UFC 134 was awesome! The fights were INSANE! The crowd was INSANE! The commentary was good, but not insane. With the card in the books, let's take a look at matches to make and people to cut.
Anderson Silva - He's officially cleaned out the division. Fights with Brian Stann, Mark Munoz, and Chris Leben make sense on paper as far as contendership but do they really belong in the same cage as the guy? The only fight that has any sort of selling point is a rematch with Chael Sonnen and that's to shut the guy up. If Anderson retired tomorrow, I wouldn't feel cheated of seeing a guy leave ahead of his time but I know that Chael would talk about how he drove Anderson from the sport and that CANNOT happen. People are talking about a fight with Georges St. Pierre but that just seems like a terrible idea. I'd like to see him move up to 205 permanently and test his skills in the division. Matches with Rashad Evans, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, and Quinton Jackson are all intriguing. As is the championship fight with Jon Jones.
Yushin Okami - Not the best showing from a title challenger. In fact it was an awful one. Patrick Cote put up a better fight against Anderson Silva. That doesn't mean that Okami has fallen off as there have been many men who have fallen to the Spider. He needs to take some time off and work on his overall skill set. A match with Demian Maia would be great for both fighters and would sort out the middleweight division. It would also give us an indication on how future fights should be booked.
Mauricio "Shgoun" Rua - That was a nice win after getting decimated by Jon Jones earlier this year. He looked to be in the best shape he's been in since entering the UFC. The only question is if his knees can hold up to allow an extended run in an incredibly deep light heavyweight division. Should Rampage lose to Jon Jones next month, I'd love to see these two fight in the UFC cage.
Forrest Griffin - Prior to the card he was talking about not enjoying fighting anymore. There are people online who legitimately believe he took a dive last night. That's an absurd belief. He hasn't been the same fighter since the fight with Anderson Silva and combined with the fact that he's expecting his first child literally this upcoming week, I'm pretty sure he has other things on his mind than fighting. Best bet is that he takes an extended vacation from fighting and reevaluates if he still has the desire to fight in six months or so. I just hope he doesn't get into the mindset of just showing up for a paycheck. That's the easiest way to get seriously hurt.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - Last night was his first fight in almost two years. It also was one of his most emotional wins. A career of gusty performances has made Big Nog one of the all time greats. It also has meant his body isn't holding up as well as it should at his age. Many will say he's still able to compete in the UFC. I disagree. I think going out on a win would be the best thing for him. He's not going to make another run at the title and if he's matched up with the top guys, he's risking getting knocked out again. I'd love to see him go out with the win and retire.
Brendan Schaub - This one is a bit trickier than the rest. He's still one of the better prospects out there at heavyweight. His tenure on the Ultimate Fighter forced the UFC to push him a bit harder than they would with a prospect. He still shows flashes of brilliance but the talk of a title shot was premature if not a little ridiculous. Let the guy put his skills together a bit more and then try and push him at the top again. Last night was his first fight without training with longtime coach Trevor Wittman. I'd love a rematch with Roy Nelson. Or a fight with Pat Barry.
Edson Barboza - His development has been great so far and there really isn't a reason to push him too fast since he's still incredibly young. Why not a fight with Matt Wiman or Cole Miller? Both are interesting match ups.
Ross Pearson - By far the best British fighter not named Michael Bisping. As I said in my other post, the loss did more for his career than any of his wins in the UFC. I'd love to see him against Donald Cerrone.
Luiz Cane - He's still a solid fighter but he's not close to being the guy people thought he was. Fights with either K-Sos or Stephan Bonnar make sense to me. Either way the UFC has someone they can push forward no matter the outcome.
Rest of the card after the jump...
Thiago Tavares - Impressive win over a veteran. Still unsure of how he would do against the top fighters in the division. Ross Pearson seems to be on the same level as him and a fight between the two would be entertaining.
Spencer Fisher - Didn't look good in a loss. Old enough that it doesn't make sense to keep him around too much longer. Retirement could be the best option for the guy.
Rousimar Palhares - Without the loss to Nate Marquardt he's been super impressive in his UFC career. Last night showed that he's made a ton of improvements with his stand up that I believe he's ready to make the jump to the top of the division. The loser of Michael Bisping/Jason Miller would make sense as would the loser of Mark Munoz/Chris Leben. I love any of those match ups.
Dan Miller - The talent is obviously there. The killer instinct is gone though. He hasn't been the same fighter since the loss to Chael Sonnen. I know he's had tragedies in his personal life but some time on the regional scene to get his mind back may be a good idea at this point. Ring of Combat is definitely the best option for him.
David Mitchell - Two losses in as many fights in the UFC usually means a pink slip. I expect him to get cut and have to fight on the California regional level to get another shot at the big show.
Luis Ramos - Losing by knockout in 40 seconds in a UFC debut usually means that's the end of a UFC career. I expect this is the case with Luis Ramos.
Felipe Arantes - Cut
Yves Jabouin - Awesome fight to open up the card. Maybe Ivan Menjivar?
Ian Loveland - Two straight losses in the UFC. Expect him to get cut.