UFC Fight Night 30 is in the books, and...I didn't actually watch it. Well, not live anyway. I'm all caught up now, and it turned out to be a decent card. The main event delivered a concrete result that will help with rankings (unlike Machida's last fight), but the co-main going to a no contest doesn't exactly help in that regard. It sure does make this post a little easier though. Anyway, let's take a look at who the main card fighters should meet in their next bout.
Lyoto Machida - Dana White thinks the fans want to see Machida fight Vitor Belfort if he gets past Dan Henderson. While I do believe that's a good fight, there are other ones as well. If he's willing to fight another guy he's trained with, a bout with Ronaldo Souza would be excellent. Or they could have him meet Michael Bisping. My personal preference would be Machida/Jacare though.
Mark Munoz - There's no shame in losing to someone as talented as Machida, but his hopes for a title shot are pretty much shot now. He'd need to put together a big run of wins over quality competition, and his next bout is probably going to come against someone near the bottom of the top ten at best. In my eyes, the bout that makes the most sense would see Munoz fighting Costa Philippou. Luke Rockhold would be a possibility as well, but I think the Philippou fight makes more sense right now with him coming off the loss to Carmont.
Ross Pearson - Hey, a simple one. He'll rematch Guillard in March after the no contest. He didn't look great in the bout, but it's hard to draw a conclusion off of two minutes of fighting. The rematch should be interesting at least.
Melvin Guillard - See above. The rematch is actually a good thing for Guillard as it will probably serve as the co-main event again, keeping him in the spotlight despite his uneven record lately.
Jimi Manuwa -Three UFC wins, but two via freak injuries. Still though, he's probably one of the best LHW prospects they have and he should get a higher-profile fight next. A solid next bout for him would be against the winner of the Rafael Cavalcante vs. Igor Pokrajac fight at UFC 167. Both are quality strikers and would be a good challenge for the heavy-handed Brit.
Ryan Jimmo - It was not a very good performance from Jimmo before the freak injury. The crowd wanted to see a fight and he kept tying Manuwa up against the fence, something he does a lot. The extent of his injury is not yet known so it's hard to pick a next opponent. But it'd be nice if they put him in there with someone that Jimmo would have really trouble stalling with. If Matt Hamill doesn't retire, he could be a good choice. It wouldn't be a pretty fight, but what else can you do?
Norman Parke - He put forth a decent performance and he's now 3-0 in the UFC. I think it's time for a step up in competition, and the winner of the Jorge Masvidal vs. Rustam Khabilov bout at UFC Fight for the Troops 3 seems like a pretty good fit to me.
Jon Tuck - It was the first loss of Tuck's career and he's going to be sticking around. A bout with a lower-tier lightweight or someone making their debut is probably what he'll get next. I think a good challenge would be Jesse Ronson.
Nicholas Musoke -That was certainly a great performance from a late replacement, especially coming up a weight class. My guess is that he'll be back at welterweight for his next fight, and a bout with Yan Cabral sounds pretty interesting.
John Lineker - Dana White said that he'd probably be in line for a title shot if he could just make weight. He's apparently going to work with Mike Dolce to get the cut right so he can stay at flyweight. With Ian McCall out of his bout with Scott Jorgensen, Lineker would be the perfect fit as a replacement if Lineker wants a quick turnaround. They could also move Jorgensen to a card in early 2014 if this is the fight they want.
Phil Harris - He's 1-2 in the UFC now, and if he stays in the UFC he'll probably fight on the London card in March. He could fight the loser of the Dustin Ortiz vs. Jose Maria fight, or someone that's making their UFC debut.