Another UFC PPV in the books and, having covered it live, it wasn’t nearly as awful as people wanted to call it. Was it good? Not really but it had two solid PPV headlining fights and a fairly dramatic win for James Krause. It just had a fairly pedestrian undercard coming in and the main card didn’t deliver with stoppages like it was thought it would. Kind of a downside to showcasing “These guys brick dudes” and not delivering on said bricking … but it wasn’t all that bad. Now it’s time to play Joe Silva and figure out who goes where next.
Rashad Evans vs. Glover Teixiera – Glover thought it’d make sense and Rashad is up for it, as well. It makes sense if you think Evans is close to another title shot, which I’m not sure he would be considering how badly he got thrashed by Jon Jones last year. He’s still ranked highly and is a big enough name, of course, so it could make all sorts of sense.
Stipe Miocic vs. the winner of Alistair Overeem/Travis Browne – Miocic just out hustled Roy Nelson, a Top 10 heavyweight, and rightfully deserves another opponent in that same air. The winner of Browne/Overeem will be in the same spot as Miocic and the winner could be a fight or so away from a title shot as well.
Alexis Davis vs. Sara McMann – The women’s division is shallow and Ronda/Meisha on TUF 18 actually helps the division out because Rousey would run out of opponents sooner than later. Davis needs another win and probably should get a title shot of her own with one. McMann is in nearly the same spot as well. The winner of Carmouche/Andrade could make sense in this spot as well. Cat Zingano would be in this spot if her knee hadn’t been completely reconstructed as could’ve been Miesha Tate.
Shawn Jordan vs. Nandor Guelmino – Jordan is a prospect they’re slowly building up as he’s just not quite ready for the big time yet. Nandor is a Strikeforce refugee without a fight yet. Guelmino hasn’t looked like a UFC caliber fighter and here’s a chance for him to find out if he is. The winner of Dave Herman vs. Gabriel Gonzaga or the winner of Brandon Vera vs. Ben Rothwell could be a fit in here as well.
James Krause vs. the winner of Miles Jury vs. Mike Ricci – Krause didn’t make it onto a series of TUF but he’s looked great in the regional circuit and choked out a tough stalwart in Sam Stout despite being down on the scorecards. He’s still got some work before he can be thrown up further upward in the toughest division in MMA; the winner of Jury/Ricci will be in a similar spot. They’ll look good but not quite ready yet.
Roy Nelson vs. Big Nog – This is a big “if” right now, considering Nelson is off his UFC contract and no extension has been signed as of yet. Considering he finished with a bad loss he won’t have a ton of leverage. My guess is he comes back to the UFC on a better deal, probably close to the 50/50 per fight he could get at One FC or in Bellator. Nelson doesn’t have a lot of leverage but he’s still a Top 10 guy with enough leverage. My guess is he stays in the UFC, but that’ll be another article. I think if he comes back he gets a big fight against someone like Big Nog, who’d be perfect. Mark Hunt would be another fun matchup as well.
Dan Henderson vs. James Te Huna – Henderson’s on a two fight losing streak and I think he should make a go of it at middleweight, where he could be closer to a title shot than he is now. He won’t get anyone elite for this fight, of course, so my guess is he takes a big step back in the same manner he did after losing to Anderson Silva and Quinton Jackson back to back. The loser of Chael Sonnen vs. Shogun Rua, especially if it’s Shogun, could be another matchup as well.
Pat Barry vs. Mark Hunt – Barry’s always going to be just another guy in the UFC unless something dramatic happens. Super nice guy and never dull, of course, but he’s never been able to put anything together to get beyond the “exciting fighter” motif. Hunt would be a FUN matchup, especially considering Hunt might not be as far away from being back in the mix as we think. This is a guaranteed slugfest, too, and would be perfect for a UFC on Fox card this fall.
Tyron Woodley vs. Mike Swick – Woodley lost a tough split decision to Jake Shields, one in which a lot of people thought he’d won. Jake Shields is a tough guy to fight and never makes you look good; he’s the Scrap Pack version of Mike Pierce. The fact that so many people thought Woodley won means something. He just needs a better matchup than Shields, I think, and Zuffa will probably give him a couple guys who want to throw with him. Woodley still looks like a guy who could be elite sooner than later and I think the UFC will bring him along slowly still. Swick would make for an interesting matchup and doesn’t have much time left in him, I think. He’s never dull, either, and Woodley would make for a fun fight.
Rosi Sexton vs. the loser of Alexis Davis vs. Germaine de Randamie – Sexton looked like she belonged in the UFC but women’s bantamweight is so shallow right now that the matchups are few and far between. The loser of Davis/ de Randamie makes sense.