UFC 156 Aftermath: What’s Next For the Winners…

Rashad Evans

UFC 156: Rashad Evans

“Sugar” did not look like himself on Saturday night. After an uneventful fight with Nogueira, Evans’ next move is somewhat difficult to predict. Evans was talking about a fight with Anderson Silva before his loss and that possibility has drifted away (although it will not be surprising if that fight is still booked). Evans could challenge the loser of Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson (which would be tempting if Hendo wins since Evans lost his title to Machida) but a more intriguing fight could be against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Pundits and Pride FC diehards have already reserved Rua for Nogueira in what would be a rematch of their classic Pride fight, however it would be fitting for Nogueira to face Glover Teixeira and get revenge for his training partner, Fabio Maldonado.

Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva

Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva

Fedor Emilianenko and Alistair Overeem were expected to meet in the STRIKEFORCE Heavyweight Grand Prix Final months ago…”Bigfoot” finished them both. The problem with “Bigfoot” is that he cannot be considered for title contention right now. He lost to current champion Cain Velasquez in dominating fashion and was knocked out by Daniel Cormier in September 2011, who is regarded as the best heavyweight in MMA by many. Josh Barnett would be a suitable candidate for “Bigfoot”, since they have been trading verbal jabs with each other for the past little while. “Bigfoot” could face the winner of Daniel Cormier and Frank Mir although many do not buy into the “Bigfoot” hype yet. He should be pitted against the winner of Roy Nelson and Cheick Kongo – if he wins one of those fights, there is no questioning him.

Better yet, if Fabricio Werdum beats Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, which would be a tempting rematch to book.

Joseph Benavidez

Joseph Benavidez

The Flyweight Division is looking rather thin but it is a relatively new division – this means there aren’t many options. Benavidez looked outstanding on Saturday night (so did McCall) and represents the breed of fighters who look better than their previous performance. Although an immediate rematch with McCall would be impossible but warranted, Benavidez should get his rematch with champion Demetrious Johnson or fight John Moraga, who’s past two Octagon performances were finishes of Ulysses Gomez and Chris Cariaso.

This would be a salivating fight to determine who is the next contender for Johnson.

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