UFC 165: Matchups That Would Make Sense After Saturday's Card
Glover Teixeira is next in line for a shot at the light heavyweight title, but if things happen as they should, he should be made to wait at least one more fight for his opportunity. Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson's epic battle for Jones' UFC light heavyweight title should spawn an immediate rematch.
Gustafsson pushed the champion in a way that no one outside of his camp expected. Because we're talking about the first serious challenge to the pound-for-pound champion, the UFC owes it to the fans to put both men back in the Octagon to maximize on what could be a great rivalry.
If Jones or Gustafsson are allowed to fight another opponent, there is no telling what could happen to either man. If Jones or Gustafsson take any damage that changes them as a fighter, it could hurt the best product the division has.
Of all the potential fights that could come from the action at UFC 165, a Jones-Gustafsson rematch makes the most sense. What other bouts should we see in light of the results from Saturday?
Renan Barao vs. Dominick Cruz
It is time to remove the interim tag from Barao's UFC bantamweight title one way or another. His impressive TKO win over Eddie Wineland on Saturday ran his record to 31-1. He hasn't lost a fight in eight years. Current UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has been on the shelf for two years after suffering a torn ACL.
Derrick Rose has nothing on this guy.
Barao should either be named the official champion at 135 pounds, or Cruz should face him to settle things. Per Mike Whitman of Sherdog, plans to have the two stars meet are in the works. Cruz is apparently targeting "early 2014" for his long-awaited return.
Barao will be waiting for him.
Francis Carmont vs. Ronaldo Souza
Which bout will we see first?
Prior to his manhandling of Costa Philippou on Saturday, Carmont wasn't listed as a top-10 middleweight. Because of the complete and utter domination he displayed over the man who was ranked seventh, it seems fair to say Carmont deserves a spot in the top 10.
Souza is one of the hottest names in the UFC. He's looked increasingly impressive in his two fights in the promotion. Matching these two streaking 185-pounders against one another could very well determine the next serious challenger for the middleweight crown.
Anderson Silva will attempt to regain his title from Chris Weidman at UFC 168 in December. If Carmont-Souza is made, the winner would be a stiff challenge for the man holding the title after Silva-Weidman 2.
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