Jose Aldo defended the UFC featherweight title for a fifth straight time on Saturday, putting himself among elite company on the list of fighters to reach that milestone.
While Aldo took advantage of a Chan Sung Jung injury to finish his fight at UFC 163, the Brazilian was already well on his way toward victory by the time the bout was stopped in the fourth round. By disposing of another new challenger, Aldo is coming closer and closer to a seemingly inevitable move to 155 pounds.
Should that be Aldo's next move?
Here are the matchups that could be upcoming for the 145-pound champion and the rest of the UFC 163 competitors.
Viscardi Andrade made a solid Octagon debut at UFC 163, overwhelming fellow The Ultimate Fighter veteran Bristol Marunde with strikes. Now with seven consecutive wins in official bouts, Andrade has the potential to make a name for himself in the welterweight division.
Before then, though, Andrade will have to work his way up the 170-pound ladder. That could mean another fight or two with developing TUF alumni. A bout with the winner of an upcoming matchup between Ben Alloway and Zak Cummings would be a natural progression.
With three straight losses, Marunde will likely be released from the UFC soon.
Francimar Barroso didn't blow anyone away with his UFC debut, but the Brazilian newcomer did what he needed to do and earned a win over former heavyweight Ednaldo Oliveira. Despite a reach disadvantage, Barroso countered his opponent frequently en route to a decision victory.
While his striking wasn't anything to write home about on Saturday, Barroso's stand-up could be more enjoyable to watch against an opponent with some understanding of how to back him into a corner without chasing.
That's why we could see him meet another fellow Brazilian, boxer Fabio Maldonado.
Having lost in his first two UFC appearances without showing much offensively, Oliveira is in serious danger of being released from the promotion.
Rani Yahya has quietly put together three straight wins, but he's not been putting together memorable performances that will move him upward in the bantamweight division.
As expected, Yahya used his grappling to shut down Josh Clopton at UFC 163. Despite his clear advantage on the ground, though, Yahya couldn't secure a submission and ended up winning on the scorecards. He'll get a step up in competition, but he's still in search of the signature win that would put him in title contention.
For now, a bout with the winner of a UFC Fight Night 26 matchup between Diego Brandao and Daniel Pineda would make sense for Yahya.
Clopton, unfortunately, is likely looking at being released from the UFC after losing his first two fights with the organization. It's rough that his job was probably on the line against an opponent like Yahya, but the TUF veteran was already lucky to get another chance to compete inside the Octagon after losing in his UFC debut.
Neil Magny suffered his first official UFC loss on Saturday.
As soon as he hit the ground with jiu-jitsu ace Sergio Moraes, Magny was in serious trouble. It didn't take long before the TUF veteran was mounted and caught in a triangle choke that would eventually force him to tap.
Despite the loss, the 26-year-old Magny still has a potentially bright future in the welterweight division. A bout with the loser of a UFC 164 matchup between Pascal Krauss and Hyun Gyu Lim would give Magny a good chance to get back into the win column.
Sergio Moraes continued to show off his world-class jiu-jitsu at UFC 163.
The TUF: Brazil runner-up picked up his second straight submission win with a mounted triangle choke on opponent Neil Magny. Out of Moraes' eight career wins, seven have now come via submission.
Clearly the most entertaining matchups for Moraes are against fellow grapplers, so it'd be interesting to see him in a bout with the winner of a UFC Fight Night 27 matchup between Justin Edwards and Brandon Thatch.
Sheila Gaff continued to struggle against UFC competition on Saturday, when she was quickly stopped by Amanda Nunes.
In any other division, two straight losses in the first round to start a UFC career would be a good way to get released. However, Gaff should be safe for now in a women's bantamweight division that is still developing.
Should she get another shot to compete inside the Octagon, Gaff will likely meet Jessica Andrade, who recently lost to Liz Carmouche in her UFC debut.
Amanda Nunes made a big splash in her UFC debut, stopping Sheila Gaff with elbows two minutes into the first round.
However, Nunes is still behind a few people in line for a shot at the women's bantamweight championship, having already lost to fellow contender Alexis Davis.
While things sort themselves out at the top of the division, Nunes needs to keep picking up wins. A bout with Germaine de Randamie, who recently picked up a win in her Octagon debut, would allow Nunes to remain in the win column while those ranked above her beat up on one another.
Just when it looked like Vinny Magalhaes put everything together, he suffered back-to-back losses and now finds himself on the verge of being cut from the UFC roster again.
At UFC 163, Magalhaes came in as a massive favorite over Anthony Perosh and left with a stunning knockout loss. As he left the Octagon, Magalhaes made a gesture commonly associated with retirement in combat sports circles.
Magahaes took his gloves off and left them on the canvas.— John Morgan (@MMAjunkieJohn) August 4, 2013
While it's very possible we might never see Magalhaes inside the Octagon again, it's probably not safe to hold him to his sign of retirement in the moments shortly after he had his brain rattled. If he does get one more fight inside the Octagon, Magalhaes could meet the loser of a UFC Fight Night 26 matchup between Cody Donovan and Ovince St. Preux.
On the wrong side of a tie for the fastest knockout in UFC history in his last outing, Anthony Perosh made quick work of an opponent himself this time around.
In one of the bigger upsets in recent memory, it took Perosh only 14 seconds to dispose of Vinny Magalhaes on Saturday. Quietly, despite being on the wrong side of 40 years old, Perosh has put together a very solid 4-1 record over his past five fights.
While beating Magalhaes was big for Perosh, the Australian shouldn't get too big of a step up in competition since he's only one fight removed from that quick knockout loss to Ryan Jimmo. Instead, a bout with the winner of a UFC Fight Night 26 matchup between Cody Donovan and Ovince St. Preux seems likely.
Although they both came up short in their UFC flyweight debuts, Jose Maria and Iliarde Santos looked like fighters who could stay with the world's top MMA promotion for a while.
Before being stopped in the second stanza, Maria blasted away at John Lineker and had the 125-pound contender hurt several times in the first round. Santos, meanwhile, displayed a solid chin against Ian McCall and blasted "Uncle Creepy" with some big shots of his own over three rounds of action.
In an effort to get one of these promising Brazilians into the win column, the UFC should match Maria and Santos up against one another near the end of 2013.
It took four appearances, but Ian McCall finally picked up his first UFC win on Saturday.
Taking a step down in competition after losses to elite flyweights Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez, McCall was able to open up offensively against Iliarde Santos. While it wasn't a flawless performance, McCall did enough to show he can still be a 125-pound contender in the decision victory.
John Lineker, meanwhile, picked up a third straight UFC win at UFC 163. However, a rough first round against UFC newcomer Jose Maria could quiet talk of him deserving the next shot at flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.
Still, Lineker does deserve a step up in competition, and he could get one against fellow UFC 163 winner Ian McCall. If he found a way to win in that matchup, then it would be difficult to deny Lineker a title shot.
Tom Watson was unable to keep Thales Leites off of him enough to open up with his striking on Saturday.
One of several foreigners to fall short against a Brazilian at UFC 163, Watson's back was pinned to the fence or canvas for most of three rounds. Now with a 1-2 record inside the Octagon, Watson is not doing a great job of solidifying a long-term spot on the UFC middleweight roster.
A second Fight of the Night performance wouldn't hurt his standing with the UFC brass, so look for Watson to land a bout with a more aggressive opponent like Trevor Smith.
Four years after being cut from the promotion, Thales Leites made a successful UFC return on Saturday, beating Tom Watson on the scorecards.
When he has a significant grappling edge over opponents, Thales Leites has the ability to really slow down a fight. That may work out for him, but it's not something the UFC or its fans want to watch regularly.
Expect UFC matchmakers to line Leites up with a fellow grappler now. A bout with the winner of a UFC 164 matchup between Yoel Romero and Brian Houston could be interesting.
As it turned out, stepping up in weight class on short notice to meet TUF winner Cezar Ferreira was not a good idea for Thiago Santos.
Yes, Santos may have earned favor with UFC brass for filling in, but he did not represent himself well at UFC 163. Because he did the UFC favor, Santos will surely get another shot inside the Octagon despite losing his first fight following an appearance on TUF: Brazil 2.
Since the loser of an upcoming bout between Kenny Robertson and Joao Zeferino will likely be in danger of being released, they would probably be a good opponent for Santos in a loser-leaves-town matchup.
Cezar Ferreira, a TUF: Brazil winner, has his UFC career off to a nice start.
On Saturday, Ferreira made quick work of Thiago Santos to remain unbeaten inside the Octagon. Soon, the road is likely to get tougher for Ferreira, though, as the UFC will look to find out if he is capable of becoming a middleweight title contender.
Before then, though, there is one more fight with a fellow TUF: Brazil veteran that some fans are hoping to see from Ferreira.
Ferreira was supposed to meet Daniel Sarafian in the middleweight finals of TUF: Brazil before an injury forced the latter out of the matchup. With both men now coming off wins, it's a good time to find out who really deserved to be the winner of that 185-pound competition.
Lyoto Machida might just be cursed.
After winning two fights that were supposed to earn him a rematch with light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, Machida lost in a highly controversial decision against Phil Davis on Saturday.
Now, it's unclear where the former champion stands in the hunt for a 205-pound title shot.
While the UFC doesn't often match winners with losers, this strangely seems like a great time for a rematch between Machida and Rashad Evans that has been in the making for years. Both men have a recent split-decision win over Dan Henderson, and many believe both should also have a decision victory over Phil Davis.
Additionally, Evans is now the fighter with slightly more momentum than Machida, so it can be argued he's deserving of avenging his loss to the Brazilian.
Since Machida and Evans are both in odd spots, where they are considered elite light heavyweights but are having trouble earning title shots due to their losses against Jones, this matchup could be exactly what one needs to make a big enough statement to fight for the belt.
A decisive win over Lyoto Machida might have been enough to earn Phil Davis a title shot.
Unfortunately, Davis' victory on Saturday was anything but conclusive. The former NCAA champion wrestler scored late takedowns to gain an edge on the scorecards, but many felt he didn't do enough while standing to earn the decision win.
Machida told Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com that he'd like a rematch with Davis, but it's unlikely that's a matchup many would get overly excited about after their lackluster meeting at UFC 163.
Davis won't be getting any title shots for his performance against Machida, but he does deserve another big matchup. A bout with the loser of an upcoming title fight between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson, even if it means a rematch with his now-training partner, could give Davis the chance to prove he is ready to challenge for a championship.
A separated shoulder brought an abrupt end to Chan Sung Jung's title hopes.
While clearly losing to Jose Aldo on Saturday, Jung was holding his own against the champion before suffering an injury in the fourth round. Aldo took advantage and put Jung away with punches quickly.
In a deepening pool of featherweight contenders, Jung will now have to work his way back up the ranks. His submission ability could make things interesting in a bout against the loser of a UFC 164 matchup between wrestlers Chad Mendes and Clay Guida.
Jose Aldo extended his reign over the featherweight division on Saturday.
The 145-pound champion was surprisingly willing to go to the ground with Chan Sung Jung, whom he took down multiple times over four rounds. While Aldo was clearly on his way toward victory, an unfortunate Jung injury helped the champion seal the deal.
After UFC 163, Aldo told Fuel TV he'd be interested in moving to the lightweight division but left that decision up to the UFC brass. With the featherweight division more interesting than it's ever been, UFC officials might be reluctant to take Aldo out of the 145-pound equation now.
If he does stay at featherweight for another fight or two, Aldo's next challenger should be Ricardo Lamas. Many felt Lamas should have replaced Anthony Pettis at UFC 163 instead of Jung, as the American holds Cub Swanson, Erik Koch and others on his current four-fight winning streak.