For now, let’s look at what might be next for the fighters at the top of the card.
Should Fight: Jose Aldo
Aldo is coming off a comfortable win against top contender Franky Edgar and has of course recently been promoted to Featherweight Champion with Conor McGregor taking 3 fights outside of the division and showing zero interest in a rematch with the clear #1 contender in Aldo.
Should Fight: Dustin Poirer
It was very unfortunate that Pettis broke his hand early in the first round. This fight was destined to be closely contested, but any weakness from either fighter would surely have been enough to be on the losing side in this one.
Pettis also had a very tough time trying to make the Featherweight limit, failing to do so, only reaching 148lbs. He made it clear after the fight that his next contest would have to be at Lightweight. Based on Pettis’ recent form, this should also be a step down in ranking.
In steps Dustin Poirer. ‘The Diamond’ was on an impressive 4 fight win streak before being stopped by Michael Johnson in September. According to the not always up to date UFC rankings, Poirer is ranked #11 in the division, which feels like the sweet spot for Showtime right now.
There would be big upside for both men with a win. Either could show they still have the potential to be a future contender at 155 while solidifying a place in the top 10.
Should fight: Nick Diaz
Cowboy would like to fight in Colorado at UFC onFOX 23, but this isn’t about where and when he wants to fight, it’s about what would make sense for the division. Such short notice is likely to put off top contenders. Instead, Cowboy should really wait to secure a fight that could move him further up the rankings and one step closer to a title shot.
The winner would have propelled their name and rank enough to argue a title fight with a win. More importantly, it would be a treat for every hardcore MMA fan, and casual fan alike.
Up until the knock-out blow, this was a competitive fight with both men being rocked in the first round. That’ll be little comfort to The Immortal, though, who has now lost four of last five.
Despite these losses, Brown would still be the most high profile fight for Perry or Jouban. A fight with Brown may tell us whether either man is a future contender in the division. Or it may tell us Brown is still a contender at Welterweight.
Should Fight: Ricardo Lamas
Cub Swanson had a point to prove last night. He was called out by ‘Super Boy’ and he did not take this as a compliment. Cub wanted to show he was not someone that any other Featherweight should want to fight.
Well, both men put on an amazing show in a fight of the year candidate. Swanson showed he can still beat some of the most talented fighters in the division. Not only does Cub deserve a massive bonus, he also deserves a top fight at 145lbs.
The best contest for Cub right now is a rematch with the #3 ranked Lamas, who is fresh off a win over Charles Oliveira in November. A big win for either man would put them back in contention for a title shot.
Should Fight: Jeremy Stephens
It was difficult to find a suitable opponent for Super Boy after this fight. He had an excellent showing, a fight of the year candidate, but a loss nonetheless.
So what should be next for Choi? He could fight another young contender like Andre Fili or Mirsad Bektic, but our feeling is the UFC should keep Choi in at the deep end and see if he can swim through the rough waters.
Stephens is coming off a loss to perennial contender Franky Edgar. Up until then, he had a rejuvenation at 145lb. ‘Lil Heathen‘ always produces exciting fights and a match against Choi would hopefully bring a similar stylistic clash we saw against Swanson.
So there we have it. Step aside Joe Silva, we’ve got this covered.