Matches to Make post UFC 156: The Main Card Winners
Joseph Benavidez vs. John Dodson
It might be too soon for Benavidez to challenge for the title again because he has only had one fight since losing to Demetrious Johnson. Dodson came the closest to winning the title between him, Ian McCall, and Benavidez, and he told Dana White all he needs is one more round to win the title. So why not have Dodson fight Benavidez, and whoever wins can get their rematch?
Demian Maia vs. winner of Carlos Condit vs. Rory MacDonald
Maia showed off some potent takedown skills along with his grappling acumen in the fight with Fitch. At 35-years old, Maia may not have too many years left where he can challenge for a title, and this is likely his last run with his opponents only getting younger. He should be put into a number-one contenders bout, and if he can get past the winner of the Carlos Condit and Rory MacDonald fight he deserves a title shot.
Antonio Silva vs. Cain Velasquez
Yes, Silva was plastered the last time he fought Velasquez, but who else can challenge for the title? Velasquez just proved that even if you lose a fight in brutal fashion, it does not mean you cannot come back and dominate in a rematch – UFC 155 proved that for everyone. A fact everyone also seems to be forgetting is that Silva had his opponent changed from Roy Nelson to Velasquez with little time to train, so maybe a full training camp could change the outcome in a rematch with the champion.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Ryan Bader II
It was not the most impressive performance, but Nogueira became just the third man to defeat Rashad Evans. Regardless of what you think, that is a big deal in the light-heavyweight division. When Bader and Nogueira fought the first time, both fighters were looking to fight for the title, and since that time nothing has changed except the fact that both have had a few losses. A rematch could show who wants to get back to the top more.
Jose Aldo vs. Anthony Pettis
While there are a lot of fighters that want a title shot at 145, the question still remains on who deserves it. Ricardo Lamas and Chan Sung Jung seem to be the most deserving, but it is hard to choose one over the other. You also have Pettis, who just secured a title shot with his win over Donald Cerrone, but he would have to sit out a long time for that fight after taking a long layoff due to injury. He may have never fought at 145, but a match-up between him and Aldo would be amazing. No one can disagree with that.