This fight needs to happen, but I’m not completely sure it will just right now. I’m hopeful and wishful that with all the talk about it that it will happen soon though. The middleweight division is more up in the air right now than the welterweight division so that disrupts things. What I mean is that after Chris Weidman and Tim Boetsch tangle at UFC 155, it only makes sense that Chris Weidman and Michael Bisping fight to be the number one contender. Although I’m not sure how Dana White will handle that situation. The welterweight division already has a number one contender fight in my opinion in Martin Kampmann vs Johny Hendricks that takes place the same nice George St. Pierre returns to defend his belt against Carlos Condit at UFC 154. So I’m not sure how Dana White would ignore the winner of a title shot, and make the Silva fight. Also Fitch, Diaz, Maia, and Ellenberger are all waiting in the wings, whereas in the middleweight division the contenders are slimmer at this moment. Anyways, I’d love to see this fight, and I bet everyone wants this as the next best option considering Anderson Silva and Jon Jones won’t fight each other.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs Fabricio Werdum II
This would be an awesome rematch, although Nogueira isn’t the same guy he was back when he defeated Werdum in 2006. But, Nogueira has had a late resurgence, and has turned my head certainly that he still can be a dangerous fighter in the heavyweight division. Obviously age has caught up with him but his skill set is still better than most heavyweights. Werdum has evolved since the loss in 2006, and has defeated top ranked fighters including his biggest win over Fedor Emelianenko who at the time was considered the number one heavyweight. Werdum who was looked at as a one tool fighter, has now improved in the striking department vastly to the point where he can be a legit contender to be a champion in the UFC. Nogueira wants a top 10 fighter, and while Stefan Struve, or Antonio Silva might be possible matchups out there, I think those two guys match up better against each other than against Nogueira.
Glover Teixeira vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
I realize that it’s more probable that Teixeira will be facing “Rampage” Jackson as they were scheduled once before, but honestly Teixeira could totally tool Jackson on the ground if he wanted too. I think Teixeira is climbing up the light heavyweight ranks really quickly, and certainly has the skill set to be a dangerous contender. A fight against “Rampage” Jackson would be good namesake, but it’s unknown if Jackson will be “100%” or would even prepare for Glover if the floor. I think an opponent who matches up well with Teixeira and ranking wise is right there with him is Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. A dangerous striker, who can hold his own stuffing takedowns, and is a black belt in BJJ. I think stylistically it would be an amazing fight, and it certainly makes sense.
Jon Fitch vs Demian Maia
Thisseems like the most logical fight, and certainly has the potential to be a grappling affair. I for one, am intrigued by this fight, and certainly what it would mean for the winner. Both guys fought at UFC 153, and put in great performances. Fitch took Fight of the Night honors, while dethroning the hype around not only his opponent Erick Silva, but his inability to be an exciting fighter. If Fitch can get the right opponent, it’s scary how awesome his fights could get, because certainly Silva helped make this one a good one. As for Maia, he easily ragdolled Rick Story, and finished him by submission. Oddly Maia who is a black belt in BJJ, had not recorded a submission victory since 2009. That was back when he was 11-0, with 8 victories via submission. Anyways, Maia since dropping to welterweight has now defeated two top 20 welterweights and has his sights set on either Fitch or Diaz. This would be an awesome fight, so I don’t see why not.
Rony Bezerra vs Robert Peralta
Bezerra looks like a promising TUF winner, and is very exciting to watch. The only issue, is his striking defense, but he proved he can take a punch or two. Against higher tier opponents, that could be an issue, but I think he vastly improving and is dangerous anywhere. His potential is certainly intriguing, and being under the tutelage of the Nogueira brothers will continue to help him progress. A worthy opponent is the underlooked Robert Peralta who carries some really heavy hands (16 wins, 12 are knockouts). Peralta is already 2-0-1 in the UFC, and before that has wins over notables such as Hiroyuki Takaya, and Darrell Montague. This would be a perfect fight, to see who is ready for a bigger test in the UFC.
Gleison Tibau vs TJ Grant
It’s hard to believe that Tibau is still only 29 years old, with 34 fights under his belt, 17 of which come in the UFC. Not too many fighters with that many fights go unnoticed in the UFC, but Tibau has. At UFC 153, Tibau put forward a strong performance to notch his 11th win in the UFC. It seems Tibau has always been in the middle of the pack when it comes to lightweights, but I feel it’s time for a fight that could vault him to better fights. A fight that would do that is against TJ Grant, who has been a monster since dropping down to lightweight. Grant has gone 3-0, including a big win over Evan Dunham which earned him fight of the night honors. Grant is due for a tough test as well, and a fight against Gleison Tibau could catapult him into the top 10.