I think the idea of Maia vs. Palhares(assuming a win over Hendo) for the #1 contender spot is a little bit of nut huggery for Maia.
Why would a win over Ed Herman and J-Mac warrant a #1 contender fight with a guy that had just beat Prides former MW champion?
Maia's good and I like how he fights, but he needs a high profile win first. Give Maia to Franklin. Then he would be on par to fight a guy that beat Hendo.
The main reason why I suggested Maia
was because I want to see that fight, rather than because of the resulting title shot. But still, who in the MW division would be more deserving than Maia, provided that Okami
gets the next title shot without having to fight anyone else before that?
beat Marquardt because of Nates numerous fouls, but he didn't look comvincing at all in his first win against a quality opponent. Herman
lost to Maia. Almeida
are both coming off losses. Leben
already got destroyed by Silva once.
beats Leben it will be a good win, but except for a controversial win over Hamill at another weight class, it will be his first win against anyone who isn't a complete can.
beats Marquardt after his impressing win over Rivera, he could be the one to face Palhares, but it's a big IF, especially with the question marks surrounding his knee.
Btw, Franklin isn't even listed as a middleweight at ufc.com anymore, so I guess he'll stay at lhw for a while.
So, if Palhares beats Hendo, and Kampmann loses to Marquardt, I really think Palhares vs Maia for the #1 contender spot (right after Okami) should happen.