UFC welterweight Martin Kampmann (left) and Strikeforce bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey each emerged as the big winner from their respective fights this past weekend on March 2 and 3.
On March 2, 2012, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) kicked off their flyweight tournament as UFC on FX 2 made the journey to the Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia, for an evening of mixed martial arts (MMA) fireworks.
Though the 125-pounders were main attraction, they weren't the headlining act. That distinction went to a welterweight match up between Thiago Alves and Martin Kampmann that ended up in a result that left everyone a little surprised.
It was a pretty decent fight card, top to bottom, and finished the night with a women's championship bout that will have the MMA community buzzing for weeks to come.
Come with me after the jump where we'll examine what's next for the big weekend winners, Martin Kampmann and Ronda Rousey:
Martin Kampmann has a had a career marked by lots of ups and downs. One second, he's a top contender that everyone needs to look out for. The next? He's coming up just short to other fighters who end up passing him by to get title shots or main event headline gigs.
He's a tough guy. No one would argue that. But it just seems like he can never quite get it together enough to climb over that last hump that stands between him and a title shot.
With all that considered, Kampmann's victory on Friday night over Thiago Alves was entirely fitting.
For over two rounds, Kampmann was getting outstruck. Though he was not getting manhandled, by any stretch, he was losing the fight. When the fight ended, he was probably 48 seconds away from losing a decision to his opponent.
None of that matters anymore and was all for naught, when Alves incorrectly dove in for a takedown, thinking he had hurt Kampmann with a combination and could possibly finish him off.
He might have been right. Kampmann may have been legitimately shook up, but Alves should have been nowhere near Kampmann's ground game, especially at that juncture of the fight.
Kudos to "The Hitman" for keeping himself composed and taking advantage of the opportunity in front of him by choking out Alves and notching a great comeback victory.
So, what's next for Kampmann?
There are a ton of options. Several welterweights who are currently without dance partners are Jake Shields, Rick Story and Diego Sanchez. The problem is that Kampmann's already fought all three of them. I'm not a big fan of rematches unless they're for a good reason. I'm not sure that's the case here.
Jake Ellenberger is without an opponent, and that would be an interesting match up, but it's likely that "The Juggernaut" is going to get a more high-profile adversary for his next bout.
"The Stung Gun" brings it every time. We'd see fireworks, for sure. This is the pairing (of the two) that probably makes more sense.
The "fantasy match up" here is Martin Kampmann vs. Stephen Thompson.
I know, "Wonderboy" has only fought once inside the Octagon. But it was a really impressive debut and Kampmann hasn't exactly been setting the world on fire. Make Kampmann play gatekeeper. If he wins, give him a top five guy. If he loses, it's re-evaluation time.
I also don't believe it would be devastating for Thompson or his career if he were to lose. Kampmann is a reputable name. If Thompson loses but is able to hang in there with him, it's a victory.
Time will tell.
The build up to the fight between Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey was downright mean-spirited. These ladies did not like each other and they were willing to make this known to anyone with a camera and a microphone.
The fight itself did not disappoint, unless you're a Tate fan, that is.
The first few minutes of the championship bout saw some decent striking, good transitioning and, finally, a nasty armbar submission from the new Women's Bantamweight Champion, Ronda Rousey.
What's next for "Rowdy?"
Right now, she's pretty much ruling the world, at least from a women's fighting perspective. She looks fairly unbeatable. The real tragedy is that "Cyborg" Cristiane Santos is out of action and will be for awhile due to her getting popped for steroid use.
That fight can't happen, so in the interim, it looks like we're going to see Rousey defend her belt against Sarah Kaufman, the former Bantamweight Champion before Marloes Coenen took her belt on Oct. 9, 2010, in San Jose, Calif.
It's an interesting match up, because Kaufman is a striker who poses problems for Rousey on the feet. But can she keep the fight standing?
There's the rub.
Kaufman has only lost once, but do you remember how it happened? That's right. It was at the hands of a Marloes Coenen armbar.
That does not bode well for Kaufman, and I can tell you one thing: If this fight gets signed, she better commit the next several months of her life to submission defense. Otherwise, she's going to have to learn how to live with one arm for a while.
If she needs pointers, I'm sure Miesha Tate will be able to help her out.
What do you Maniacs think? Who is the best potential match up for Martin Kampmann? Do you think Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufman has potential to be a competitive fight?
Ronda Rousey vs Miesha Tate full fight video highlights from last night's main event on Showtime here.