UFC Fight Night 29 took place last night, featuring an exciting card in Brazil. Headlining the card, Demian Maia took on Jake Shields, a bout that was mostly contested on the ground. Surprisingly, Shields was able to stifle Maia, even taking him down in round two and three, which ultimate allowed him to get the split-decision nod. Let’s now take a look and see what’s next for the main card winners:
Jake Shields — Shields was able to impressively control Maia without ever getting in trouble with a submission. It wasn’t the most decisive win, but it’s still a huge win for him, who reasserts himself back into the top 10 of the welterweight division. He’s obviously not going to get a title shot anytime soon, so a bout with Dong Hyun Kim, who also won on the card, makes the most sense right now.
Dong Hyun Kim — Kim shocked the world in getting the KO over the dynamic Erick Silva. He used his grappling well in the first and landed an amazing left, one that gave him Knockout of the Night honors. As mentioned above, a bout with Shields makes a lot of sense. It would be a good grappling battle, and the winner would put their name in the hat to challenge for the title.
Thiago Silva – Silva looked lethargic and out of shape against Matt Hamill. He got the win, but it wasn’t his best outing inside the cage. A good fight for him next would be a bout with Fabio Maldonado, who was also victorious on the night. Whoever he faces, he will need to dedicate himself in training as he looked completely gassed by the second round.
Fabio Maldonado — Maldonado narrowly scored a victory over Joey Beltran, which was a bit controversial. He landed some good body shots against Beltran, and a bout with Thiago Silva makes a lot of sense. Both are competent strikers, so it would be a fun fight for the fans … if Silva comes in their fight in better shape.
Rousimar Palhares — Palhares scored another impressive submission victory over Mike Pierce, but it was controversial in that he held on Pierce’s leg for too long. He will need to adjust this going forward or else face serious consequences from the UFC. A good opponent for him would be either Jake Ellenberger or Thiago Alvarez. Both would test him standing, and they would provide a good test for him in terms of the grappling aspect.
Raphael Assuncao – Assuncao earned one of his biggest victories against a durable, competent fighter in T.J. Dillashaw. This was also a close decision, but Assuncao did enough on the feet to warrant a decision. A bout with Mike Easton or Bryan Caraway would be a good filler fight for him until Dominick Cruz and Renan Barao can settle their score to unify the title.