By Benjamin Bieker
Demetrious Johnson vs. Winner of Jussier Formiga vs. Joseph Benavidez
Johnson may only be three fights into his title run, but ti is hard to deny that he is not one of the most dominant champions that UFC has. Not once outside of a lucky punch or two has he really been hurt or in trouble in his title fights. Formiga was supposed to be a title challenger as soon as he entered the UFC, but he may have suffered from jitters having such a big fight his first time in the Octagon. Benavidez, on the other hand, had only one fight to acclimate to his new weight class before fighting for the title, and it only lasted a few minutes. With three wins since his title loss, he will be ready for the rematch.
John Moraga vs. John Dodson
Both are coming off losses to the champion in Demetrious Johnson, and both are ranked relatively high in the flyweight division. It does not get much more clearer than that does it?
Rory MacDonald vs. Demian Maia
MacDonald is slowly turning into Lyoto Machida, because it is hard to deny him when he wins but hard to like him with how he fights. Maia has proven to be animalistic in his welterweight fights, because he always goes for the finish and does not break out of his game. If Maia could best GSP’s training partner and protege he may be ready for a title shot.
Jake Ellenberger vs. Tarec Saffiedine
Ellenberger did not fight like himself that night, and now he finds himself back at the drawing board. Saffiedine had a lot of heat earlier this year when he beat Marquardt, but finds himself nearly forgotten due to injuries. A fight between the two could redeem one of them with the public and MMA fans.
Robbie Lawler vs. Winner of Mike Pyle vs. Matt Brown
Lawler could not help that he had his opponent changed so many times, but he did help in showing what he can accomplish at his new camp. With two straight impressive knockout victories, he could be a fight or two away from a title shot if all his wins are that impressive. Pyle and Brown face off soon and both are on impressive streaks. They are also known as finishers so it is doubtful that a fight between either of the two and Lawler would last very long.
Liz Carmouche vs. Alexis Davis
Carmouche only made her star bigger with her dominant win Saturday night, but she is stuck while the belt is being contested and is potentially behind Cat Zingano in the race for her second title shot. She may have to win one or two more fights until she gets her rematch and beating a Jiu Jitsu ace like Davis would help build her up even more.
Jorge Masvidal vs. Winner of Pat Healy vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
Masvidal had one of the biggest wins on the card, because he showed heart in almost getting knocked out in the first and came back to win by submission. He deserves to be mentioned with all the other top fighters int he division, and a matchup with the winner of the Khabib and Healy fight would be the logical next step.
Danny Castillo vs. Jim Miller
Castillo has been impressive in his five win, and outside of the slip up against Michael Johnson he seems to be on the track for a bigger fight. Miller lost his last fight regardless of if it was overturned. These fighters careers are at a crossroads, and a win over the other will tell where they are headed.
Melvin Guillard vs. Anthony Njokuani
Guillard came away with a huge knockout win over Mac Danzig, but the only problem is that he has not been very consistent as of late. Njokuani has done the same by winning big in certain fights but being beaten in others. Plus, this is a striking fans dream in terms of fights.
Daron Cruickshank vs. James Krause
Cruickshank came up big with his win over the veteran Edwards, but it was a very close fight. Krause picked up a big win over a veteran himself when he submitted Sam Stout. This fight makes sense on both ends for the fighters.
Yves Edwards vs. Spencer Fisher
This is the fight that was supposed to happen and Edwards split decision loss does not change that. If Fisher is still apt for a return from retirement than this is the match to still make.
Ed Herman vs. Winner of Uriah Hall vs. John Howard
Herman proved that there is still some fight left in him with his fight of the night effort. Now, he sits in the spot where he will need to take on up and comers until he is given a chance to fight a top ten fighter again. Herman will make a good test for the winner of the Hall and Howard bout.
Germaine de Randamie vs. winner of Amanda Nunes vs. Sheila Gaff
Randamie picked up a big win over Julie Kedzie, but she is still young in her MMA career with only six professional bouts. The winner of the Nunes and Gaff will be in the same places as her, and that will make the perfect matchup for the winner against Randamie.
What are your thoughts?