Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Bloody Elbow does some fantasy matchmaking for the main card fighters from last night's UFC on FOX 6 event in Chicago, IL.
UFC on FOX 6 really delivered great action throughout the main card, and that's something that has been consistent with the last several FOX events. While the production of the broadcast was ... quite awful and mistake-filled, the fights were entertaining and that's something FOX has to be pleased with. It seems that they and the UFC have found the right formula for these types of shows, which bodes well for their partnership in the long-term.
It's time to get the fantasy matchmaking cap on. What's next for the winners and losers from last night's main card.
Demetrious Johnson. The flyweight division is so thin right now that Johnson is pretty much forced to do another rematch with someone. Next week Joseph Benavidez fights Ian McCall at UFC 156, and Johnson just beat Benavidez while he went 1-0-1 against McCall in the tournament. Benavidez is rightly favored to beat McCall, so presumably Johnson gets the winner of that fight. Hopefully once John Moraga, Darren Uyenoyama, and Louis Gaudinot establish themselves in the division the rematches will die down.
Glover Teixeira. Consider me one person who wasn't overly impressed with Glover's performance. He won comfortably but showed he has too many defensive holes in his game to really make a push for the 205 lbs title. That doesn't mean he still isn't a legitimate top 10 LHW right now, and he should be booked as such. Unfortunately many fighters in the top 10 are either scheduled to fight or is locked into some type of top contender match. My best guess would be that Teixeira faces the winner of Rashad Evans vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
Anthony Pettis. Dana White said that Pettis will get a title shot against the Ben Henderson/Gilbert Melendez winner. On one hand, I still want to see Pettis take on a wrestler to see if he's improved his takedown defense, on the other hand, a potential Henderson vs. Pettis rematch would pretty much be an instant FOTY contender. I said last night I want to see him take one more fight against either Gray Maynard or Nate Diaz -- admittedly the Diaz fight is just simply for how fun the fight would be -- but to hell with it, just give Showtime his title shot and let's hope we get the rematch with Bendo.
Ricardo Lamas. This was Lamas' first main card appearance in either the WEC or UFC since 2009 (!). Not only did he beat Erik Koch, he smashed his face in. Koch's blood was all over Lamas' arm, giving Lamas a "bloody elbow". I'm sold on him being the #1 contender, he's got well-rounded skills, he can win anywhere the fight takes place, and to me he has earned a title shot against the Aldo/Edgar winner.
T.J. Grant (PRELIM BONUS). What makes Grant's win over Matt Wiman so impressive is that he once again showcased his striking. He has improved substantially in this department, and considering he already is a quality grappler, he has definitely made a case for top 10 status. Grant is entertaining, durable, and clearly high-level, so let's see him fight Jim Miller next.
John Dodson. It was a great first two rounds for John, but he did not have the gas tank to compete with Mighty Mouse in the end, and by the end of the 5th round it looked like Dodson was close to being stopped. It won't take much for him to get another title shot, and he might only need 1. He once fought John Moraga at bantamweight back in 2010, defeating him by unanimous decision. Now that they're both at flyweight and Moraga in particular has really impressed in his last two fights, I'd like to see them fight in the UFC.
Quinton Jackson. I wish him all the best in retirement or Bellator or Super Fight League ... whatever he ends up doing. His time in the UFC has ended and there's really not much to see here as far as who he should fight next. If he ends up in Bellator, I'm sure they'd just give him a "superfight" with King Mo once Mo steamrolls the LHW tournament.
Donald Cerrone. Cowboy is still young, he's entertaining to watch, but you have to wonder if that dominating win by Pettis narrowed his title window significantly. It's not just the fact that he's now lost to the current champion twice (Ben Henderson), the likely new #1 contender (Pettis), and the former #1 contender (Nate Diaz), but 3 of those 4 fights weren't even close. He was easily submitted by Henderson, outclassed by Pettis, and given a boxing clinic by Nate. As much as Cerrone has improved, I just don't see him as a championship-caliber lightweight. For the sake of a really fun fight that he can win, Jorge Masvidal out of Strikeforce seems like the most obvious choice.
Erik Koch. Tough loss for Koch, but I don't think he really lost any stock in losing to Lamas. He displayed fairly impressive takedown defense against a good wrestler in Lamas, and is still a very good striker. At 24-years-old he has plenty of years ahead of him as long as he can stay healthy. He's young with plenty of potential, and I'd like to see him fight Dennis Siver next.
Matt Wiman (PRELIM BONUS). I don't think anyone expected Wiman to get trucked like that. Only Spencer Fisher had finished him prior to last night, and that loss just about kills off any chance Wiman had of creeping into top 10 status. He's still a fun fighter to watch and is a tough outing for just about anyone. I don't recall if he and Joe Lauzon were really close on TUF 5, but as long as they don't have any personal barriers preventing them from fighting each other ... let them fight each other. Lauzon vs. Wiman would be a really entertaining scrap, in my opinion.
I've pitched in my two cents and channeled by inner Joe Silva and Sean Shelby. What would you like to see for the fighters listed above?