Where to go for all the main card fighters, and the prelim winners....
Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez II: We've had a couple of rematches for the lightweight title recently, so why not have another one? At least this time there is no clear number 1 contender - Pettis is dropping to Lightweight and a couple of contendor fights are coming up involving Maynard/Grant and Miller/Healy. I say rematch Bendo & Melendez and have the winners of the contendor fights mentioned above fight each other.
Daniel Cormier vs. Werdum/Nogueira winner: He's said a LHW move is possible, but until he decides to move down, he's a heavyweight. Most the top 5 HW's are lines up with fights with the Velasquez/Silva title fight and Dos Santos/Hunt number 1 contendor fight. So line Cormier up against the other top guys, and have him fight the winner of the TUF Brazil coaches.
Frank Mir vs. Travis Browne: In the last 5 years, Mir is 7-4 in the UFC with the only losses to top guys - Lesnar, Dos Santos, Cormier & Carwin. His wins in that period include Nelson, Kongo, Crocop & Nogueira x2, so he is still easily a top 10 fighter, even though he's on a 2 fight skid. I'd like to see him matched up with an up and comer on the verge of the top 10 in Travis Browne.
Josh Thomson vs. Donald Cerrone: Thomson looked great in his UFC debut, becoming the first guy to stop Nate Diaz. In my opinion the win immediately puts him in the top 10 of the Lightweight division, so he deserves another UFC fighter in the top 10 - Donald Cerrone.
Nate Diaz vs. Diego Sanchez: Diaz's time in the top 10 of the lightweight is now over. He's talked about going back up to welterweight, but that would be crazy. He's lost 2 fights in a row, and in my opinion should be given a guy a bit lower down the pecking order in order to get back on track. Sanchez recently dropped back down to lightweight and won a controversial split decision over Gomi, and with the history with Nates brother Nick, this one could be fireworks.
Matt Brown vs. Carlos Condit: Matt Brown has unexpectedly won 5 straight fights at welterweight, with recent wins over Swick and Mein putting him on the verge of the top 10 and an outsider in the title hunt. He deserves a step up in competition in order to break into the top of the division, and i'd give him former WEC champion and title challenger Carlos Condit, who could do with a win after 2 losses.
Jordan Mein vs. Court McGee: Given that he has had 32 pro fights, people forget he is one of the youngest UFC fighters at 23 years old. Even though he got battered by Brown, he is still a top prospect and should drop back to fighting guys lower down the division. Ultimate fighter winner McGee is still a solid fighter, as his 4-2 UFC record shows, and would make for a fun fight, which is winnable for both.
Chad Mendes vs. Lamas/Sung-Jung winner: Since getting stopped by Aldo in his title fight, Mendes has looked like a beast, stopping all 3 opponents in the first round. With Aldo not fighting Pettis until August, and with all the guys at the top of the division having fights lined up, i'd have him fight the winner of the Ricardo Lamas/Chan Sung-Jung fight to determine a true number 1 contendor.
Francis Carmont vs. Yushin Okami: There must be something about Carmont that the judges love - he's now on a 5 fight win streak, when personally I think he should be on a 2 fight losing streak. If you win 5 fights in a row at middleweight, you deserve a top 10 fighter, so lets see if Okami can avoid the judges wrath!
Myles Jury vs. Ross Pearson: The ultimate fighter contestant that failed to deliver on the show has certainly delivered after it. Jury once again looked great, and the extremely well-rounded fighter moved into the top 20 in the division with the knockout. Since going back up to lightweight, Pearson has won both fights by stoppage, and the winner of this could go on to bigger things.
Joseph Benavidez vs. John Dodson: Benavidez is clearly the second best fighter at 125 pounds in my opinion, but the division is so thin with just 12 fighters that it is hard to match him up with anyone! I was reluctant to match him with Dodson due to Dodson coming off a loss, but there really isn't many other options besides Gaudinot or Lineker.
Jorge Masvidal vs. Joe Lauzon: Masvidal looked solid but not spectacular in his UFC debut and the first fight since the title fight against Melendez. He's probably roundabout a top 20 fighter, so to give him a test have him fight Lauzon, who is 9-5 in the UFC and would be making his return after a bloody loss against Miller.
TJ Dillashaw vs. Takeya Mizugaki: Since losing the ultimate fighter finale to Dodson, Dillashaw has looked unstoppable, winning 4 in a row including finishes in his last 3. After this win, Dillashaw must be verging on top 10, and i'd give him Mizugaki, who has won 2 straight and is another verging on the top 10.
Anthony Njokuani vs. Daron Cruickshank: Njokuani has taken up position of being gatekeeper in the lightweight division, alternating between wins and losses in his last 8 fights. The best use for Njokuani is utilizing him against another striker to make a good fight on the lower end of a card, and to do this i'd have him go against Cruickshank.
Yoel Romero Palacio vs. Brad Tavares: You never know what to expect from Palacio - one minute he looks awful, the next he looks like a world beater. After an awesome KO win in his UFC debut, i'd give Palacio test against a well established UFC middleweight to see where he's at. Tavares, who has gone 5-1 in the UFC, fits the bill.
FORMER UFC CPL CHAMPION
Events Attended: UFC 120, CWFC 45, CWFC 52