Mauricio Rua vs. Alexander Gustafsson
As the light heavyweight division continues to grow the old stalwarts will need to prove that they can contend with the up and comers. While Rua refused to take on Glover Teixeira, he can not avoid the younger rising stars forever. Alex has been moving up the 205 ladder, and despite one loss in the octagon, five straight wins have proven him to be a contender. He just needs one big win to become a true contender. Rua on the other hand was one impressive win away from a title shot. So, it only make sense that these two would face off in an effort to to get the next contender. As both are one shot away from a title shot this only makes sense. Hopefully Joe Silva realizes this and sets them on a collision course before the years end.
Lyoto Machida vs. Jon Jones/Dan Henderson winner
Dana promised that the most impressive winner out of the main event and co-main event on UFC on Fox 4 would get the next title shot. Well, after a second round knockout over Ryan Bader, Machida has punched his ticket to title shot. Many people point to Machida’s recent loss to Jon Jones as a reason for him to not be fighting for the title, but the real question is who else is out there? Alexander Gustafsson still needs a big win, Glover Teixeira only has one fight in the UFC, and Shogun failed to impress against Brandon Vera. Fans also have to remember that if Dan Henderson beats Jones we have a completely different fight. At the end of the day Machida always can win, and this fight will create enough room to make another contender.
Joe Lauzon vs. Gray Maynard
I really would like to see Lauzon face Nate Diaz, but as he has the next title shot I doubt it will happen. Gray Maynard is the next best thing. Maynard’s last fight he was begging for Clay Guida to fight with him, and if he faces Lauzon he will not have to beg. Joe Lauzon has proved that win or lose he comes to fight. After 22 wins none of them have went to decision. Gray is stuck in a weird spot if Frankie gets his belt back come UFC 151, and if Lauzon can beat Maynard he can add some hype to his title shot hopes.
Mike Swick vs. Diego Sanchez
This fight makes sense on so many levels. Yes, Swick may be coming off a win, and Sanchez may be coming off a loss but who cares. Swick and Sanchez are both veterans of the sport, and are nowhere near the title, and both come from the first season of the Ultimate Fighter. After fighting in multiple weight classes they seem to both be at 170 for now. It is unknown if Sanchez will drop back down to 155, but if he does not this fight needs to happen. They both have a penchant for being exciting, finishing fights, and entertaining the fans. As many fans were introduced to MMA by TUF season one, this fight would be perfect to most hardcore fans today.