UFC 128 Results: The Top 15 Match-Ups That Need to Happen Going Forward
Ultimate Fighting Championship 128 was one of the biggest events of the year with some of the best fighters across all of the UFC's divisions.
One matchup that we know of right away is that Jon Jones will be defending his new title against his friend, Rashad Evans.
A necessary matchup, but not necessarily the best one.
These are the top 15 matchups that need to happen going forward.
Mirko Cro Cop vs the Light Heavyweight Division
If Mirko cannot make light heavyweight, then I fear he might not have much left to offer the UFC.
Ricardo Almeida vs Martin Kampmann
Both guys are top 10 material, but coming off of close decision losses.
Almeida probably does not want to spend the rest of his career middling with inconsequential talent, and Kampmann wants a big name to get right back into things.
The winner gets right back into contention while the loser risks their position in the UFC.
Kamal Shalorus vs George Sotiropoulos
Both men are coming off of losses and need a rebound.
Winner of this fight gets put right back into the title picture.
Mike Pyle vs Diego Sanchez
Perfect fight for both guys.
Can Pyle handle the pace that Sanchez provides and can Sanchez keep his momentum against top competition?
Winner gets chance to fight one of the top ranked guys in the division.
Dan Miller vs Yoshihiro Akiyama
Dan Miller wants tough fights and Akiyama is a tough customer with a big name.
Both men are coming off of losses and a win would put them right back in against the top middleweights of the world.
Kurt Pellegrino vs Anthony Njokuani
Both fighters lost close decisions at UFC 128.
Njokuani's performance, however, warrants a step up in competition.
Pellegrino fits the bill and the timing makes sense.
Erik Koch vs Manny Gamburyan
Koch was originally supposed to fight Gamburyan, but Assuncao stepped in when Gamburyan got injured.
This fight still makes sense and with Koch's big KO, it will be even more high profile.
Joseph Benavidez vs Brian Bowles
Both men have lost to current champion Dominick Cruz.
Who can stay in the hunt?
Edson Barboza vs Cole Miller
Is Barboza ready for a step up in competition?
Can Cole Miller rebound from a lackluster decision loss to Wiman?
This is how we find out.
Nate Marquardt vs Chris Weidman
Chris Weidman dominated veteran Alessio Sakara in his UFC debut and I think could pose a lot of problems for perennial contender Nate Marquardt.
Other interesting match ups for Marquardt include Wanderlei Silva and Michael Bisping, although I would love to see those guys against Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen respectively.
Luiz Cane vs Alexander Gustafsson
Cane shot right back into the title picture with his first round TKO over Eliot Marshall.
A fight against a rising contender like Gustafsson seems the perfect fit.
After that, he will still need a test against a wrestler like Hamill or Brilz before moving into a top contender situation.
Another good matchup would be against former middleweight champion Rich Franklin.
Gleison Tibau vs the Winner of Bocek vs Henderson
Logical progression up the lightweight ladder that would put the winner in top ten consideration.
Brendan Schaub vs Winner of Struve vs Browne
Schaub could get matched up with any number of top heavyweights, but he is going to have to clash with these other rising stars sooner or later.
Whoever wins between Browne and Struve will be the perfect fight for Schaub to take.
With Struve vs Browne taking place in two months, and Schaub healing from facial lacerations anyways, the timing should make sense too.
Jim Miller vs Loser of Maynard vs Edgar
The only two losses in Miller's career are to the top two lightweight fighters, Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard.
Whoever loses in the title fight in late May should give Miller his chance at revenge. Should Miller be able to win, then his title shot should be granted.
Mauricio Rua vs Quinton Jackson
A drop down to middleweight should be under consideration for Rua, if it is at all possible.
Otherwise, a fight against Quinton Jackson makes perfect sense.
It does not matter if Jackson wins or loses in his upcoming bout against Matt Hamill; this rematch between two former champions will sell tickets.
Urijah Faber vs Dominick Cruz
Since losing to Faber in 2007, Cruz has gone on a tear—becoming the bantamweight champion of the world and earning the respect as one of the best fighters in the world.
Faber would like to replicate history, while Cruz would like to avenge his only defeat.
This rivalry makes too much sense to not happen.
Jon Jones vs Phil Davis
It might be a while before the UFC allows this matchup to happen; but these two fighters have looked like the future of the division since they first burst onto the scene.
Jones has to defend his belt against Evans and Davis has to get past Rogerio Nogueira..... but down the line, I think that this fight will be inevitable.