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Possible Storylines To Be On The Lookout For In Aftermath Of UFC 103

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UFC 103 will be upon us this weekend with a card that spans an astounding 13 fights, with 2 of the preliminary fights being aired on Spike TV for the first time ever as a lead in for the ppv.  There is no title fight on the card, but there should be some pretty good action with this many fights on the card.  We have a couple of UFC veterans making their return, as well as a former TUF champion finally stepping back into the cage after winning the show.  On paper, there are a couple of fights that are sure-fire whoever gets tagged first if going to sleep type of deals as well.  However, in the grand scheme of things there are a few story lines that could potentially rise from the aftermath of UFC 103 this weekend in Dallas, Texas.  Let's check'em out:

  • Vitor Belfort vs. Rich Franklin-It's no secret that the underlying question going into this bout is which Belfort will show up at UFC 103?  Although this fight is at a catch weight, Belfort is looking to make his home in the UFC middleweight division while Franklin is a top ten light heavyweight.  I think this fight is more of a lose/lose for Rich Franklin in that he wins, it doesn't really help him get any closer to a title shot at 205.  If he loses, then he lost to a guy that's going down to the middleweight division, similar to the Wanderlei fight.  The UFC needs for Belfort to win, and with a win would probably jump right into title contention in the middleweight division.  If he loses, it wouldn't be an absolute bust of a signing in that he would be losing to a LHW, but he wouldn't immediately be of great benefit to the UFC either. 

UFC 103: Franklin vs. Belfort coverage

  • Junior Dos Santos vs. Mirko Cro Cop-This fight probably has more impactfulness(is that a word) than any other fight on the card.  Simply, this fight will establish who's really a contender in the UFC HW division.  Cro Cop's track record speaks for itself, but can he become a viable contender again?  Dos Santos still has some question marks about his game because he's won so quickly in his other two UFC fights.  Is he the real deal?  We'll find out this weekend, and the UFC HW division will have another legitimate player in the fold.  I wonder who it'll be?
  • Paul Daley vs. Martin Kampmann-Originally Kampmann was in a #1 contenders fight with Mike Swick before Swick got injured and replaced by Paul Daley.  It's no longer a #1 contenders fight, but it does have merit if Daley can somehow pull off the upset.  That would be big for UK MMA, as well as the scene over there.  Also, it would instantly put Daley on the map in the welterweight division.  A division that although stacked, really lacks legitimate contenders at the moment due to the dominance of George St. Pierre.  If Kampmann wins, it would just further confirm that he's a legitimate top ten welterweight who'll need one more win before getting a shot at GSP.
  • Efrain Escudero vs. Cole Miller-Escudero's been on the shelf with injuries since winning TUF 8, so it'll be his PPV debut against a tough Cole Miller who's also a TUF alumni.  A win for Escudero solidifies himself a the "TUF" champ, and the UFC can continue to use that as a marketing tool.  A win for Miller gives him two wins over TUF alumni, and would be his third win in a row.
  • Josh Koscheck vs. Frank Trigg-This fight is all about Josh Koscheck getting back on the winning track after suffering that upset loss to Paulo Thiago at UFC 95 earlier this year.  A win here puts him right back in the mix, whereas a loss would be devastating (IMO).  Frank Trigg is looking at one more run at glory as he nears the end of his career.  If he's somehow able to pull off the upset, that would set up numerous viable matches against other top welterweights and add another contender to the division.
  • Tyson Griffin vs. Hermes Franca-Both guys are coming off hard fought decision wins earlier this year.  However, both have losses to the former UFC LW champ in Sean Sherk.  Hermes is a viable gatekeeper at the moment, and Griffin needs to win impressively being that he's in the middle of the pack in a crowded division.  If Franca pulls off the upset, then where does Griffin go?  If Franca loses, then he could very well be shown the exit door from the promotion.  He's lost to former champ Sherk, and current contender Frankie Edgar, so in a crowded division I don't know if there would be room for him. 

Give me your thoughts and tell me what I missed...