Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez
We may only be one fight removed from their last fight, but this is the fight that makes sense. Who else in the division deserves the title shot? Alistair Overeem is suspended, Daniel Cormier is stuck in Strikeforce, and Werdum only has one win and a loss to Junior as well. This fight left a bad taste in people’s mouth as it only lasted about a minute. Something to consider, Cain was coming off a big injury, and he may of not been able to perform due to ring rust. If his performance at UFC 146 is any indicator, he is fully repaired and back now. He decimated Bigfoot Silva quickly, and made a case for himself to get a shot at the champion.
Roy Nelson vs. Mark Hunt
A lot of people are calling for Mark Hunt to face Stefan Struve since that fight was supposed to happen tonight, but honestly it may not make the most sense. Realistically, Mark Hunt is still pretty far from a title shot – even though he is on a three fight win streak. The problem is he is only 8-7 in his career, and only about a year removed from a six fight losing streak. If Nelson does not drop to 205, it would make for an interesting match-up. He seems to be content to stand and trade with most fighters, but with the power that Hunt has he may want to use his highly regarded ground game. Nelson is still pretty far from a title shot as well, so this fight will not hurt any up and comers chances from becoming a threat to the title.
Stefan Struve vs. winner of Fabricio Werdum vs. Mike Russow
Stefan upped his UFC record to 8-3, proved he can roll with big punchers, grew another half an inch closer to seven feet tall, and proved he could be a big threat to the title soon. Who else have you ever seen that would be okay with pulling guard in the division? No one really. he deserves another shot at a top fighter having only fallen to big punchers in Junior Dos Santos, Roy Nelson, and Travis Browne. The winner of Russow versus Werdum will undoubtedly be a step closer to the title, but still need a few wins, just like Struve. They will provide the definite step up in competition that Struve deserves, which Hunt cannot provide.
Stipe Miocic vs. winner of Antonio Nogueira vs. Cheick Kongo
Stipe currently riding a three fight win streak in the octagon. Personally, I think he should take on Cheick specifically, but as he is currently going to lock horns with Big Nog, he can just take on the winner. While Stipe may not be a huge name this is how you build true contenders. Nog and Kongo both will not be competing for the belt anytime soon, and they need to prove they can compete with the new breed of contenders. Cheick would allow Stipe the chance to work on his standing game, and Nog would prove to challenge him on the ground. This would be a decent fight, and with Stipe having a Croatian background he would have a good resemblance of another Croatian that Nog had a storied history with.