UFC 145 Results: Matches to Make After Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans
With his win over former teammate Rashad Evans at UFC 145, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones moved one step closer to becoming the greatest 205-pound fighter in the history of the sport. Already, the 24-year-old Jones boasts one of the most impressive title runs in the division's history.
After the event, UFC president Dana White announced that Jones' next challenger would be former Pride and Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson. Since defeating Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in arguably the best fight of 2011, Henderson has been on the shelf waiting for his shot at the 205-pound title.
While Jones' next opponent is set, the future remains uncertain for the 23 other fighters on the UFC 145 fight card. Let's take a look at what should be next for each of Saturday night's competitors.
Marcus Brimage vs. Jason Young
Following his second official UFC victory, Marcus Brimage is beginning to look like a featherweight with some serious potential.
Let's match Brimage up against another promising, yet unproven fighter in Jason Young, who is coming off of a win over Eric Wisely at UFC on Fuel TV 2.
Keith Wisniewski vs. Besam Yousef
Suffering losses in his first two UFC appearances, there is a chance that Keith Wisniewski's next fight could take place outside of the Octagon.
However, considering the toughness he showed in a fight that he was winning prior to a bad stand-up call by the referee, Wisniewski deserves one more shot at proving he's UFC material.
If the UFC opts to keep Wisniewski around, a bout against Besam Yousef, who was defeated by Simeon Thoreson at UFC on Fuel TV 2, could make sense.
Chris Clements vs. Simeon Thoreson
Though his ground game was lacking, Chris Clements did enough to earn a win in his UFC debut on Saturday night. Now, the Canadian will turn his attention to climbing his way up the welterweight rankings.
Also coming off of a win in his first Octagon appearance, Simeon Thoreson would further test the ground game of Clements in a potential fight that would likely allow the winner to take a big step up in competition.
Efrain Escudero vs. John Makdessi
Efrain Escudero and John Makdessi were once considered very bright lightweight prospects.
However, both competitors suffered their second straight losses at UFC 145 and at least one of them could be looking at a release from the UFC.
If both fighters are given another chance inside the Octagon, they could meet each other in a possible loser-leaves-the-UFC matchup.
Mac Danzig vs. Anthony Njokuani
Though they have both been inconsistent throughout their careers, Mac Danzig and Anthony Njokuani were impressive in victory on Saturday night.
Neither fighter engaged in a particularly exciting contest against opponents who matched their styles, but both men were somewhat dominant.
The UFC has consistently matched Njokuani against dynamic strikers without the results they expected, so let's see how he matches up against a more well-rounded opponent like Danzig.
Stephen Thompson vs. John Hathaway-Pascal Krauss Loser
In his first tough test in the UFC, Stephen Thompson failed to use his unorthodox striking against a fighter who constantly pressured him and closed the distance.
Thompson will now have to go back to the drawing board and do some serious work on his ground game. When he returns, he should once again be tested against a fighter who is capable on the ground.
A bout against the loser of a UFC on Fox 3 fight between John Hathaway and Pascal Krauss would make sense.
Matt Brown vs. John Hathaway-Pascal Krauss Winner
Once again, Matt Brown proved an excellent gatekeeper for welterweight prospects by forcing Stephen Thompson out of his comfort zone.
Against the winner of the UFC on Fox 3 bout between John Hathaway and Pascal Krauss would give the 31-year-old Brown a chance to make an improbable run at the top of the 170-pound division.
John Alessio vs. Danny Castillo-John Cholish Loser
While John Alessio was unsuccessful in his return to the UFC, it was to be expected against a top lightweight like Mark Bocek, who has only lost against Benson Henderson and Jim Miller in the past four years.
For his next Octagon appearance, let's give Alessio a more winnable fight against the loser of a UFC on Fox 3 fight between Danny Castillo and John Cholish.
Mark Bocek vs. Tony Ferguson-Michael Johnson Winner
Mark Bocek was dominant against John Alessio at UFC 145, but he is still a long way away from a lightweight title shot.
A victory in a bout against the winner of a fight between well-known lightweights Tony Ferguson and Michael Johnson would give Bocek a boost in fan support for a step up in competition.
Mark Hominick vs. Maximo Blanco
Though he has now lost three straight fights, Mark Hominick is a popular fighter who the UFC will want to keep around if possible.
Conversely, Maximo Blanco has lost two straight fights and was not very exciting in defeat against Marcus Brimage in his Octagon debut.
A bout between Hominick and Blanco would seemingly allow the Canadian to get back on track against an opponent who is in an equally disappointing slump.
Eddie Yagin vs. Issei Tamura
Eddie Yagin's win over Mark Hominick was far from flawless, but the Hawaiian's power makes him an exciting fighter in the featherweight division.
A bout with another heavy-hitting 145-pound fighter in Issei Tamura, who knocked out Tiequan Zhang in his UFC debut, could produce fireworks.
Miguel Torres vs. Yves Jabouin-Jeff Hougland Loser
After his knockout loss to Michael McDonald at UFC 145, Miguel Torres has now lost four of his past seven fights and is no longer a serious contender in the bantamweight division.
Once considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, Torres will need to take a step back to turn things around. A bout against the loser of a bout between Yves Jabouin and Jeff Hougland could allow Torres to get back on track.
Michael McDonald vs. Renan Barao
A knockout of Miguel Torres makes Michael McDonald one of the top contenders in the 135-pound division.
With the title fight between champion Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber still months away, there is time for the UFC to set up a matchup between McDonald and Renan Barao that would determine which rising star is more prepared for a title shot.
Brendan Schaub vs. Chad Griggs
After suffering deflating losses at UFC 145, Brendan Schaub and Chad Griggs are both going to need some time to recover and make improvements to their games.
Once both fighters are healed up and prepared to return to the Octagon, a matchup with one another would seem to make the most sense.
Ben Rothwell vs. Travis Browne
Just as Brendan Schaub and Chad Griggs will likely be on the same timetable for a return to action, Ben Rothwell and Travis Browne each appeared to exit their UFC 145 victories unscathed.
There may be some thought about using one of the fighters as a replacement at UFC 146, from which Alistair Overeem has been removed. However, there are other options, and this matchup makes too much sense to pass on.
Che Mills vs. Paulo Thiago
Che Mills' ground game has always been his weakness, while Paulo Thiago was recently knocked out by Siyar Bahadurzada at UFC on Fuel TV 2.
In a matchup against one another, Mills and Thiago would force each other to work on the weaker points of their skill sets.
Rory MacDonald vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
After his dominant victory over Che Mills at UFC 145, Rory MacDonald acknowledged that he had some work to do, as he was clipped by his British opponent before taking the fight to the ground.
A bout against another powerful striker like Siyar Bahadurzada would make MacDonald focus on his striking during training.
It would also allow the young fighter to continue his progression toward fulfilling expectations as an eventual welterweight champion.
Rashad Evans vs. Lyoto Machida
Following his loss in a title fight against former teammate Jon Jones, some would probably suggest a move to middleweight for Rashad Evans.
However, after the event, Evans said he is a 205-pound fighter and plans on making another run at a title shot against Jones.
For Evans, avenging the only other loss of his career against Lyoto Machida would be a big step toward returning to a championship fight.
Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson
With three title defenses already under his belt, Jon Jones will now look to match the legendary title runs of Frank Shamrock and Chuck Liddell with a fourth defense against Dan Henderson.
At such a young age, Jones is already on the verge of breaking records and could arguably become the greatest 205-pound fighter of all time with a win over another great champion like Henderson.