UFC on Fox Results: Matches to Make After Velasquez vs. Dos Santos
The UFC probably would have preferred a five-round war over the one-minute knockout that Junior dos Santos' win over Cain Velasquez turned into, but the organization's first appearance on network television ran smoothly otherwise.
One of the most important events in UFC history is now behind us, though, and it is time to look forward to what fight may come out of the fights that took place at UFC on Fox.
Joe Silva, take notice. These are the fights you should make after the events that transpired on Saturday night.
Matt Lucas vs. Eliot Marshall
To say the least, Matt Lucas' UFC debut didn't go as planned. Losing on top of having a fight stopped multiple times and having a point deducted for losing your mouthpiece is a good way to ensure a short stay with the world's premier MMA organization.
Despite the rough showing, Lucas will probably get one more chance to prove himself in the UFC. Odds are that chance will come against another fighter whose UFC career is hanging on by a thread, so a bout with Eliot Marshall would make sense.
Aaron Rosa vs. Brandon Vera
The drop from heavyweight to light heavyweight payed off for Aaron Rosa, as he kept his UFC career alive with a decision victory over Matt Lucas. The win wasn't spectacular, though. For the most part, Rosa scored by defending takedowns and landing short strikes from the clinch.
A bout with a fellow veteran who is far from the top of the 205-pound division seems like a good option for Rosa's next fight. Despite getting back on the winning track in his most recent fight, Brandon Vera fits that description.
Mike Pierce vs. Winner of Matt Brown/Seth Baczynski
With another hard-fought victory at UFC on Fox, Mike Pierce continues to show he can beat just about any welterweight outside of the division's contenders. A recent loss to the up-and-coming Johny Hendricks means it's too soon to give Pierce another shot at an elite welterweight, though.
For that reason, Pierce will want to remain active to climb the ladder, so a fight against the winner of a soon-to-come bout between Matt Brown and Seth Baczynski could be next.
Alex Caceres vs. Ken Stone
After losing four of his previous five fights, Alex Caceres was surprisingly dominant at UFC on Fox. His win in his first bantamweight fight makes the 23-year-old Caceres a promising addition to one of the UFC's newest divisions.
That being said, there's no reason to rush Caceres along at this point. Let's give him a matchup with Ken Stone, another fighter still looking to make a name for himself in the division.
Norifumi Yamamoto vs. Jeff Curran
Once considered one of the better pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, Norifumi Yamamoto remained winless inside the Octagon at UFC on Fox. At 34 years old, Yamamoto may be reaching the end of his career, but the UFC will want to keep him around as they look to break into the Japanese market.
A bout with fellow long-time MMA competitor Jeff Curran would generate some interest. The loser of that fight be looking at a quick exit from the world's premier MMA organization, though.
Darren Uyenoyama vs. Winner of Michael McDonald/Alex Soto
An outstanding performance on the ground earned Darren Uyenoyama a victory in his UFC debut against Norifumi Yamamoto. While it was a big win, Uyenoyama still has some work to do before he is considered a serious contender, as Yamamoto hasn't had much success as of late.
A bout with the winner of a fight between rising stars Michael McDonald and Alex Soto could determine a new contender in the bantamweight division.
Clay Harvison vs. Paul Bradley
Paul Bradley and Clay Harvison both lost for the second straight time on Saturday night.
While they're both in danger of being released, Bradley and Harvison are exciting fighters and should both be given one more chance to keep their spots on the UFC roster. A bout between the two welterweights ensures that one fighter will stick around.
DaMarques Johnson vs. John Maguire
He's had a roller-coaster ride of a career in the UFC, but DaMarques Johnson returned to the win column in impressive fashion at UFC on Fox, knocking Clay Harvison out in the first round.
Johnson has had trouble breaking out of the lower tier of the lightweight division, but a fight with another recent winner, John Maguire, would afford Johnson the opportunity to take a big step toward the top of the 155-pound division.
Cub Swanson vs. Mackens Semerzier
Cub Swanson and Mackens Semerzier both suffered hard-to-swallow losses at UFC on Fox. Both fighters started off strong on Saturday before getting caught later in the fight.
Though many UFC fans may not even be aware of it, Swanson and Semerzier fought to an extremely exciting split decision while under the WEC banner. Let's have Swanson and Semerzier go at it again in a surefire barn burner.
Ricardo Lamas vs. Robert Peralta
Ricardo Lamas and Robert Peralta were the respective fighters to defeat Cub Swanson and Mackens Semerzier on Saturday. Both fighters are at similar spots in the featherweight division and should be on a comparable timetable for return to action, so this matchup seems like a no-brainer.
Pablo Garza vs. Jonathan Brookins
Heading into UFC on Fox, Pablo Garza was one big win away from becoming a serious contender in the featherweight division. However, things did not go well for Garza on Saturday, when he was quickly finished by Dustin Poirier.
A matchup with another recognizable featherweight coming off of a disappointing loss could be next for Garza. That opponent could be The Ultimate Fighter winner Jonathan Brookins.
Dustin Poirier vs. Erik Koch
Dustin Poirier is quickly rising to the top of the featherweight division. A dominant performance against Pablo Garza put Poirier another impressive win or two away from a shot at the 145-pound division's belt.
A bout with Erik Koch, an opponent Poirier has been asking for, would set the winner up for a fight against one of the top fighters in the division, if not a bout with the champion.
Clay Guida vs. Gray Maynard
Clay Guida has been sitting near the top of the lightweight division for quite some time, but he has never been able to come up with the big win that could earn him a title shot. History repeated itself at UFC on Fox, where Guida fell short in a battle with Henderson for the top contender spot.
Let's give Guida a matchup with another top lightweight in Gray Maynard, another fighter who is coming off a heartbreaking loss in a massive fight.
Ben Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar
With his win over Clay Guida at UFC on Fox, Ben Henderson has earned a title shot against UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. The championship bout has already been scheduled for Feb. 26, a date that marks the UFC's return to Japan.
Cain Velasquez vs. Loser of Brock Lesnar/Alistair Overeem
Cain Velasquez lost his title in definitive fashion on Saturday, but he remains one of the top heavyweights in the world. He will be looking to make a quick return to a title fight, whether it be against Junior dos Santos or not.
A bout with the loser of Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem could give Velasquez the chance to become the top contender before the end of 2012. Lesnar seems dead set on a rematch with Velasquez, so that matchup could come to fruition if he loses to Overeem.
Junior Dos Santos vs. Winner of Brock Lesnar/Alistair Overeem
It has already been determined that Junior dos Santos' first title defense will come against the winner of a fight between Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem, which will take place in December. Whichever fighter wins that bout, expect dos Santos' first appearance as champion to have plenty of hype behind it.