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Matches to make after UFC 148: The Winners

Mike Easton vs. Eddie Wineland

Mike is now 3-0 in the octagon, and that’s something that most fighters at bantamweight cannot say. Obviously, Urijah Faber and Renan Barao will fight later this month for an interim title, but they will most likely defend it before Dominick Cruz is fully healed. The best contenders would be Michael McDonald, who is coming off a huge knockout over Miguel Torres, or Brad Pickett, who will fighting Yves Jabouin soon. This doesn’t leave many options for Easton besides Eddie Wineland. Eddie might have had consecutive losses to Faber and Joseph Benavidez, but he absolutely obliterated Scott Jorgensen. Also, being that Wineland is a former WEC bantamweight champ, this would be a big win for Easton.

Chad Mendes vs. Ricardo Lamas

Mendes certainly showed why he is number two in the UFC featherweight division with his half a minute destruction of Cody McKenzie. In his title match, it was a last second slip up that caused him the fight, and he will need to build his way back toward the title. The division itself is a mess right now with the champion hurt and multiple fighters waiting to see if they will get the first crack at Jose Aldo when he returns. One fighter many thought would be getting that shot, is Hatsu Hioki, but Ricardo Lamas put a stop to that talk. Ricardo has very good wrestling, and has been shown to gain power in his hands just like Chad showed at last nights PPV.

Demian Maia vs. Jon Fitch

Demian Maia’s fight ended after an injury to his opponent, but he still showed promise in the one minute the fight lasted. If Demian wants to get anywhere near the top of the welterweight division, he will need be able to deal with wrestling. The top fighters at 170 are littered with former NCAA champions. Jon Fitch is coming off a shocking loss to Johny Hendricks, and is on the mend due to injuries. If Maia is able to pull off a submission against Fitch like he did against Chael Sonnen, he then could be considered a legit threat.

Cung Le vs. Rich Franklin

Le earned his first win in the octagon on Saturday, and it seems like he may already have his fight next lined up. Dana White really wants Cung on the China card in November, and a match between him and Franklin could draw a huge crowd. They were already set to fight, but an injury to Vitor Belfort pulled Franklin from the card. Franklin is intent on making his way to the title one last time, and while a win over Cung will not do a ton for him, he has always been a company man first. Their styles match up well, and it would be a treat for the Chinese fans if the UFC is able to put it together.

Forrest Griffin vs. Antônio Rogério Nogueira

Although some disagree with the decision of this fight, Forrest Griffin was indeed the winner. Many are calling for a third match against Stephan Bonnar, or for Forrest to take on rising newcomer Glover Teixeira. But, a match with Lil Nog would be a decent fight for a co-main event, and could boost either of their careers as well. Both are coming off wins against Ortiz, so pitting the two against each other is a logical move for who stays relevant in the division.

Anderson Silva vs. Hector Lombard

Yes, I know that Hector Lombard has a match against Tim Boestch coming up, but if he wins his next fight should be against Anderson. Many current UFC middleweights are complaining that Hector doesn’t deserve a shot, because he hasn’t proved himself in the octagon. Who else is on a 24 fight win streak, has finished eight of his last 10 opponents, and has beat the best opposition outside of the UFC? After the rematch with Chael Sonnen, maybe it’s not a wrestler that can beat Anderson, but someone who can blend standup power with damaging ground and pound.

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