paces around the cage his demeanor and posture seem unchanged since entering the second round. As if he was just getting started, and there was no need to rush.
With this as with many a pivotal, division stirring fight, there were many questions, and points to be connected, stocks to be raised, and boards to be drawn on.
The obvious question is where does Condit go next. And lesser attended issue, is where does Kampmann fall. Does he contend with the likes of Bobby Voelker/Mike Pyle? Time will tell. Yet the sensible makeshift solution is to look at the win and loss column of the Welterweight top tier to start playing matchmaker.
My matchmaking, for the specified reasons go as followed:
#1 Carlos Condit vs. Winner of Rory Macdonald/Robbie Lawlor
-Condit has shown that his #2 ranking is not going anywhere. Not many fighters can raise their stock with two consecutive losses, not even the great Chael P. Sonnen. Needless to say being fearless against the best strikers the division has to offer consistently and toppling the resilient Kampmann cements it.
-Can either of the two surging standouts provide an answer for the dynamic striking, improving takedown defense and power resistant chin of Condit. It will be an MMA technician's delight to find out.
The blazing trail Matt Brown leaves behind him like a cool guy in a movie(See: Michael Bay) has many buzzing about his position(six wins in a row). And conveniently Tarec Saffiedine is playing the game of thrones posturing and awaiting the right opponent. What better way to make a statement then to unseat the dark horse of the division. Also Matt matches the specifications Tarec recently made by saying "don't give me a wrestler".
And for my loss column matches:
While I wouldn't mind seeing Lawlor have a go at Diaz one more time, or Diaz and Rory meeting, the fireworks pending, involving Diaz and any of these fighters is like a pressure cooker.
While Ellenberger could have a shot at the loser of the match-up of Rory/Robbie, if Rory loses it would be a hard sell to make. Of course they will respectively say "it's my second chance, no funny business this time" and "I'm going to beat him again". One would fear Rory won't be able to handle the challenge of jabbing away the casual fans' boredom-induced tears. And the hardcore fans' innate desire for primal violence was left hungry after their first match.
It would be virtually impossible to throw barn arsonists such as Ellenberger and Lawlor in a cage together without some heat being thrown as well. I couldn't predict a winner, as Lawlor and Ellenberger have yet to rise to the occasion in the case of title shot clinchers but I do expect a raucous of crowd eruption.
And If Rory were to lose in the November 16th match, and Nick Diaz were to be aligned for an interesting yet potential technical striking and grappling clinic then some questions arise.
A) Can Nick get into Rory's head unlike many others with his past conflict and animosity towards his dear friend Georges? Rory seemingly was genetically engineered in the same lab as Georges, and with a win Nick can start making his loud proclaim by defeating his protege and possibly deciphering the blueprint.
B) Can Rory outclass Nick? The man GSP was admittedly hesitant to contest with on the feet in range, and was dubbed by Georges: "The best kick-boxer in MMA". The torch is resembling a baton these days to Rory with each bout. Though his last win was not show-stealing, he made Jake into a walking punching bag. True proof of his belonging in the elite. We also haven't seen the ceiling of Rory's ground game as he's gotten by with positioning and ground and pound. In the last round of the Ellenberger fight, he was on his back and was controlling Ellenberger from the bottom. It can be said he may have caught him if it happened earlier in the round.
However that potential meeting would be in a more distant future. He may also need time to recuperate, after UFC 167 win or lose.
Though I don't see Diaz in any rush to not waste any more precious time in his prime, the soonest fight that makes sense as far as rank would be Ellenberger vs Diaz.
And who knows...
Johny Hendricks could possible dislocate his shoulder and be forced to pull out, giving a couple elite contenders an opening. Though unlikely given his enthusiasm for finding Georges' chin with his left hand and if need be, eat a jab, anything can happen. However I doubt anything short of an amputation would stop him from making it into the ring.