Following every fight, fans love to try and come up with the match ups that make the most sense divisionally to create new contenders and resolve rankings issues. With so many underdogs victorious at UFC 144, every division finds itself in a state of flux. As I'm great at pretty much everything, I've decided to lend UFC matchmaker Joe Silva a hand and book fights for everyone from UFC 144. People say he has the toughest job in the sport but this was pretty easy. I don't see what the big fuss is all about.
Ben Henderson vs Anthony Pettis 2: This is a rematch of the absolutely classic fight the two fighters had at WEC 53 in 2010. After Pettis' knockout of Joe Lauzon the time is right to make the rematch. It's marketable and they already have a backstory to build the fight. Pettis was supposed to get at the title but injuries to Edgar and Maynard prevented it. Now he gets his chance to prove he's the better fighter and the true champion.
Frankie Edgar vs Jose Aldo: Dana has been pushing for Frankie to drop to featherweight and now is the time to do it. Aldo doesn't have any apparent title challengers and a fight with Frankie Edgar is an interesting fight on many levels. Either Edgar is redeemed and gets join B.J. Penn and Randy Couture as two division champions or Aldo picks up a big win over a recognizable name further cementing his status and legacy.
Ryan Bader vs Dan Henderson: I couldn't decide on Bader/Hendeson or Bader/Davis and decided to go with Henderson. Both fighters are riding huge wins and with Jon Jones and Rashad Evans fighting in April, they need to stay busy in the short term. It's a perfect fight for both as no matter how you slice it, it's a competitive matchup.
Quinton Jackson vs Mauricio Rua: I'll be completely honest. After last night I don't believe that Rampage deserves this fight. He looked fat and slow against Ryan Bader. However, the UFC's objective is making money and Rampage/Shogun 2 has the ability to still create interest. Other option for Rampage is a fight with Phil Davis. It depends on if the UFC wants to build Phil's resume or take the immediate money in the Shogun/Rampage fight.
Mark Hunt vs Stefan Struve: Prior to the UFC 144 fight, Mark Hunt was ranked 22 and Kongo was 12. We're living in a world where Mark Hunt is on the brink of becoming a top 10 heavyweight and the fight to book is against Stefan Struve. Struve either picks up a win over a veteran or Hunt picks up win number four. Fans win either way.
Cheick Kongo vs Dave Herman: Kongo has never been able to rise above the status of gate keeper in the UFC and Dave Herman is coming off a knockout at the hands of Stefan Struve. This is the perfect match to set up to decide who stays and who goes.
More after the jump...
Jake Shields vs Martin Kampmann/Thiago Alves winner: Jake Shields bounced back from back to back losses at the hands of GSP and Jake Ellenberger with a win over Sexyama. He's likely pretty far away from contention which is why fighting the winner of Kampmann/Alves makes so much sense. The winner will be back in title talks while the loser essentially becomes a gate keeper.
Yoshihiro Akiyama vs Diego Sanchez: This fight sounds insanely fun. Akiyama will likely not be cut from the organization despite his 1-4 record. Both fighters are known for bringing it every time they step in the cage and this is the kind of fight that makes me love fantasy booking.
Tim Boetsch vs Mark Munoz: Tim Boetsch scored one of the biggest upsets in UFC history when he came from behind in incredible fashion to stop Yushin Okami in the third. This puts the UFC in a weird position where a top 10 guy loses to someone who probably shouldn't have been ranked. Mark Munoz is currently healing from an injury which means the time table should work out. Two heavy handed middleweights? Yes please.
Yushin Okami vs Demian Maia: Demian Maia probably shouldn't be in the UFC after his awful performance against Chris Weidman but he's still a top fighter at Middleweight. Why not put together Okami/Maia? The winner is back in contention. The loser is probably fired.
Hatsu Hioki vs Erik Koch: In his post-fight interview Hatsu Hioki said that he wanted another fight in the UFC before challenging for Jose Aldo's title. Erik Koch was supposed to fight Dustin Poirier at UFC 143. This is a great fight any way you look at it and will provide a real challenger to Aldo's belt.
Bart Palaszewski vs George Roop: Bart Palaszewski is big for 145 but he's just not all that good. A fight with George Roop is a good way to figure out which of these two guys deserves to keep their jobs. It doesn't hurt that they will also slug it out and put on a great fight for fans.
Joe Lauzon vs Donald Cerrone: A fight between two guys who were on the brink of a title shot. Lauzon and Cerrone are both known for bringing it and have similar skill sets. It's a great fight to rebuild the lightweight division and create new future match ups.
Takanori Gomi vs Anthony Njokuani/John Makdessi winner: Let all the talk of "the old Gomi is back!" stop. Gomi looked good in the second round but the first was vintage UFC Gomi. He's far from contendership and needs an opponent. A fight with the winner of Anthony Njokuani/John Makdessi will give a good idea of if Gomi still has "it" or if he just got lucky in front of the Japanese crowd.
Eiji Mitsuoka: Cut. Solid first round but he looked completely gassed out at the start of the second. He doesn't bring anything to the division and when it comes to the UFC, if you have nothing to offer, you have no spot on the roster.
Vaughan Lee vs Ivan Menjivar: Vaughan Lee picked up the biggest win of his career by tapping out the legendary Kid Yamamoto. Unfortunately, due to Yamamoto's fall, it doesn't really elevate him too much in the rankings. A fight with Menjivar answers questions about both fighters and allows for either to move up the ladder organically.
Norifumi Yamamoto: Cut. It's difficult to continue to book someone who is 1-3 in the UFC and doesn't draw fans. Yes, this is different than Akiyama and Dan Hardy who still have an ability to move the needle.
Steve Cantwell: Cut. He's 1-5 in the UFC. I'll repeat that again in case you were as shocked as I was. Steve Cantwell is 1-5 in the UFC. If there's ever been a more obvious cut I don't know what it is. He'll do well on the regionals if he stops allowing opponents to tee off on him.
Chris Cariaso vs Takeya Mizugaki 2: Let's be honest with each other. The judges got this fight completely wrong. If there is any justice in the universe the UFC will go with an immediate rematch.
Issei Tamura vs Cub Swanson: Tamura looked good against Zhang but I still have questions about his lack of size at featherweight. I've never viewed Cub Swanson as a "good" fighter but he did just pick up a huge win over George Roop. This fight answers the question of if Tamura should drop to 135 or if Swanson has turned the corner mentally and improved as a fighter.
Tiequan Zhang: Cut. And good riddance. That he stuck around this long is the biggest travesty of the new millenium. Maybe OneFC will pick him up or something?
More UFC 144 coverage here at Bloody Elbow:
- UFC 144 Results: Winners, Losers, And Other Thoughts - Matthew Roth
- UFC 144 Results: Frankie Edgar Doesn't 'Need' To Drop To Featherweight - Brent Brookhouse
- UFC 144 Results: Rampage Jackson Goes Out Like A Lamb In Loss To Ryan Bader - Nate Wilcox
- UFC 144 Results: Ben Henderson And Anthony Pettis Ready For Rematch - Nate Wilcox
- UFC 144: Edgar Vs. Henderson Results And Post-Fight Analysis - Brent Brookhouse
- UFC 144 Results: Dana White Says Anthony Pettis Will 'Likely' Get Next UFC Lightweight Title Shot - Bloody Elbow
- UFC 144 Post-Fight Press Conference Video
- UFC Japan Video: Georges St. Pierre Gets Attacked By A Mob Of Kids With Samurai Foam Swords - Bloody Elbow
- Bad Boy Presents Bloody Elbow Radio - Episode 139: UFC 144 Results Review
- UFC 144 Results: Ryan Bader Dominates Rampage Jackson To Decision - Matthew Roth
- UFC 144 Results: Mark Hunt Knocks Out Cheick Kongo In The First Round - Matthew Roth
- UFC 144 Results: Jake Shields Wins Hard Fought Decision Over Yoshihiro Akiyama - Matthew Roth
- UFC 144 Results: Tim Boetsch Upsets Yushin Okami In The Third Round - Matthew Roth
- UFC 144 Post-Fight Press Conference Video
- UFC 144 Results: Hatsu Hioki Defeats Bart Palaszewski By Unanimous Decision - Matthew Roth
- UFC 144 Results: Anthony Pettis Knocks Out Joe Lauzon In The First Round - Matthew Roth
- UFC 144 Results: Takanori Gomi Stops Eiji Mitsuoka In The Second - Matthew Roth
- UFC 144 Results: Vaughan Lee Submits Kid Yamamoto With An Armbar - Matthew Roth
- UFC 144 Results: Riki Fukuda Dominates Steve Cantwell To Decision - Matthew Roth
- UFC 144 Results: Chris Cariaso Defeats Takeya Mizugaki By Unanimous Decision - Matthew Roth
- UFC 144 Results: Issei Tamura Knocks Out Tiequan Zhang - Matthew Roth