UFC 161 results: Fights to make for the main card fighters


Tim B. takes a look at who the UFC 161 main card fighters might meet in their next bout.

UFC 161 was light on action, but the results did offer up some interesting possible scenarios in a few divisions. The light heavyweight division now has a pretty obvious marquee fight. Heavyweight was thrown for a bit of a loop, and a pending free agent adds a bit of intrigue as well. Women's bantamweight has a new possible contender as well. With all that in mind, let's get down to it and see if we can do a little fantasy matchmaking.

Rashad Evans: I alluded to this in the the opening paragraph. There is only one really obvious candidate for a bout with Evans right now - Glover Teixeira. Everyone else that makes sense is either booked or hurt, and this is actually a perfect fight no matter what. Teixeira needs a signature win to have the resume for a shot at the UFC light heavyweight title. Beating a former champion and perennial top-10 guy like Rashad does that. Honestly the fight is a bit of a no-win situation for Evans, but he put himself in this spot by losing to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. This is the fight to book.

Dan Henderson: It's very tough to see where Hendo goes from here. He's clearly competitive with the top guys, but he keeps coming up short. Dan said that he wants to take the summer off and come back before the end of the year, which would give the division some time to shake out. Do they want to stick him in there with the likes of Ryan Bader? What does Hendo get out of that? If Mauricio Rua loses to Chael Sonnen, they could do Hendo/Rua 2. Or how about a third bout between Hendo and Wanderlei Silva? There are lots of ideas, but no conclusions to be drawn yet.

Stipe Miocic: It'd be a tough test, but I think the best matchup for Stipe coming off of this huge win would be Antonio Silva. He's coming off a title shot loss and he's still ranked pretty highly, but I like the speed vs. strength style matchup and it's a good bounceback fight for Bigfoot. Miocic could face the winner of Alistair Overeem vs. Travis Browne too, but I think they have bigger immediate plans for the victor in that fight.

Roy Nelson: Does he stay with the UFC? It was certainly tough to tell after last night's loss. Nelson and White put on happy faces and said they'd talk, but I doubt their sincerity. Nelson is undoubtedly going to go where the money is, and last night's loss probably took a zero or two off the end of a potential UFC offer. If he does stay, there's one obvious candidate for his next bout - Mark Hunt. I mean, who doesn't want to see that? But he has to sign first.

Ryan Jimmo: With performances like that, I hope his next bout is back in the MFC. I'd like to see him fight someone that would put some pressure on him and stop him from just clinching up against the cage. Jimmo and Thiago Silva are similarly-ranked, so that seems like the best fight. Silva has a much higher profile in the organization, but one win in four years means that he should be booked against guys like Jimmo. Will they go in that direction? I don't know.

Igor Pokrajac: He has basically lost three in a row now, but Beltran's drug test saves him from that and buffers the losses with a NC. Stick him in there with Gian Villante and hope no one gets poked in the eye.

Alexis Davis: Is Davis ready for Ronda Rousey, as some media members were trying to push last night? No. But she's near the top of a thin division. It makes complete sense for her to fight Sara McMann if she beats Sarah Kaufman, but if Kaufman wins, that's probably out the window because Sarah holds two wins over her fellow Canadian. So if Kaufman does take the W, the next best option is probably the winner of the Liz Carmouche vs. Jessica Andrade bout at UFC on Fox 8.

Rosi Sexton: I assume the UFC isn't looking into a 125-pound women's division anytime soon, so Rosi will have to get used to taking on bigger opponents. She should probably face Sheila Gaff next, since they were scheduled to face off in 2012 in Cage Warriors anyway, before Gaff pulled out with an illness just a week before the bout. As Mookie said in the comments though, Gaff is fighting Amanda Nunes first though. So maybe the loser of that bout.

Shawn Jordan: Todd Duffee would be a really interesting next opponent, but I guess he's out with an injury or something. If he heals up soon, book that. If not, Matt Mitrione is another great option.

Pat Barry: People want to see Hunt vs. Barry, but that's not a fight that's going to get Hunt back into title contention. There are just so few other possible opponents for HD. Dave Herman would be good if he wasn't facing Gabriel Gonzaga. But if Herman loses that, he's probably getting cut. How about Geronimo dos Santos? He's a big boxer and apparently he's still under contract and free of Hepatitis B now. That looks like the only real fit to me, unless Brandon Vera beats Ben Rothwell and Rothwell wants to fight Barry.

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