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UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. LaFlare results - Fights to make for main card winners

UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. LaFlare is in the books and so is the UFC's March schedule. So what's next for the main card winners from last night's show in Rio? Mookie Alexander plays fantasy matchmaker in "Fights to Make".

Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

The final UFC event of March produced an array of submissions from start to finish, including an imaginary one seen by the referee in the Drew Dober-Leandro Silva fight. Demian Maia capped the night off by putting a grappling clinic on Ryan LaFlare, although he couldn't get the submission win he was looking for. Erick Silva had no problem tapping out Josh Koscheck, whose losing streak was extended to five.

With that out of the way, it's now time for another edition of "Fights to Make." For smaller shows I only focus on the main card winners, so this one fits the bill. Let's dive into the fantasy fights...

Demian Maia. There's a good and bad to Maia's victory. He's clearly still good enough to belong in the top 10 and ragdoll guys who can't hang with him on the mat. The downside? Maia really doesn't have the gas tank to go five rounds, and that problem would've been more obvious if LaFlare pushed a faster pace. I was actually going to pick another welterweight contender for him to face, but this suggestion on Twitter of Ben Henderson staying at WW to fight Maia is the best one.

Erick Silva. Getting a winning streak going, even at a whopping two, is basically the biggest hurdle Erick Silva has conquered in the UFC. I don't think beating Koscheck should springboard him towards another top 10 fight again, but he's more than earned his billing as one of the most exciting fighters in the division. I'd love to see him face Stephen Thompson next.

Leonardo Santos. Let's face it, Santos isn't fun to watch, but what works for him has kept him unbeaten in the UFC. He'll stick around on Brazilian cards facing middle-of-the-pack talent with the occasional step-up in competition, which he'll probably lose at this stage and age (35) of his career. Just for the hell of it, put him in against Leandro Silva, but don't have Eduardo Herdy anywhere near them or else we might see a fight get stopped on double underhooks.

Amanda Nunes. I can't be the only one thinking that Nunes is A.) A better fighter than Bethe Correia and B.) Stands a slightly better chance of being competitive with Rousey than Correia. Based on the rankings, it'd be more than reasonable to have her (#9) as Holly Holm's (#10) next opponent. Option #2 is Nunes against Marion Reneau, but I prefer Nunes/Holm.

Gilbert Burns. I love comeback victories in MMA, and Burns was clearly going to lose a decision to Alex Oliveira before he kicked into overdrive in round 3 to get the fight-ending submission with less than a minute to go. This win both slows the roll on Burns' hype train a little bit but also shows just how talented and dangerous he is even when he's not at his best. The winner of Mitch Clarke/Michael Chiesa (April 4th) would be a great match-up for Durinho.

Godofredo Pepey. Say what you want about Pepey's ceiling, he's a wild man out there and that's a huge bonus to his winning streak. I'm not sure about his prospects of being a top 10 hopeful, but he's at least a gatekeeper in the division and a test for newcomers and prospects. Having beaten Andre Fili, I think a bout with Makwan Amirkhani would be exciting.

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