UFC 168: What’s next for the main card winners?

UFC 168’s main card was filled with bouts featuring fighters in the upper echelon of the UFC’s various weight divisions. And the fights duly delivered in terms of entertainment and stoppages.

The event was held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

UFC 168: What’s next

Speaking of finishes, if you didn’t already know, Anderson Silva suffered a horrific leg break in his main event rematch for the UFC 185-lbs title against Chris Weidman. The long-time Middleweight kingpin was dominated in the first frame, after succumbing to a takedown by the champ. As Silva implemented his trademark kicking offense in the second round, Weidman checked a leg kick of Silva’s with his knee, snapping the Brazilian’s shin in the process and forcing him to crumble onto the canvas. Weidman was hence declared the winner by TKO, and he retained his strap for the second consecutive time.

The women in the co-main event, meanwhile, garnered “Fight of the Night” honors. Ronda Rousey pocketed an extra $75,000 for “Submission of the Night” in yet another… yup you guessed it: Armbar submission victory. The judoka triumphed over challenger Miesha Tate for the second time, solidifying her status as the best pound-for-pound best female MMA fighter in the UFC. The match-up, itself, was not tentative one bit as both women got in each other’s faces from the get go, letting lose all the emotions they had piled up leading up to the fight.

In the rest of the main card, Hawaiian Travis Browne continued his surge up the Heavyweight ladder with a brutal finish over former UFC champ Josh Barnett, while veterans Jim Miller and Dustin Poirier picked up stoppage victories in their respective bouts.

It’s that time again where we at MMASucka.com derive match-ups that could materialize for the main card winners. Sitting on the matchmaker’s armchair is no easy task by any standards so if your solutions differ from ours, state them in the comments section below.

Let’s get started!

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DustinPoirier_Headshot

  • Fighter: Dustin Poirier (15-3)
  • Who he should face next: Chad Mendes (16-1)

Dustin Poirier announced his intentions to face Cub Swanson in a rematch at the UFC 168 post-fight press conference, but I honestly don’t think that’s a match-up the UFC brass will be interesting in for months to come. That, of course, could change before you know it. Although Poirier tends to come up short against guys in the upper tier of the Featherweight division, the 24-year-old deserves a shot at a top fighter after Saturday’s performance and Team Alpha Male’s Chad “Money” Mendes could be a perfect opponent to prove his worth against. With Aldo vs. Lamas scheduled to go down at UFC 169, Poirier-Mendes for a contenders’ spot makes perfect sense. Poirier will be seen as a massive underdog heading into this one but at the same time, if he picks up a win here, we’ll have a serious contender in the 145-lbs fold.

JimMiller_Headshot

  • Fighter: Jim Miller (23-4, 1 NC)
  • Who he should face next: Michael Johnson (14-8)

Jim Miller may not find himself in the contenders’ space anytime soon, but there’re absolutely no doubts about the 30-year-old being a top ten fighter and a veteran in the 155-lbs division. Suffice to say, Miller poses a threat to any fighter who stands across him in the octagon.

Michael Johnson, meanwhile, also impressed with a nice stoppage victory on the UFC 168 undercard. Johnson continues to showcase his improved stand-up prowess and with his slick Boxing and speed coupled with Miller’s experience and high-level grappling game, fans could be in for a treat in this tilt.

TravisBrowne_Headshot

  • Fighter: Travis Browne (16-1-1)
  • Who he should face next: Fabricio Werdum (17-5-1)

Browne-Werdum was penciled in before UFC 168, so a match-up to crown a no.1 contender between the two should take place in 2014. Travis Browne made a huge statement by brutally finishing Josh Barnett at UFC 168, and prior to that, he shocked the world when he stopped former Strikeforce champ, Alistair Overeem. Werdum, meanwhile, is on a three-fight winning streak, and is coming off a huge submission victory over “Big Nog”.

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  • Fighter: Ronda Rousey (8-0)
  • Who she should face next: Sara McMann (7-0)

Cat Zingano was thought to be the next opponent for Ronda Rousey following the latter’s second successful title defense over Miesha Tate at UFC 168, but the UFC surprised everyone at the post-fight press conference by announcing Rousey will defend her strap against Sara McMann instead, at UFC 170.

This will be a historic bout for women’s MMA, with both fighters being medalists in the Olympics.

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  • Fighter: Chris Weidman (11-0)
  • Who he should face next: Vitor Belfort (24-10)

The tasks keep getting harder for reigning Middleweight title holder Chris Weidman. As they should be. After defeating Silva for the second time, the thought about the champ facing Vitor Belfort next was on everybody’s minds. Both guys are extremely well-rounded and are coming off impressive victories in their previous outings. It’s the perfect time for both fighters to lock horns for an intriguing scrap and the outcome, quite rightly, could change the whole landscape of the UFC’s Middleweight division.

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Follow Thinesh on Twitter (@ThineshJohnMMA), and keep up with the latest MMA news from MMASucka via Twitter (@MMASucka) and Facebook

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