The much anticipated UFC 145 event has come and gone both answering questions and presenting new ones into the fold. We had the opportunity to see some young guns continue to rise of the ranks, while former champions and contenders fell by the wayside. Let’s put on our UFC matchmaker hat and see what’s next for some of the key fighters from the event.
- Jon Jones- He’ll be defending his title against Dan Henderson in his next outing. So be on the lookout for my preliminary thoughts on that fight soon.
- Rashad Evans- Rashad put up a decent fight, but had a terrible game plan in my opinion. He’s clearly a top 2-3 light heavyweight and shouldn’t move to the middleweight division. The timing seems perfect for him to try to avenge the only other loss on his record against Lyoto Machida as both are coming off losses to Jon Jones.
- Rory MacDonald- He continues to prove he has skills beyond his years. He destroyed Che Mills as most expected him to. It’s time for him to face top tier welterweights on a consistent basis now. The winner of the upcoming Josh Koscheck vs. Johny Hendricks bout, or bouts with Jon Fitch and Diego Sanchez even though they are coming off losses.
- Ben Rothwell- He saved his career with the win over Brendan Schaub. It wasn’t pretty but it worked. A bout with the winner of Stefan Struve vs. Mark Hunt makes sense as Rothwell is no spring chicken. He can’t waste time fighting guys that will get him nowhere in the division.
- Michael McDonald- He put the stamp on former WEC champion Miguel Torres. Some have mentioned the name Brad Pickett which makes sense as he just fought and won and I would be cool with that. If not, there’s no sense in stopping him from attempting to do the same to another former WEC champion in Brian Bowles.
- Eddie Yagin- He pulled off the big upset over Mark Hominick displaying good power and the ability to take a ton of damage. That was probably the biggest win of his career. He’s got to keep climbing that ladder now. A bout with the talented Erick Koch fits perfectly.
- Mark Hominick- The former number one contender arguably could have been given the split decision against Yagin in my opinion. He clearly out struck Yagin in rounds two and three even though he was knocked down in the second round. I don’t think he should be cut after three consecutive losses as he is always a gamer. A bout with Bart Palaszewski fits the bill as he’s coming off the loss to highly ranked Hatsu Hioki.
- Mark Bocek- Bocek did what he always does in beating guys that are not top of the food chain. Interestingly enough, all of Bocek’s losses have come against top guys. He says he wants a top ten opponent in his next match up. There are no top ten guys available for him at the moment. The next best thing is a match up with Donald Cerrone if Cerrone is victorious in his next bout.
- Travis Browne- The rumor is that Browne could fight Roy Nelson next month at UFC 146. All of the movement started with the UFC deciding to pull Alistair Overeem from his title fight against Junior dos Santos. Frank Mir will now fight JDS, and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva will now fight Cain Velasquez leaving Roy Nelson without an opponent. It would be a good fight for Browne against a veteran like Nelson.
There you have it, feel free to drop your own thoughts on who should fight who next!