Anderson Silva is contemplative after winning during UFC 148 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, July 7, 2012. Image via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting
One of the biggest questions after a card ends is pretty simple - who do these guys fight next? Sometimes there's a plan going forward, but more often than not it's wide open in regards to what will happen in the near future. UFC 148 opened up a plethora of possible options for guys, so let's go ahead and take a look at who the fighters might meet in their next bouts.
Anderson Silva - This is one of the biggest question marks. I hate using terms like "cleaned out the division" because there are always new contenders, but Silva might come the closest to fitting the definition. To me, it seems like there are three possibilities. The first is Hector Lombard, if he can get through Tim Boetsch at UFC 149. Dana already said it was a possibility, but that was when he was still fighting Brian Stann. The second possibility is the winner of the Mark Munoz vs. Chris Weidman fight at UFC on Fuel 4 on Wednesday. The third is a major longshot, but wouldn't surprise me considering the drawing power of both men - Michael Bisping.
Chael Sonnen - Wanderlei Silva or Vitor Belfort seem like the most likely candidates. Chael has drawn both men, particularly Silva, into a war of words and both are fights that would sell. Belfort is more suitable rankings-wise, but Silva would do a better job of building the fight and is also coming off a loss. A third candidate could be Rich Franklin, who Sonnen was talked about as well.
Forrest Griffin - Everyone is clamoring for a third fight between Griffin and Stephan Bonnar, but how can you really justify that? Griffin won the first two, and has faced much better competition than Bonnar lately. Bonnar has won three in a row, but still. Personally, I'd rather see Griffin take on the winner of the Lyoto Machida vs. Ryan Bader fight at UFC on Fox 4.
Tito Ortiz - No one. He's retired.
Much more after the jump.
Cung Le: He will be fighting on the Macau card in November. But who do you throw him in there with? Could they go back to the original matchup with Rich Franklin? Or maybe put him in against a young up-and-comer like fellow UFC 148 winner Constantinos Philippou? If they're going to pay him 150k+, you'd figure he'd be facing top-tier guys. I think Chris Leben's suspension ends six days before the Macau card goes down. I know they say they don't book guys coming off suspension until they're re-licensed, but this wasn't a commission suspension. They acted as their own commission for UFC 138 and suspended him themselves. So it's at least in the realm of possibility. Just sayin'.
Demian Maia - Depending on how hurt Kim is, they could try and book that bout again. If not, a bout with Mike Pyle would be cool. If Matt Hughes wants to fight again, put him in there with Maia. I'd pay to watch that.
Dong Hyun Kim - It all depends on the extent of his injury.
Mike Easton - While he definitely won his fight with Menjivar, he didn't exactly look like a title threat while he was doing it. A bout against the winner of the Yves Jabouin vs. Brad Pickett fight at UFC on Fuel 5 seems like a good step up in competition.
Ivan Menjivar He didn't really have a lot for Easton and took a huge hit in his hopes for a title shot. He's still an exciting fighter though and will probably fight in Toronto or Montreal later in the year. Give him the winner of the Alex Caceres vs. Damacio Page fight at UFC on Fuel 4.