Lyoto Machida vs. Ryan Bader: 5 Fights for Bader to Take Next

Cody Guinn@@CKissGuinnContributor IIIAugust 5, 2012

Lyoto Machida vs. Ryan Bader: 5 Fights for Bader to Take Next

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    Lyoto Machida made a huge statement last night at UFC on Fox 4 when he emphatically knocked out Ryan Bader in the second round of their fight.

    For Machida, it secured another shot at the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.

    For Bader, it marks the second time he's come up short in a title-eliminator scenario.

    So, what's next for the season eight Ultimate Fighter winner? Here's five possible opponents for Bader to fight next. 

Brandon Vera

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    In the main event, Brandon Vera showed he could hang with a top-10 light heavyweight as he entered the deep waters with former champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. In the end, though, he was defeated by knockout in the fourth round.

    Vera's job is secure, according to UFC President Dana White, so a matchup between Vera and Bader would be a nice bout for both men to take next.

Glover Teixeira

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    Glover Teixeira is set to face Quinton "Rampage" Jackson later this year, but win or lose, a matchup with Ryan Bader could come next for Teixeira.

    Before last night's defeat, Bader was coming off a big win against Jackson, so a win for Teixeira would setup the date with Bader.

    At the same time, because Bader is coming off a loss, there is still a chance Teixeira could face Bader even if he was defeated by Jackson.

Thiago Silva

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    Thiago Silva was expected to be the opponent for Shogun Rua, but he was forced out with an injury. It's unlikely he'll still get the opportunity to face Shogun, but he could be next for Ryan Bader.

    Silva is coming off a loss to Alexander Gustafsson, so a fight with Bader would give both men a chance to get back on track in the light heavyweight division.

Stephan Bonnar

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    Stephan Bonnar only wants to fight big names right now, but a fight with Bader could be how he earns one more big name.

    Bonnar is coming off a win over Kyle Kingsbury, which usually doesn't catapult anyone into a match with a top-10 opponent.

    Still, matching up Bonnar with Bader would give Bader a shot to get back in the win column and give Bonnar a chance to prove he belongs in the Octagon with the top-tier light heavyweights. 

Ryan Jimmo

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    Ryan Jimmo is coming off a huge, record-tying knockout against Anthony Perosh and could find himself with a much bigger name next time he steps into the Octagon.

    With the light heavyweight division being fairly shallow at the moment, Jimmo could find himself matched up with a top-10 guy in his next bout.

    Jimmo has knockout power, very impressive wrestling and a top-control game (similar to Bader). 

    A bout between the two men will either place Bader back in contention or shoot Jimmo up the ranks even faster than before.