UFC 170 turned out better than I thought. I've seen many people say it will be remembered as one of the worst events of the year, but I can't get with that. The same people that are complaining about too many decisions are now complaining that fights are ending too quickly? Sure, there was some controversy in the main event and the co-main event was lopsided to start with, but I found the rest of the card to be pretty good. It certainly exceeded my expectations overall.
And now that I have that out of the way, let's get onto why you're here. Who should the UFC 170 main card fighters meet in their next bout? Answers below!
Ronda Rousey - She says she wants to fight again around the end of the summer. That's too early for a fight with Cris Cyborg, if that is something that can ever happen at all. So you're left with Alexis Davis, who beat Jessica Eye on the UFC 170 undercard, or Cat Zingano. It's unclear whether Zingano will be ready by then or not, but I think that's the more alluring matchup overall. Davis has done well in the UFC so far, but Zingano is probably viewed as more of a threat after stopping Miesha Tate. Even if that was a long time ago.
Sara McMann - Whether she got a raw deal or not, there's still time in a shallow division for her to get a second shot. There are a bunch of solid fights out there for her, but a bout with Jessica Eye might make the most sense.
Daniel Cormier - Was the point of all this just to see how Cormier would perform at 205? If it was, I think they just give him to the winner of Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira. If they're serious about him getting a quality win at 205 before that, and with Rashad Evans on the shelf for a long time, he could fight the winner of the Phil Davis vs. Anthony Johnson bout. But let's be real here - they're not looking for LHW legitimacy - they need contenders. He's getting the shot. Sorry Alexander Gustafsson.
Patrick Cummins - Dana said they'd be keeping him around, so he'll get someone that's more appropriate for his next bout. Maybe a Cody Donovan or Igor Pokrajac, since apparently neither of them have been cut.
Rory MacDonald - It's tough to figure out what they want to do with Rory here. Is he an immediate title contender? I'm not sure. Instead of giving him the winner of Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler (especially since the latter already beat him), I think a much more appropriate idea would be for MacDonald to face the winner of the Carlos Condit vs. Tyron Woodley fight. Everyone wants that Rory/Condit rematch anyway, and if Woodley can manage to win somehow, it's still a good number one contender's bout.
Demian Maia - At 36 with two straight losses, his title hopes look pretty doomed at this point. He still put up a great fight and deserves his ranking, but he's in a bad position. Will be level off as the top-ten-level gatekeeper above Pyle, who is the guardian of the top 15? Hell, maybe Maia should just fight Pyle. Seriously though, I'd rather see Maia fight the loser of the Jake Ellenberger vs. Tarec Saffiedine fight.
Mike Pyle - He wants to move into the top 10. That's admirable, but a win over T.J. Waldburger isn't going to get you to that point. I'm not sure if any of the guys above him are guys that the UFC wants to throw Pyle in with at this point. Once a few of the fights happen (Shields/Lombard, Kim/Hathaway), it might be easier to figure something out for him. It might not be a terrible idea to have him fight Erick Silva right now though.
T.J. Waldburger - He has now been knocked out seven times in his career and he's only 25. That's the same amount as Frank Mir and one behind Alistair Overeem. That's a troubling statistic in my eyes. If I'm the UFC, I'm putting him against a grappler next for sure. Pascal Krauss is looking for a fight now that Khaliev is out. How about him?
Robert Whittaker - This was his second straight loss, and the first TKO loss of his career. A bout with Viscardi Andrade could make some sense, but there are honestly a lot of options for such a young fighter.