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UFC 163 results: Fights to make for the main card fighters

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UFC 163 might not be on the short list for event of the year, but there are questions surrounding the near future of some of the fighters. Where do they go from here? Tim B. gives his assessment of the situation.

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Did UFC have a lot of relevance outside the top two fights? Not really. Sure, the Flyweight division might have had a contender established last night. But the guy who was supposed to step up into that spot missed weight, almost got knocked out, and didn't exactly set himself up as a guy that deserves a shot. Besides that, you had a largely irrelevant middleweight bout and another that was a total squash match on the main card. Nonetheless, I'll try to map out the near future for the 10 fighters in question. At least light heavyweight got a tiny bit more interesting.

Jose Aldo - It has been confirmed that Aldo did indeed break his foot last night. It's the same foot that he injured in a motorcycle accident last year that caused him to pull out of UFC 153 as well. Whether surgery will be required is unclear but Aldo is probably on the shelf for the rest of 2013, especially considering how all the top slots are booked for PPV's anyway. So for now, he's not fighting anyone. But when he's healthy? The obvious option is Ricardo Lamas. Aldo has beaten 4 of the top 5 contenders already. Lamas is the only one that hasn't met Aldo yet. That being said, Lamas will probably fight again before a possible title shot, and he'll need to win that first.

Chan Sung Jung - Like Aldo, he could be out a while with the injury he suffered in the bout. At the post-fight press conference, he said his shoulder got popped back in and he felt fine after that, so he might not need surgery. But who should he fight next? Either the loser of the Chad Mendes vs. Clay Guida fight, or Dennis Siver. The rest of the top contenders should be fighting each other at this point, and Jung needs to re-establish himself.

Phil Davis - Throw out the bad decision for a moment, because it doesn't matter anymore. Davis won, and he just knocked off one of the top contenders at 205. Does it leapfrog him to the front of the pack? In my eyes, no. He needs another signature win to get a title shot with Glover Teixeira in front of him. But who? It just doesn't seem like there's anything all that interesting out there for Davis at the moment. He's lost to Evans, beat Nogueira, won't fight Gustafsson, and isn't getting the champ. That leaves Dan Henderson, I guess. Or Shogun if he beats Chael Sonnen. Neither option looks very palatable to me.

Lyoto Machida - Machida has been promised a title shot and all that, but it's clear that Jon Jones doesn't want to fight him again. If anything, this loss at least opened up the division a bit. I still think he could drop to 185 if Anderson Silva comes up short against Chris Weidman in the rematch, but for now, he's a 205er. To me, the best option for him would be to give him Alexander Gustafsson if he loses to Jones at UFC 165. A third bout with Shogun could work at some point, but after the Sonnen/Shogun bout isn't the time regardless of the outcome.

Cezar Ferreira - This one is so simple, and it's something I keep harping on - please let the man fight Daniel Sarafian already. They're both coming off wins. The TUF Brazil 1 final needs to be settled once and for all, and it's the perfect co-main for a Brazil FS1 card.

Thiago Santos - He's going back to 170 obviously. I doubt many people are interested in seeing him fight after getting blasted like that, but he'll get some debuting welterweight on a Brazil card probably.

Thales Leites - His striking looked improved. His gas tank didn't. I'm not exactly expecting a run to the title or anything, but Leites can be a good mid-level gatekeeper in the division for sure. Brad Tavares is probably going to beat Bubba McDaniel at a Fox Sports event next month, and that would make him 6-1 in the UFC. If he can get through Leites, he deserves some top-flight competition.

Tom Watson - The UFC should probably concentrate on keeping Watson strong for the UK market. I don't know if he'll be ready to fight by late October, but he should be on the Manchester card and he should be matched up with an exciting fighter. Could Alessio Sakara be ready on relatively short notice? How about Trevor Smith? Those should like fun fights.

John Lineker - Even though he won, I think he blew his shot at the next title shot at 125. So now he's the guy that has to prove he can make weight as much as he can win. Ian McCall seems like a logical next opponent for him, unless they want to give him a former title challenger in John Dodson or John Moraga. Personally, I'd like to see Dodson vs. Moraga 2 though, and leave Lineker for Uncle Creepy.

Jose Maria Tome - He definitely proved that he belongs in the UFC before he got hurt. Who knows how long he'll be out, but I'd like to see him fight Chris Cariaso next if he's good to go.