Six Thoughts From UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson

UFC 139 Miguel Torres vs.  Nick Pace-5Six things to take away from UFC 139

1. Is Miguel Torres Back?

Following consecutive losses to Brian Bowles and Joseph Benavidez, many fans and media members started to label the former WEC bantamweight champion as “on the downside of his career.”

In a sense, this could be true. Will Torres ever go on a 17-fight win streak again in his career? Not likely. But Torres is still only 30 years old and says the demons that plagued him over the last two years have been exorcised.

He looked more like the Torres of old and showed moments of his old greatness and new progress, stuffing several takedowns and letting his right hand go again.

The UFC’s bantamweight division is top-heavy with solid wrestlers (Benavidez, Faber, Jorgensen, Cruz) – a discipline in which Torres is less than stellar.

So instead of asking if Torres is “back,” perhaps the real question is whether he is willing to continue to evolve.

Michael McDonald - Photo courtesy of MMAJunkie.com

2. Michael McDonald is a Future Champion

Not that any of you will remember this article in three years, but at some point in the fall of 2014, I’ll bring up the fact that I called 23-year-old Michael McDonald winning the bantamweight belt over Frankie Edgar, who made the drop all the way to 135 and claimed the title.

While I’m half kidding about the Frankie Edgar part, I fully believe that McDonald will own the bantamweight belt before his 24th birthday.

At only 20 years old, McDonald has racked up 14 professional MMA victories and only 1 defeat. In three UFC appearances, all wins, he’s collected a Fight of the Night bonus and added a Knockout of the Night bonus with his 56-second dismantling of Alex Soto this weekend.

The natural ability is there and so long as he’s not pushed up the ladder too quickly, it’s more of a “when” than an “if” this talented youngster wins the title.

(next page: Faber v Benavidez?, Wand’s future?)