UFC 179 had a great preliminary card, an unremarkable string of fights on the main card, and then an absolute classic between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes in the main event. It had the back-and-forth, gripping drama that has been generally lacking in the majority of Aldo's fights. In the end, Aldo was a deserved winner in this rematch, and it's a fight that the viewing fans will soon not forget.
With the fights themselves out of the way, it's time to look forward to what's next for the main card fighters. This was not a particularly "strong" PPV, so I'm going to include the winners and losers from the main and co-main event, and then the winners for the rest of the main card.
Jose Aldo. Dana White said "if everything goes right, Aldo vs. McGregor in the summer". That basically implies that McGregor beats Dennis Siver in January, and Aldo takes an extended break to set him up for what could potentially be his biggest selling fight yet. Tentatively, I see them going through with Aldo vs. McGregor but reverting to the backup plan of the Edgar vs. Swanson winner if Conor loses.
Chad Mendes. What a performance even in defeat. Absolutely no one has ever had Aldo that hurt prior to last night, and for whatever my opinion is worth, it's very evident that him and Aldo are far and away the undisputed top 2 fighters in the featherweight division. I would favor Mendes to beat Frankie Edgar, Cub Swanson, and Conor McGregor. Come to think of it, I want to see Mendes vs. the Edgar/Swanson loser. Cub has improved enough that a rematch vs. Mendes is justifiable and Edgar vs. Mendes is just a guaranteed thriller.
Phil Davis. Make no mistake about it, that is a massive win for Davis and it appears that he's just really really good at defeating Brazilian fighters. This is his 3rd straight year competing on a Brazilian PPV and he's won each time. Moving beyond the trivial stat, the loss to Anthony Johnson still lingers, and it's hard to thrust him back into title contention as a result. Options are thin, but Ryan Bader makes sense for him.
Glover Teixeira. Huge setback that permanently shuts the door on him contending again. He was dominated by Jon Jones and rendered ineffective by Davis, and now is on the first losing streak of his career. Teixeira turns 35 in 2 days and looks to have maxed out on his abilities. The most suitable fit for his style would be Rafael Cavalcante.
Fabio Maldonado. What a terrible fight until Fabio Maldonado did his usual thing where he punches guys in the body really hard. I'm struggling to think of interesting bouts for him that don't involve vaulting him into a match-up with a ranked fighter -- I don't see him beating anyone in the top 12-15 -- so umm ... Jan Blachowicz? Yeah, Jan Blachowicz.
Darren Elkins. If Elkins can impose his game then there's basically nothing you can do about it. He's a gatekeeper in a deep featherweight division whose ceiling is probably the outer edge of the top 10. Why hasn't Sean Shelby made Elkins vs. Nik Lentz yet? Without any sarcasm, it's a legitimately interesting fight.
Beneil Dariush. Solid win over Carlos Diego Ferreira rejuvenates the initial promise of him developing as a quality prospect at lightweight. The Ramsey Nijem loss remains his only blemish in his career, and he's worth building up slowly as he becomes more polished under the tutelage of Rafael Cordeiro and company at Kings MMA. A match-up with Mitch Clarke (off his comeback win over Al Iaquinta) is interesting enough to me.