If you couldn’t enjoy UFC 157 then I feel really sorry for you as an MMA fan. The main event delivered in every way possible, even if an uncomfortable truth about Ronda Rousey popped up, and there was a ton of terrific fights up and down the card. It was a good night spent at the fights and if you bought the PPV you got your money’s worth. Now it’s time to play Joe Silva and see what happens next, fight wise. As always you can check out our PBP coverage right here, here and here.
Ronda Rousey vs. the winner of Cat Zingano vs. Miesha Tate – it’s the only other women’s fight in the UFC scheduled right now and makes the most sense. Either will be interesting to say the least; Tate’s a rematch that did a good number on Showtime for the first fight and Zingano would be another solid fight, too. Right now they need to set up a division and get Ronda opponents who’ve earned their title fights with at least one performance inside the Octagon. To care about an opponent against Rousey fans should be introduced to them at least once and I think the winner of this fight gets a summer date with the Judoka.
Lyoto Machida vs. the winner of Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen – Machida may have won ugly against Dan Henderson but a win’s a win. Dana White also said that the winner gets a title match against the winner of Jones/Sonnen. And I think it happens because Machida wants it and has a knack for staying healthy between fights.
Urijah Faber vs. Raphael Assuncao – Faber looked impressive against Menjivar but probably needs another win or two before getting yet another title shot. He’s already lost to Renan Barao and it wasn’t close, either. If he can choke out another potential contender I think a rematch will be warranted.
Robbie Lawler vs. Demian Maia – Lawler’s got big time power and under rated wrestling. Maia clung to Jon Fitch and has had some chin issues in the past. A big win, especially a finish, puts one of these guys into the title picture sooner than later.
Michael Chiesa vs. the winner of Mike Ricci vs. Colin Fletcher – Cheisa may not have won pretty but his transitions and body work were superb in getting the finish. His ceiling looks to be potentially a Top 10 guy in 2-3 years if he progresses. The UFC likes him and he has a great story plus he’s a TUF winner. I think he gets brought along slowly and gets another guy similar to him.
Liz Carmouche vs. the loser of Cat Zingano vs. Meisha Tate – If you want to consider this a mini tournament of sorts it makes sense to see the two losers of the first female fights in UFC history face one another.
Dan Henderson vs. the loser of Alexander Gustafsson vs. Gegard Mousasi – Henderson will get a title shot, especially with the list of title contenders in the division shrinking down. The loser of that fight vs. Henderson makes sense as well as potentially the loser of Glover Teixiera vs. Ryan Bader as well. Henderson is only a big win away from being in line to take on Jon Jones, especially if he keeps running out of contenders or someone gets hurt. There is some historical precedent to it; Demian Maia got a title shot in Abu Dhabi ahead of Chael Sonnen because of a cut to Sonnen. If Jones retains, and Machida gets hurt 6-8 weeks form the fight, Henderson with a win could find himself being a guy to get a title shot.
Ivan Menjivar vs. Brian Bowles – Menjivar is still a top bantamweight. Bowles is too. Makes sense and the winner is right back in the mix and such. Michael McDonald could be in this spot, as well.
Josh Koscheck vs. the loser of Nate Marquardt vs. Jake Ellenberger – Koscheck still has value but he’s getting into that Jon Fitch level category of being a former elite welterweight on his way down the ladder. But I think he gets another fight, especially since you could argue that it was a premature stoppage. The loser of Marquardt/Ellenberger will be in a similar spot, potentially, and it’d make for a good fight. Jake Shields is returning to welterweight, as well, and that matchup could make sense as well. Martin Kampmann would be another good fight to slot in here as well.
Lavar Johnson vs. Matt Mitrione – Johnson has two losses and a potential cut is looming. Mitrione has gone from solid prospect to potential TUF washout. Heavyweight is thin but if Dave Herman gets multiple chances so do both of these guys.