UFC 154: St. Pierre vs. Condit is in the books and once again the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) delivered a solid night of mixed martial arts action.
Pablo Garza, Rafael Dos Anjos, Francis Carmont, Johny Hendricks and Georges St. Pierre were the big winners last Saturday night in Monteeal as each picked up victories over their respective opponents on the main card.
After every fight card, fans wonder who the winners will be matched up with next. With another night of UFC action in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to look forward and put ourselves in Joe Silva’s shoes to play UFC matchmaker.
Winner: Pablo Garza
Who He Should Fight Next: Alex Caceres
Why They Should Fight: Following his dominant win over Mark Hominick at UFC 154, Pablo Garza says he wants to drop to 135-pounds. The choice seems odd considering ‘The Scarcrow’ just defeated a former featherweight title challenger, but if Garza can make the weight in a healthy manner, maybe it is the right decision for his career.
If Garza does in fact drop to bantamweight, facing another streaky fighter in ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ veteran Alex Caceres is a suitable match up.
Both fighters are tall and lengthy, so it would be interesting to see how they fair against an opponent with similar physical attributes. Stick this fight on the main card of a show on FUEL TV in 2013.
Winner: Rafael Dos Anjos
Who He Should Fight Next: Winner of Joe Lauzon vs. Jim Miller at UFC 155
Why They Should Fight: Rafael Dos Anjos and the Joe Lauzon/Jim Miller winner sit in roughly the same middle-of-the-pack spot in the UFC lightweight division. Each man has won and lost some big fights in the UFC and with both having competed within 45 days of each other, the timing would line up to have them fight.
Dos Anjos showed in his win against Mark Bocek at UFC 154 that his overall game has vastly improved and facing either Lauzon or Miller would be a very exciting fight to watch.
In Lauzon, Dos Anjos would face another fighter whose primarily strength lays on the ground and it would be interesting to see if the two fighters opt to stay on the feet and trade punches or if they would prefer to take the fight to the mat and prove who the superior grappler is. Miller would pose a similar threat. Either way, Lauzon/Miller vs. Dos Anjos would be a great fight and has the potential to be ‘Fight of the Night’ no matter which fight card it ends up on.
Winner: Francis Carmont
Who He Should Fight Next: Ed Herman
Why They Should Fight: Despite the fact nearly everyone thought Francis Carmont lost to Tom Lawlor, he was awarded the decision win and will continue to climb the rankings.
Ed Herman had his loss to Jake Shields at UFC 150 overturned to a no contest, which means he is unbeaten in his last four fights. Shields was able to impose his overwhelming grappling game on ‘Short Fuse’ and it would be interesting to see if Carmont could imitate that blueprint.
A win for either man would put them on a five-fight unbeaten streak in the UFC which certainly bodes well for the future. The loser goes back to the drawing board.
Winner: Johny Hendricks
Who He Should Fight Next: Georges St. Pierre
Why They Should Fight: Johny Hendricks made it very clear before and after UFC 154 that he has no intentions of fighting again unless it’s for a title shot. Usually waiting an unknown period of time for a title shot is frowned upon, but in Hendricks’ case it’s without a doubt the right call.
‘Bigg Rigg’ has disposed of five opponents in a row with three of them being brutal knockouts. In that span, he has defeated two former No. 1 contenders in Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck as well as a man people were on their way to calling ‘Fighter of the Year’ in Martin Kampmann.
Hendricks vs. Georges St. Pierre is a fight a lot of people want to see and a fascinating style match up. St. Pierre hasn’t fought a southpaw in years and a southpaw with the wrestling and one-punch knockout power of Hendricks poses a serious threat to the champion.
Winner: Georges St. Pierre
Who He Should Fight Next: Anderson Silva and Johny Hendricks
Why They Should Fight: The future of Georges St. Pierre is really up to him at this point. If the long-awaited super fight with Anderson Silva is going to happen, it seems that now is the time to pull the trigger.
There’s no need to go into detail about what GSP vs. Silva means for the sport, how there is a size difference, etc. That’s been talked about to death. We know Silva and the UFC want the fight, so it’s going to come down to St. Pierre.
On another note, UFC President Dana White said after UFC 154 he wouldn’t count out St. Pierre from fighting again in the welterweight division next. If that’s the case, bring on Johny Hendricks.