Shawn Jordan vs. Todd Duffee
Jordan proved that he has what it takes to win in the Octagon after freezing in his fight with Cheick Kongo. He finished Russow, which is something only Fabricio Werdum had done before him. While he sill has a long way to go to make it to the top of the division, he can face Duffee, who is working his way up the heavyweight ladder as well.
Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Matyushenko may be getting toward the end of his career, because for the first time he has lost two fights in a row, and didn’t make it out of the first round in either. He has opined for a rematch with “Lil’ Nog” since he lost to him back in Affliction. If he is going to retire, maybe he can go out in a fight that he has wanted for three years. So, win or lose for Nogueira against Rashad Evans, a rubber match with the Brazilian would be a fitting end to Matyushenko’s career.
Ryan Bader vs. Ryan Jimmo vs. James Te-Huna
Bader showed he had more in his arsenal than big punches and wrestling with his quick submission win Saturday night. After his loss to Machida, he needs to get a little win streak going before he challenges someone in the top five. The winner of Jimmo and Te-Huna would be a great start, and both them are hungry to have a win over a fighter like Bader on their record.
Hatsu Hioki vs. Diego Nunes
Hioki may have been the victim of bad judging, but that is what happens when you spend a lot of time on your back. One thing is for sure, Hioki needs to train with some high-level wrestlers to work on his takedown defense. Nunes is known for having great ground work, and a match between the two formerly top-ten fighters could propel one back toward the top.
Clay Guida vs. Nik Lentz
Guida won his fight based off of his wrestling, but what happens when he faces a fighter who can defend his shot? Lentz is another great wrestler in the 145-pound division, and could give Guida trouble on the ground. Plus, if they negate each other’s ground game, the fans may see their stand-up game.
Matt Wiman vs. Sam Stout
Wiman fought Stout back in 2009, and he lost a decision he felt he had won. Since that time, Stout has gone a mediocre 4-3 while Wiman stepped his game up with a 5-1 run before losing to Grant. Stout has a bout lined up with Caros Fodor at UFC 157, but win or lose, a rematch with Wiman will tell everyone who has progressed and can compete with the elite at lightweight.
TJ Grant vs. Eddie Alvarez
Grant was very impressive with his first-round knockout of Wiman, and that was his fourth straight at 155. He needs a big fight in his next bout, but a lot of the division is hurt, in a fight, has dropped weight, or in line for a title shot. Grant will need some time to rest, and by that time hopefully Alvarez has settled his dispute with Bellator so this match can be made.