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Matches to make after UFC 149: The Winners

Ryan Jimmo vs. James Te-Huna

Ryan Jimmo has put the light heavyweight on notice with his seven second knockout of Anthony Perosh. After grinding away on the regional circuit he finally has a shot on the biggest stage. With the division currently short on contenders to Jon Jones belt they need to start weeding out the middle of the pack fighters. James currently holds a 4-1 record in the octagon with his only loss to Alexander Gustafsson, and a match with Jimmo would tell who has the ability to contend with the top ten. Plus, they are both very similar with them being 30, having a penchant for standup, and their ground game is questionable.

Nick Ring vs. CB Dollaway 

Nick Ring was finally able to settle a score from the Ultimate Fighter when Court won the season, because Nick had gotten hurt. With that behind him he now needs to prove he cannot be controlled by wrestlers. His only loss in his career was to Tim Boestch in a grappling heavy fight. To rise to the top of the division he will need to prove he can win a fight anywhere. A match with CB, who is a great grappler, will prove how far he can go in his fighting career. CB has the ability to smother a fighter on the ground, and Nick will need to learn to avoid that so he can implement his own game.

Matt Riddle vs. Dan Miller 

Matt Riddle has one rare distinction as a fighter to have all his professional MMA bouts in the UFC. While that is a positive there is not a ton of room for mistakes. At only 26 he has had a few losses, but his game is slowly becoming more evolved, and he always has an entertaining fight, win or lose. A match up with Dan would not only be entertaining, but it could also answer a lot of questions about how far Riddle’s MMA game has evolved. Miller is a beast on the ground, has good hands, and decent power. This addition to any card could easily be a contender for fight of the night.

James Head vs. Matt Brown

James may have won his fight, but it was not a crowd pleasure. Now, that could be his opponents fault or his own, but to get to the top of the division it is a long way to a title shot if you are boring, just ask Jon Fitch. Putting Matt Brown in the cage guarantees you a fight, and he will force the action on his opponents who try and stall. Both are  on a decent little streak at welterweight and another win will push them closer to challenging the top fighters at 170.

Cheick Kongo vs. Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira

 Cheick won another fight, but it was not pretty. When a judge gives a 10-10 round you can expect there to not be much action. Originally, he was supposed to face Pride legend Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, but Big Nog was not ready. If he will be ready in about another three months the match still makes sense. As weird as it sounds, Cheick is also a true veteran of the octagon with nearly 20 fights and six years in the cage, and that is something many fighters cannot say. So, the fight still makes sense as neither of them will be fighting for the title soon, and the match can still headline a lower level card or co-main event a PPV.

Tim Boetsch vs. Alan Belcher or Chris Weidman 

It really as not that pretty, but the Tim won the fight. Realistically they need to give Anderson a fight, because they cannot keep one of their only healthy champions out for too long. Right now Weidman and Belcher are the only logical choices. Weidman is coming off a huge knockout in over Munoz, and a nice decision win over Demian Maia. belcher is 6-1 in his last seven fights, has 5 finishes in those 6 wins, and the only loss is a controversial split decision to Akiyama that was fight of the night. Regardless of who gets the shot at Anderson the other needs to fight Boetsch. He is 4-0 in the division with wins over top ten fighters in Yushin Okami and Hector Lombard. The fight between Weidman or belcher would give a real contender.

Renan Barao vs. Michael McDonald

If Cruz is able to come back in a reasonable amount of time it is obvious that Renan would unite the title. The problem is that early estimations put him out for around a year. The interim title should be defended, and Renan should not sit around like Condit did.Pay-per-views deserve title fights, interim or not. Michael is the most likely to get that shot. His speed, power, and foot work are hard to match. That is what you need after seeing how much trouble Faber had catching Barao. It was a rumor that McDonald was supposed to get the shot before Barao, but an injury kept him out. Make this fight to tide over fans until Cruz can come back to defend his title.

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