By Benjamin Bieker
Cub Swanson vs. Winner of Chad Mendes vs. Jose Aldo
Cub Swanson is on an amazing roll, but it is hard to call for him to face off with Jose Aldo due to how stacked the division is. Plus, Swanson has a loss to Ricardo Lamas, a less than 30 second knockout loss to Jose Aldo, and a loss to Chad Mendes. If he wants his title shot prove he can beat one of those fighters, and has Lamas not already proven his number one contendership?
Dennis Siver vs. Darren Elkins
Siver and Elkins were both rolling in the division until they hit fighters in the top five of the division. Neither of them have to fall that far with a win over each other, and that is why this fight could be made. Siver lost cause his gas tank emptied, and Elkins lost due to the standup. Those are areas where the fighters could test one another.
Tim Boestch vs. Alan Belcher
Both were top ten fighters near a title shot, and both have had two straight losses. It is easy to make this match happen when it makes sense. Plus, technical striker versus brawling wrestler always seems to make a highly entertaining fight.
Mark Munoz vs. Luke Rockhold
While Rockhold is coming off a loss, he is still one of the top fighters of the division. Munoz came off a long layoff, and he actually looked better than he has ever. At the age of 35, there is only a limited amount of years that he can be a viable contender, and a fight with Rockhold will see if he can deal with the striking of upper echelon fighters.
Tim Kennedy vs. Brad Tavares
Tim Kennedy looked okay in his fight with Gracie, but he should have been able to finish that fight. Tavares takes on Bubba McDaniel, but that is a fight he should be able to win. With a win, Tavares would be 6-1 in the division, and Kennedy may be the right step up in competition.
Charles Olivera vs. Nam Phan
Olivera looked good in his fight with Edgar but still lost. Not every fighter can be like Jon Jones and challenge the top of the division at age 23, and it seems that Olivera needs to build up his abilities before taking on the best the featherweight division has to offer. Phan has been in some tough fights, and has the ability to challenge people on the ground or on the feet which could make for an intriguing fight with someone that has Olivera’s abilities.
Frankie Edgar vs. Nik Lentz
Edgar got his first win in a long time, but the problem is that he still was challenged and it was relatively close. Lentz has picked up some pretty big wins in his featherweight career so far, and he deserves the step up in competition. If Edgar could get past a proven up in comer like Lentz, and not someone coming off a loss like Olivera, than maybe he can restore some faith in himself that has been lost over his last few fights.
Anderson Silva vs. Dan Henderson
Anderson Silva said he did not want to fight for the title right off the bat, and Henderson may be nearing the end of his career. So, why not have the one rematch that would intrigue Henderson, and a fight that has the potential to make big fireworks? With an impressive win, Silva would reestablish himself and make a fight with Weidman or Jon Jones intriguing, and even if he lost to Henderson it could be a great win for Henderson to go out on.
Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort
Dana White said off the top of his head that he could have a rematch between Anderson SIlva and Chris Weidman next year on Superbowl weekend. We are closer to this February than next February in terms of a time frame. Why would you have a champion sit out that long, that has challengers, and is not injured? That makes no sense. Why not have Belfort and Weidman take each other on in the meantime? The fight makes sense, could give Weidman a win over a former champion, and make the prospect of a rematch more intriguing if he can prove beating top level fighters is not a fluke like many believe.
What are your thoughts?