UFC 131 winner Dave Herman lands a knee on Jon olav Einemo. Photo by Tracy Lee/Yahoo! Sports
Saturday's UFC 131 is in the books so it's time to start looking to the future and figure out what's next for the fighters on the card. We already know that main event winner Junior dos Santos will get his long-awaited title shot when he faces Cain Velasquez for the UFC heavyweight championship at a date to be determined. But other than that, Joe Silva and Sean Shelby have their hands full. Here's the fights I'd book for the main card winners going forward if I were them:
Kenny Florian — UFC president Dana White pretty much said if Florian wins he'd get the next crack at Jose Aldo's UFC featherweight title. Right now, I don't agree with that. It's not that he's not worthy, it's just that I want to see him be himself at featherweight. The Florian we saw against Diego Nunes was not the Florian we're used to seeing. I want to see Florian come in and not have to cut 35 pounds from the beginning of camp. I want to see the real Florian at featherweight before I give him a title shot. I don't care who he faces, really. I just want to see him in another fight, whether it be against the Chad Mendes/Rani Yahya winner, Hatsu Hioki or George Roop. It doesn't make a difference.
Mark Munoz — I wrote in this same column following last month's UFC 130 that Brian Stann needed to face the winner of the Munoz/Demian Maia fight. I stand by that assessment today. The fight between Munoz and Maia was as close to a straight up draw (without a 10-8 round) that I've seen in some time. Munoz squeaked it out and I think he'd be a great fight for the hard-hitting Stann, who, in his two big middleweight wins, has defeated two strikers — Chris Leben and Jorge Santiago. Although I'd pick Stann to win the fight by knockout, Munoz would bring a challenge, in theory, with his solid wrestling background.
Dave Herman — Herman had a real fun fight with Jon Olav Einemo, winning by second-round TKO, but I have to wonder exactly how much upward mobility Herman is going to have in the heavyweight division. Einemo hit him. A lot. He had him reeling. And I just can't see Herman changing his style, which is going to hold him back when it comes to facing the upper echelon of the division. So that makes me wonder what to do with him. His experience level outside the UFC makes me want to match him with the winner of the UFC on Versus 4 fight between Pat Barry and Cheick Kongo but seeing him get lit up by Einemo makes me want to bust him down to fighting Joey Beltran (his second opponent for this show before the shuffle occurred). This will be a very interesting decision for the UFC.
Donald Cerrone — Cerrone was impressive but completely unimpressive at the same time in taking a unanimous decision from Vagner Rocha. Cerrone lit Rocha up for three rounds but never seemed to be inspired to finish the fight when he probably could have very easily. I don't know what to do with Cerrone, the apparent black belt in striking who has never knocked anyone out in his career. There's a ton of lightweight competition out there, but despite the iffy performance he, I'd move him up and tier and have him face a winner of one of the boatload of great lightweight bouts at UFC 132 next month.