Fantasy Matchmaker: Five fights to make after UFC 154
Five Fights to Make after UFC 154
The main card of UFC 154 started out slow, but the evening’s final two fights woke the fans in Montreal (and presumably around the world) and showed that the welterweight class is still one of the most exciting in all of MMA. Georges St-Pierre (pictured) returned from an extended layoff to outpoint Carlos Condit in the welterweight title unification match, and Johny Hendricks proved that he deserves some title consideration with a shellacking of Martin Kampmann in just 46 seconds.
The two biggest storylines following the event will be whether we finally get to see the St-Pierre vs. Anderson Silva super fight that we’ve all be waiting years for, and just how long it’ll take Hendricks to actually receive that title shot that he’s been waiting for. Assuming that we do get to see GSP-Silva, then the welterweight division could be in line for a new champion, or at least an interim champion could be decided while St-Pierre takes a crack at trying to become the undisputed greatest fighter of all-time.
It’s not difficult to argue that we should probably see St-Pierre and Silva fight before we see anything else, even if only because UFC fans deserve something big since the biggest fights seem to fall through more often than not these days. The last mega fight most likely involved Brock Lesnar, and he’s been out of the sport for almost a year now.
Check out the slideshow to see what matchups should be made (in a world where St-Pierre vs. Silva is a given of course), and follow me on Twitter @MMAMcKinney to discuss this and other MMA-related topics.
Johny Hendricks vs. Nick Diaz
Johny Hendricks (pictured) picked up the biggest win of his career at UFC 154 when he knocked out Martin Kampmann in just 46 seconds, but he still needs one more signature win to be in title contention, especially if St-Pierre makes a pit stop (or more) to the middleweight division. Nick Diaz will also be in need of a big fight once he returns from his yearlong suspension in February, making this a potential match made in heaven. Either fighter would be a clear-cut No. 1 contender with a win here.
Martin Kampmann vs. Carlos Condit II
Carlos Condit’s (pictured) only UFC loss prior to dropping his bout to GSP last night was in his organizational debut, when he dropped a hotly contested split decision to Kampmann at UFC Fight Night 18. It was one of the best fights of 2009, and these two guys are rarely involved in a boring fight. If the UFC is looking for a solid co-main event, then this rematch should be a no-brainer.
Francis Carmont vs. Mark Munoz
Let’s face it: Francis Carmont (pictured) got a gift with his split decision win over Tom Lawlor at UFC 154. We still don’t really know what type of contender he’ll be (if he’ll ever in fact be one), and Mark Munoz would be a good test to see where he stacks up in the middleweight division.
Pablo Garza vs. Cub Swanson
Pablo Garza (pictured) got a much-needed win over Mark Hominick at UFC 154 to snap a two-fight losing streak, but it came against a fighter who hasn’t been the same since losing a title bout to Jose Aldo in 2011. Swanson is one of the hottest fighters in the featherweight division, and this matchup could provide fireworks.
Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Evan Dunham
Fighters can often get lost in the shuffle at lightweight, especially if they focus on wrestling more than anything else. Two fighters who have had a hard time standing out in recent times are Rafael Dos Anjos (pictured) and Evan Dunham. Many fans wouldn’t guess that these two have a combined 20 UFC fights (including 13 wins) between them. That’s why they should get a co-main event billing on an FX or FUEL TV card to see if either has what it takes to get over the hump into the upper echelon at 155 pounds.