USA TODAY Sports
After some surprising results last night at UFC 156, let's take a look at what could be next for the main card fighters.
UFC 156 was one of those odd cards where a lot of questions were answered, but other ones you hadn't even thought of before popped up after some weird results. The middleweight division now has a pretty clear title fight (Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman) despite there not being a 185-pound fight on the card. And the welterweight division definitely has a new contender. But heavyweight is a mess now, and featherweight is just as weird. With that in mind, here's how I would book the UFC 156 main card fighters for their next bout.
Jose Aldo vs. Anthony Pettis - This one is a no-brainer now. It wasn't even a real possibility before Dana mentioned it at the post-fight press conference, but it's a much more marketable fight than a bout with or Ricardo Lamas.
Frankie Edgar vs. Chan Sung Jung - I want Edgar to stay at 145, and I think that Zombie would be an awesome style matchup for Edgar. Chad Mendes might be a possibility too, but the two guys are very similar and I'd prefer to see something potentially more entertaining.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Glover Teixeira - A lot of the top guys are booked right now in this crowded division, so if Lil Nog is looking to fight again soon, Glover is the best option. I'm not sure how much it does for either guy, but it's about the only logical fight possible in the next few months.
Rashad Evans vs. Mauricio Rua - They were scheduled to meet at UFC 128 before Evans bowed out and Jon Jones officially rose to greatness instead. They're both coming off losses, and it's still a very marketable matchup that should be exciting.
Antonio Silva vs. Cain Velasquez - What other choice do they have? At this point, the only real fights for Cain are rematches. Dos Santos vs Cain would sell more pay per views, but it's tough to deny Bigfoot his shot after that. I don't know if the UFC will go in this direction to make the bout below, but it's probably the best thing to do overall.
Alistair Overeem vs. Junior dos Santos - If the UFC doesn't book Cain/JDS 3, this is pretty obvious matchmaking. They're both coming off disappointing losses, they both have good standup, and they genuinely don't like each other.
Demian Maia vs. Rory MacDonald/Carlos Condit winner (UFC 158) - Neither of these guys are going to be getting a title shot anytime soon if Georges St. Pierre can beat . So why not put the winner up against Maia? Both of those fights look excellent to me.
Jon Fitch vs. Nick Diaz - Yes, I'm assuming GSP will beat Diaz at UFC 158. Sue me. But both of them would be coming off losses and would officially be out of the title picture. They both have good grappling and it'd be tough for Fitch to impose his game on Diaz. They're talked about each other in the past too, so there's natural heat there already.
Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson 2 - The UFC might not have much choice when it comes to this bout. The division is just too new right now and there aren't any other legitimate contenders. John Moraga is the only other guy that might have earned a title shot, and it seems like he needs another win first. So in the meantime, it might be best to go back to this. Benavidez almost beat him the first time, and maybe he could pull it out in the second meeting.
Ian McCall vs. Chris Cariaso - McCall has taken on the top two guys in the world in his last three fights, and come up just a hair short. Cariaso was doing a great job against Moraga before getting submitted late. It's a solid top-level matchup of guys coming off losses.