The Joe Silva Hat: UFC 159 Edition

After UFC 159, there are tantalizing matchups to be had everywhere, and here are the ones I would make. For those who are lazy and don't want to read my reasoning, the matchups I'm suggesting are bolded, so don't go off on an unbolded name and prove to everyone that you didn't read but still want to talk out of your ass.

For the Winners

Jon Jones - Should not face Machida again. If Jones is serious about moving on to a superfight with Anderson Silva and a move to heavyweight, I do not want him wasting time against someone he choked into unconsciousness in the second round. Yes, Machida is probably the second best fighter at light heavyweight, but I don't believe he has anything new for Jones so it's time to move on. Alexander Gustafsson should face Glover Teixiera should he get past Te Huna and the winner of that fight should fight Jones after his toe is finished healing. We need to put as many names on his resumé as possible in the short time he has left.

Michael Bisping - I personally think the best choice is to put him in against Yushin Okami. Okami and Bisping have similarly rangy and technical styles and I think Bisping's stout takedown defense would be a great test for Okami's ability to force the fight into his world. Failing that, I wouldn't mind seeing Bisping fight the winner of Costa Philipou and Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza--he would make a tough test of Costa's boxing or Souza's ability to force the takedown. There are plenty of appealing matchups for Bisping though.

Roy Nelson - I think Dana White and Joe Silva were spot on. I would love to see Big Country in there against Daniel Cormier, since he has the grappling pedigree to face Cormier on the ground and the power to threaten him on the feet. Though I would prefer that Mark Hunt get a title shot with a win, I think he would also make an appealing matchup against Nelson if the UFC brass weren't born down to let their golden boy champ get knocked out by an inexorable Kiwi with mush mouth.

Phil Davis - Phil made big strides in this fight. That was the first time his punching technique looked anything but awful and slow and while I don't think he should turn in his 4 oz. gloves to switch sports any time soon, I think he needs to move on to a bigger test. Personally, I think a good test for him would be another wrestler in Ryan Bader. This will put him in there against someone with big power and the wrestling to back it up. I also think he would make a good litmus test for Gegard Mousasi's wrestling to see how far it has come along, and to see if Mr. Wonderful can achieve the same results when faced with a lanky striker who has a good jab.

Pat Healy - Making matchups at lightweight is like being a kid in a candy store-- there are so many good options you always feel like you've done the right thing when you're finished. I would love to see Healy face someone big and strong like he is, and I think the loser of T.J. Grant and Gray Maynard would be the perfect test for him since the winner is moving on to face Ben Henderson for the title (unless the Eddie Alvarez situation gets resolved and he gets a title shot--in which case give Healy the winner). I also think that there's a case to be made that he should finally get the title shot that a lot of folks felt Gilbert Melendez ducked upon leaving Strikeforce. Healy would fight with a chip on his shoulder, and Melendez would get a relevant fight to put him on track for a rematch with Henderson.

Rustam Khabilov - I think Khabilov needs a real test this time, and I think it should come at the hands of undefeated prospect Myles Jury. Jury possesses strong striking and a versatile grappling game to go with it, and I think he's just the kind of guy that would give the combat sambo master a challenge to his whole game.

Ovince St. Preux - I'm going to break ranks with the winner vs. winner situation here and say that OSP should face Vinny Magaelhas. Neither one of them is smelling like roses and I would like to see one of them get the chance at redemption. Can Vinny force his grappling game on a wrestler, or at very least manage to enforce his striking game when he can't? Can OSP outlast someone of a higher caliber than Gian Villante? These are important questions.

Sarah McMann - It's hard to find the right level of talent for an up and coming fighter like McMann who I think still has a bit of developing to do before facing Rousey. I don't want to see Tate or Carmouche taken out of their rumored fight because I want one of those two to get the chance to spring back to contention. So to me that leaves Sarah Kaufman as the credible alternative. Sarah would test McMann with her strong takedown defense and excellent striking.

Bryan Caraway - I hate 135. Such a boring division. Match him up with another fighter I couldn't give less than a damn about in T.J. Dillashaw.

Cody McKenzie - I don't know why people were so down on this guy. Yeah, that was a crappy loss to Mendes but Mendes is downright legit. I would love to see him against Charles Oliveira since I think they are both young and raw and could use this kind of matchmaking. I would also love to see him face Pablo Garza in another matchup of lanky FWs.

Steven Siler - I think the right thing to do is put him back on track for his fight with Jimy Hettes.

And the Losers

Chael Sonnen - He's had his time at the top, and if he can't feel happy about facing the lesser competition he deserves, I'd love to see Sonnen vs. The Broadcast Booth or Some Other Media Job. This is really where he belongs, now, as I don't think his heart is in fighting anymore.

Alan Belcher - Belcher's an entertaining scrapper but he has proved he can't strike with the top of the division. I wouldn't mind seeing him as a comeback fight for Lorenz Larkin or Stanislov Nedkov.

Cheick Kongo - Give him Ben Rothwell. That's about the only guy who needs to be tested by Kongo. Did you realize cup-Cheick has been in the UFC stomping balls and grabbing shorts for 18 fights? He's literally running out of people to be gatekeeper for. Almost everyone has either fought him or clearly demonstrated that they are better or worse than him.

Vinny Magalhaes - Ovince St. Preux. See reasoning above.

Jim Miller - Poor Jim just can't seem to get that signature win. Give him the loser of Rafael dos Anjos and Evan Dunham. That should move someone up from the melee of fighters trying to elbow their way to contender's row.

Yancy Medeiros - He could fight Joe Proctor or Binc Pichel.

Gian Villante - this guy should really be pink slipped down to a place where he can develop better. The UFC is too much for him now.

Sheila Gaff - She should take on the loser of the Alexis Davis vs. Rosi Sexton fight.

Johnny Bedford - I still like this cat and I think he could become something if given time to develop. Put him in there with Reuben Duran and see what he can do.

Leonard Garcia - Long overdue walking papers. If they keep him around (which wouldn't shock me at all) he should fight Jeremy Stephens.

Kurt Holobaugh - They could cut him, but I say throw him in there against Matt Grice just for shits and giggles.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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