Events like UFC 167 make these articles easy sometimes. When you have to predict the future of a bunch of middling fighters on a Fight Night card, there are so many options that it's really hard to pick out the best one. But when the main event title fight at a PPV features a controversial decision? And one of the co-main event fighters already has his next fight booked? They're just doing the work for me. Thanks, guys. With that in mind, there are still plenty of options for the other seven fighters, so let's get to it. Here's who I think each guy should fight in their next bout.
Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks -Despite all the confusion in terms of GSP's post-fight comments, Dana White was much calmer at the media scrum after discussing things with his champ. He seems to think St-Pierre will give Hendricks a rematch relatively soon. And that's the only option if GSP continues to fight. There are no other surefire challengers - Lawler could be, but he's not in a place to unseat Johny after that. I believe we'll see the rematch in 2014. When and where? No idea. I doubt it'll be in Montreal though.
Rashad Evans - There are only four guys in the top 11 (including the champ) that Rashad hasn't fought, and they're all booked right now. Plus, two of them are middleweights now. Go UFC rankings. Could he face the winner of the Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jimi Manuwa fight? If Gus wins, does he get Jones again? If Jones beats Teixeira, could Glover face Rashad next? It's really hard to see where to go with him. If Evans wants to fight again soon, they could give him the winner of the Mauricio Rua vs. James Te Huna match, but they both seem a little low on the totem pole for Evans. I think Rashad is going to take a break, do some commentating, and see how the division plays out over the next 3-4 months. Then he'll fight either Gustafsson or Teixeira.
Robbie Lawler - The controversial title fight definitely hurt his shot at an immediate title shot. Robbie doesn't strike me as the type of guy that will sit out and wait to see what the outcome is - he's a fighter. And the best fight out there for him is the winner of the Carlos Condit vs. Matt Brown matchup next month. A rematch with Nick Diaz would be really cool too, but he's retired.
Rory MacDonald - Many fans are happy that Rory is now out of the title race for now, since he's adamant that he won't fight GSP. There are a few bouts that could make sense for his next outing, but the three I like the most are Martin Kampmann, Thiago Alves, and Demian Maia. Kampmann has lost two in a row though, so they might give him an easier matchup to give him the opportunity to get him a win. That leaves Alves and Maia. It doesn't make the most sense from a style standpoint, but a bout with Maia would certainly show where Rory's grappling is at. And Alves would take the fight to Rory like Lawler did, so he'd have to make some adjustments to deal with that.
Tyron Woodley - He's teetering right on the edge of the top 10 with his huge knockout win. If Jake Ellenberger beats Tarec Saffiedine in January, facing Woodley next would be really interesting. A bout between Woodley and Dong Hyun Kim would be an interesting style clash as well.
Josh Koscheck - I'm pretty sure he's going to retire. He doesn't have anything left to prove and he's made a lot of money. If he is going to stick around though, here's a wild idea - let him go up to 185 and finally fight Chris Leben, regardless of the outcome of The Crippler's fight with Uriah Hall at UFC 168. It'd be one more chance to squeeze a little bit of drawing power out of each man, and it's something they've both wanted ever since TUF 1. It could easily be a main card fight on the TUF 19 or 20 Finale. I know it's out there, but it's a decent way to use a couple of fighters that are clearly past the point of relevance in the organization.
Tim Elliott - The loss was a big step back after such a solid performance against Gaudinot. But he's still a top-10 fighter in the division and can get back in the title hunt if he can string together two solid wins. I'd like to see him fight Jussier Formiga next.