Shogun Rua - Only once before has Shogun been so thoroughly beaten, the other was to Forrest Griffin. That is the fight to make. Griffin has won two straight over Tito Ortiz and Rich Franklin after his comet came crashing down at the hands of Rashad Evans and Anderson Silva. Luiz Cane could be a good comeback fight as well, possibly at UFC Rio. There is murmurs of Shogun going to middleweight in the fanposts, but perhaps that is premature. But it could be an interesting career move and possibly set up a Shogun-Anderson Silva fight down the line.
Urijah Faber - It was great to see Faber finally make the big time in the UFC. Arguably nobody has done more to put small fighters on the map in American MMA than Faber. He headlined big fights with Jens Pulver, Mike Brown, and Jose Aldo that helped convince heavyweight-obsessed American fans that the little guys could go. His fight with Wineland was a good win, because Eddie is a super-tough fighter who was on a roll. I think Faber will be the first non-traditional weightclass fighter (HW-LW) to headline a UFC pay per view with Dominick Cruz after coach TUF 14 together. His final legacy will be using 2011 to put 145 and 135 pounders on the map as fighters that can sell out arenas and carry pay per views.
Eddie WIneland - There are a lot of fights out there for Wineland - Joseph Benevides would be a good start, and possibly a resurgent Brian Bowles? The bantamweight division is perhaps now the deepest in the UFC with Cruz, Faber, Torres, Wineland, Benevides, Bowles, Jorgenson, Mighty Mouse Johnson, Pickett, and others. Cruz, Faber, Torres, Wineland, and Bowles all know what it feels like to have a belt around their waists Its a deep deep division and Wineland is right in the thick of it.
Jim Miller - He's as ready as he'll ever be for a title shot, and he has to be Clay Guida's biggest fan right now because if the Carpenter knocks of Anthony Pettis, I feel Miller is the next challenger for either Gray Maynard or Frankie Edgar. If Pettis wins, he gets the title shot because he's already been passed over once. In that case, I suspect a good fight for Miller would be someone like Sean Sherk, a tough guy with a real name he could put on his mantle.
Kamal Shalrous - I think he's too small for lightweight, a move down to featherweight - a division that has seen people flee because of Jose Aldo's dominance - would give him a shorter run to get a title shot and possibly a job (see Florian, Kenny and Griffin, Tyson). There are too many lightweights in the UFC right now, and with the Strikeforce acquisition there will be even less room. But he's at the bottom of the food chain now, with possible fights with Joe Stevenson or Takanori Gomi.
Nate Marquardt - Once again, Nate The Okay showed up and beat a tough fighter, but not a top fighter. Its what Nate does. But he looked good, and even on short notice Dan Miller is a tough guy. He told Hawani that he's thinking about getting down to welterweight. I'm not sure he can make the weight given how big he is, but he clearly can't get past the top five in the UFC's middleweight division. And with guys like Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva, and Jorge Santiago already added to the list that includes Michael Bisping, Chael Sonnen, Yushin Okami, among others it will be tough for Nate since he's lost to Anderson, Sonnen, and Okami already. If he stays at middleweight, I would LOVE to see him fight MIchael Bisping in a chance for both guys to FINALLY get over the hump, or Yoshihiro Akiyama. But if he does move down, lets see him go with Martin Kampmann again or maybe someone like Mike Pyle.
Dan Miller - He's sort of the Charlie Brown of the UFC. We all love him, but things just don't go his way. He jumped in at the last minute to fight Nate, and lost. He doesn't have a great record, but he's one of those guys that does anyhting the UFC asks of him. He gets one more fight, and I'd like to personally see him fight Akiyama, since the Japanese import is game but perhaps jumped into the deep end too fast in the UFC.
Brenden Schaub - its time for a big-boy fight, and reports are already out saying he's willing to go to Brazil and fight Minotauro Nogueira. Schaub is a proto-type of Cain Velasquez. A lean, smaller heavyweight with power all over the place and a good athletic background. When we thought the era of the super heavyweight was upon us, Velasquez and too a lesser extend Dos Santos and Schaub are proving that speed and power can win. Shaub is 4-1 in the UFC, Velasquez was 5-0 in the UFC when he went in against Minotauro in Australia. That's really the only big fight out there, unless he wants his teammate Shane Carwin who remains without an opponents for the Lesnar-Dos Santos card.
Mirko Cro Cop - The party is over. He can still beat overmatched journeymen and starry-eyed youngsters but Schaub took Cro Cop seriously and trains as such, obliterating him in the process. Nothing is worse than seeing greatness erode.