UFC on Fox 5 results: What’s next for the main card fighters

UFC on Fox 5 in Seattle delivered, and answered a few questions about how well the "old guard" can hang in today's version of…

By: Tim Burke | 10 years ago
UFC on Fox 5 results: What’s next for the main card fighters
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

UFC on Fox 5 in Seattle delivered, and answered a few questions about how well the “old guard” can hang in today’s version of the UFC. Besides that, Zuffa will have to figure out who the next challenger for the UFC lightweight title is, since they don’t have a surefire guy set up this morning. In that vein, I’ll take a look at who each of the eight UFC on Fox 5 main card fighters should meet in their next bout (if they have one).

Ben Henderson – For months now, all the focus has been on Henderson vs. Diaz, and they haven’t really done much else with the top of the division. It seems right that that there are two possibilities to face Bendo next – either the winner of the Donald Cerrone vs. Anthony Pettis bout at UFC on Fox 6, or Gilbert Melendez. Henderson has faced both of the Fox 6 combatants before in the WEC, all in solid bouts. But if Melendez does indeed come over, I’d choose him over the other two.

Nate Diaz – He could meet the loser of the Cerrone vs. Pettis matchup, but it doesn’t seem that there are a lot of other logical fights for him. I guess he could rematch Gray Maynard, but does anyone want to see that? Is a bout with T.J. Grant worth doing? Perhaps he could meet Eddie Alvarez if he ever signs with the UFC? I think the Maynard rematch is probably most likely.

Alexander Gustafsson – Dana White said that the big Swede could step in for Dan Henderson against Lyoto Machida if Hendo’s not ready, but Hendo says he’s doing just fine. He’s obviously not going to wait forever on the sidelines for a title shot, so I think he should face the winner of the Rashad Evans vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira fight at UFC 156.

Mauricio Rua -Retirement doesn’t seem like an option for Shogun right now, so where do you go with him? There are plenty of guys I’d still like to see Shogun face off with – Evans, Phil Davis, even Glover Teixeira (despite him turning it down the first time). Facing the loser of Evans vs. Lil Nog probably makes the most sense. Or a rematch with Hendo if Machida beats him.

Rory MacDonald – It seems pretty clear that he wants to rematch Carlos Condit, but Martin Kampmann and Jake Ellenberger want rematches with Condit too. I think MacDonald gets his way over the other two though, and that bout will take place in the spring.

B.J. Penn – Hopefully it’s either lightweight or retirement. I have no desire to see him get pounded on by much bigger men at welterweight any more. Like Dana White says, what else does he have to prove? The only guy I’d truly like to see him face at welterweight is Demian Maia, but I highly doubt that’d happen.

Matt Brown -He has won four fights in a row, so he deserves a top-25 fighter. I’d like to see if Siyar Bahadurzada could knock him out or not. That bout is actually really interesting in terms of styles.

Mike Swick – I have no idea if Swick would consider retirement, but he really hasn’t looked like the same fighter since his return. That knockout was pretty nasty, and I wonder how he’ll come back from that. That being said, Swick is a favorite of Dana White’s and he’ll continue to get fights as long as he wants them. Maybe a bout with Rick Story could make some sense.

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