UFC 184 was ravaged with injuries, but the card survived any 151-esque catastrophe and went on as scheduled. As it turned out, the show produced plenty of fun moments without there being any particular great fight. Ronda Rousey obviously stole the show by setting multiple records with her 14 second armbar of Cat Zingano in the main event. Meanwhile, Holly Holm got her win in her UFC debut, but generally underwhelmed against Raquel Pennington.
It's time once again to do some fantasy matchmaking for the main card fighters. As this is a pay-per-view event, all main card fighters appear in this feature, as opposed to only the winners for smaller shows. What's next for Rousey? Should Josh Koscheck fight again? I've got the solutions to that and more in "Fights to Make".
Ronda Rousey. Obviously I want her to fight Cris Cyborg, but I do need to have some basis in reality for a fantasy matchmaking post. She's off to Hollywood and her timetable is unknown at this point, so it's hard to gauge her next opponent. The most likely scenario is that the UFC does Bethe Correia /Jessica Eye, and the winner of that one faces Rousey.
Cat Zingano. Unfortunately for Zingano, her ill-advised flying knee attempt may go down as the worst ever strategy for a UFC title fight and it put her on the wrong end of the fastest submission in UFC history. Scanning the roster right now, I firmly believe a rematch with Miesha Tate is justifiable. It was one of the best (if not the best) fight in the short history of the UFC's women's 135 lbs division, and Zingano was trailing on the scorecards (20-18, 20-18, 19-19) when she finished Miesha in the final round. I'd be intrigued with another fight between these two.
Holly Holm. The good news for Holm is that she got the win, but by not turning in an eye-catching performance she really set herself up for a harder road to contention. Holm seemed hell bent on a KO with a head kick and never found it, and I wasn't particularly impressed with her boxing. Alas, it's just one fight, and she'll have more chances to build her case for a title shot. How about the winner of
Sarah Kaufman/Alexis Davis (UFC 186)? As was pointed out in the comments, Kaufman and Holm are training partners, which I forgot about. Instead, I'll run with the Liz Carmouche/Lauren Murphy (April 4th) winner.
Raquel Pennington. Cold hard truth about Pennington, even in a fight where she didn't get blown out - She's got a pro record of 5-5. Add that to the TUF loss to 1-4, 1 NC Jessica Rakoczy and I just do not see any high ceiling for "Rocky" at all. Umm ... Rin Nakai? That's all I've got.
Jake Ellenberger. I'm still very concerned that the post-Kampmann version of Jake Ellenberger has become extremely hesitant to let his hands go, even against a wounded animal in Koscheck. That said, no one expected Ellenberger to finish Koscheck that way, and it's a much-needed result for "The Juggernaut". This sounds like a booking made way out of left field, but if Kenny Robertson beats George Sullivan in April, a Robertson vs. Ellenberger fight isn't that far-fetched. Robertson would be on a four-fight winning streak and frankly Ellenberger shouldn't be anywhere near top 10 competition right now.
Josh Koscheck. He's the MMA meme of the week with the mouth frothing seconds before he tapped to Jake Ellenberger's vicious choke. Outside of him getting that first power double, Koscheck looked tentative and just physically shot. I really don't believe Koscheck should be booked to fight again, but for completion's sake ... Josh Burkman.
Alan Jouban. I love standing elbows and Jouban's finish was well-crafted. He should really be 3-0 in the UFC if not for that wretched call in the Warlley Alves fight. A fight between him and Tim Means, who blasted Dhiego Lima on the prelims, would be very entertaining.
Richard Walsh. It's back to the drawing board for the Australian, whose fight with Jouban was shaping up to be the most entertaining one of the night. He'll stick around on Fight Pass cards in the near future, and his next opponent will probably be someone like Sultan Aliev. Walsh just has to be careful considering he's sitting on two straight losses.
Tony Ferguson. No doubt the best win of his career and perhaps against his toughest opponent. Tibau is the long-time gatekeeper of the 155 lbs division, and if you can't beat him, you're probably not going to be a contender. With most of the top 10 booked it doesn't look like he'll get that big step up in competition just yet, but he's more than earned it by now. I think he'll be paired up with Adriano Martins as his last mid-tier test before the top 10 sorts itself out.
Gleison Tibau. Props to Tibau for taking this fight on short notice, but he look terrible. He had no answers for Ferguson's boxing and long reach, and once he was on wobbly legs it was all about how long it would take before the finish. There's no case for him to be ranked and that's juts fine, because he is still capable of playing spoiler elsewhere. I expect him to be booked for a Brazil card against Michel Prazeres.