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Upcoming Matches

The big fight Saturday night changed the UFC heavyweight picture radically but otherwise didn't do too much.
Middleweight Rich Franklin and welterweight Matt Hughes appear to be headed for title shots where they can attempt to reclaim their belts from Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre respectively.

Of course both Silva and St. Pierre have upcoming title defenses they'll have to win -- St. Pierre is fighting Matt Serra on April 7 in Houston. That shouldn't preclude a Hughes/St. Pierre rematch as Serra, the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 4 tournament, is an undersized welterweight with so-so wrestling and weak striking. GSP should retain the belt easily. I predict he'll not have much more trouble beating Hughes again in their third meeting.

Silva is rumored to be fighting Nathan Marquardt in July. Nate the Great will present a much more serious challenge. He matches up extremely well against Silva -- good takedowns and great grappling. Of course Silva showed some good BJJ against Lutter and should dominate Nate on the feet. We'll see. I won't be surprised if the Marquardt's title shot is postponed for two reasons -- it endangers the big pay day of a Silva/Franklin rematch in Franklin's home town of Cincinnatti and Marquardt hasn't been marketed enough to get the title shot he's earned. If I was UFC, I'd have Marquardt fight the winner of April 7th's Mike Swick/Yushin Okami fight on the July card -- same night I'd schedule Franklin/Silva in Ohio. Then the pump will have been primed.