UFC 162 is in the books, and it's the dawn of a new day for the 185-pound division in the UFC. For the first time since 2006, Anderson Silva isn't the top dog. And if you believe his post-fight interview last night, he's not even interested in a rematch. So where does this leave the middleweight division? In a crazy state of flux, at least for now. The featherweight division also got a new contender, and one of the top P4P guys in the sport got back on the winning track. So without further ado, here's who I think the UFC 162 main card fighters should meet next.
Chris Weidman - No matter what I think of the fight, he's the new champion. Clearly the rematch with Silva would be one of the best-selling fights of all time, and that would be in the UFC's best interests. But if Anderson is serious and doesn't care about the belt any more, the first title shot should go to Vitor Belfort. He's the best middleweight in the world outside the top two at the moment, and your opinions on TRT are irrelevant because it's legal right now. I don't know how well it would sell outside of Brazil, but there's no other middleweight (other than Silva) with the resume to deserve the shot right now.
Anderson Silva - Who knows? He wants to keep fighting but doesn't want to fight for a belt? To me, that means that he wants something outside the division. The superfights with Jon Jones and Georges St. Pierre aren't as alluring any more though. Is it Roy Jones? Is it light heavyweight? Is it something even stranger? I honestly have no idea. If it's middleweight, the rematch is the only thing that makes sense.
Frankie Edgar - Frankie's in a tough spot. When you lose a bunch of title fights in a row, no one wants to see you immediately re-inserted into the title picture. He's pretty clearly a top-3 featherweight, but he already lost to the champ. I guess he just becomes a really good gatekeeper then. Which means his next bout will be against one of two men - Ricardo Lamas or Cub Swanson.
Charles Oliveira - He was only fighting Edgar in the first place because Edgar needed a win, but he did a good job in there and raised his stock despite the loss. I'd like to see him face off with another Brazilian with potential - Hacran Dias.
Tim Kennedy - He won, and looked impressive on the floor against one of the best grapplers in the world. Is he a contender though? Probably not. If Costa Philippou isn't fighting Michael Bisping in Manchester later this year, a bout with Kennedy could make some sense. If not, how about Rich Franklin when he comes back?
Roger Gracie - Well, Gracies are good at two things - jiu jitsu and gassing. Yes, Roger cuts a lot of weight to make 185 and all that. But he looked just like Rolles and Renzo by the third round - completely shot. If he sticks around as a novelty act, people would obviously like to see him meet Ronaldo Souza. But Jacare is well ahead of him in the pecking order, so give him another submission artists around his level - Rousimar Palhares.
Mark Munoz - I certainly won't be saying that he's overrated anymore, but he's not exactly the next in line for a title shot or anything. Bisping/Munoz sounds better than Bisping/Philippou to me, so maybe they do that instead.
Cub Swanson -He ascended into the top of the featherweight division by stopping Siver, and Cub vs. virtually any other top guy at 145 would be a great fight. Whether it's Ricardo Lamas, Frankie Edgar, or even Chad Mendes (if he beats Clay Guida), it seems that Swanson should be one win away from a title shot.
Dennis Siver - The loss was a huge setback for his title hopes, but Siver's still a tough out for any featherweight. He could fight the loser of the Erik Koch vs. Dustin Poirier fight at UFC 164, or they could insert him into a style clash matchup against Darren Elkins.