Pending Alistair Overeem can defeat Antonio Silva in his return at UFC 156, he definitely will be getting the next crack at the belt. The UFC brass as well as Dana White has confirmed this several times, so as fans, we basically know this one. If Silva plays spoiler, I doubt he would get the next crack at the belt considering Cain Velasquez already dismantled him not long ago. I’d say though, he definitely would be maybe only one fight away from getting a crack at the belt. It’s only going to get more interesting when late Strikeforce arrivals Daniel Cormier and Josh Barnett join the UFC very soon.
Junior Dos Santos vs Cheick Kongo
I realize Junior Dos Santos wants an immediate rematch, but Cain Velasquez had to fight once before he was able to get his rematch. I think it should work the same way, and if Alistair Overeem wins, the wait for the rematch would be way to long of a layoff between fights. It’s tough finding a match out there though that would make sense for Dos Santos because he’s dismantled most of the heavyweights at the top of the division. I think the loser of the Overeem/Silva fight would be ideal, but Antonio Silva is a friend and teammate, so that’s not possible. If Overeem loses though, that definitely would make sense for Dos Santos, and it would be awesome considering they have “beef”. Anyways, I’m not a fan of this matchmaking I have here in terms of rankings, but it would be a fun fight still. Kongo is not a slouch of an opponent by any means either, and actually dropped Velasquez several times when they fought. Kongo is also capable of grinding an opponent down, which is exactly what Dos Santos needs in order to show that he has improved. Overall, It would be a nice recovery fight for Dos Santos while still being tested.
Jim Miller vs Gray Maynard
Jim Miller has been one of the top fighters in the lightweight division for sometime, but can’t quite win that all important title eliminator fight. Now, I’m not saying this fight should be a title eliminator but it certainly would have either one of these guys at least one fight away from a crack at the belt. Miller replaced Gray Maynard at UFC 155, who was originally supposed to fight Joe Lauzon. Now, if Lauzon had won, I’m sure that fight would of been rescheduled to happen. But, since Miller won, I think it only makes sense to match them up. Also, they are both at the top of the division and it certainly would be a scrap in a all important lightweight contest.
Joe Lauzon vs Nate Diaz
Joe Lauzon has to be in the mix for pound for pound most exciting fighters. He brings it every time, and always engages in an all out war with his opponent. It should be duly noted Lauzon has 11 post-fight bonuses, and eight in his last nine fights. A perfect opponent to keep the bonuses going would be Nate Diaz. I could imagine the scrap in this fight, and how awesome it would be. Even if it hit the floor, the slick jui-jitsu of both fighters would be intriguing. I think this fights needs to happen, and I know for sure the fans would be drawn to this one for sure.
Costa Philippou vs Yushin Okami
Costa Philippou is on the rise after defeating one of the top middleweights in the division, and on short notice no less. Philippou is now a winner of five straight, and another big fight should be in line. I think Yushin Okami would be a great test for Philippou because like we saw at UFC 155, Okami can break a fighter easily with his smothering wrestling. Philippou seems like he is ready to take on the big dogs, and Okami is certainly one. It would be a great test for Philippou, and another name he could potentially add to hit list on his way to a title shot.
Eddie Wineland vs Raphael Assuncao
This fight would be a good one, as two perennial bantamweight title contenders would match up. Eddie Wineland has looked amazing lately, and is certainly finding his stride as he’s beaten the likes of Scott Jorgensen, and Brad Pickett. Raphael Assuncao since dropping down to bantamweight is 3-0, and recently defeated the hyped Mike Easton with a broken arm no less. Although Wineland is ahead of him in terms of rankings, Assuncao is still a top 10 bantamweight, and after beating Easton deserves a big fight. Considering they are solid win streaks, it only makes sense to pair them up. Obviously though this depends on Assuncao’s recovery time, as he broke his arm during his last fight.