With UFC 146 now behind us, the time to play armchair matchmaker is now here. With all bouts taking place in the heavyweight class, a picture of bouts to make behind the event becomes a tad bit more clear when looking at the landscape of the division.
Junior Dos Santos: In a sniper-like performance, the UFC Heavyweight champion retained his crown after hitting Frank Mir so hard that he thought he was in another arena. While Dana White announced that Overeem will keep his standing in the heavyweight division, a denial of a license to the Dutch kickboxer will keep him on the shelf until December. Meanwhile, former titleholder Cain Velasquez threw his hat in the ring with his own crushing victory. As White said in the post-fight press conference, “We like that fight,” the two men who headlined the UFC first Fox offering will once again meet to determine the who the best heavyweight in the world is.
Next up: Cain Velasquez
Frank Mir: While I really like the idea of Mir being the UFC welcome wagon to either the remaining Strikeforce heavyweights, particularly Barnett, Showtime has other plans for those two. To me, Mir is the de facto gatekeeper to the title, but with the next two title challengers already determined, he’s best suited to face someone who may not be ready for a title shot as of yet. The winner of next month’s Werdum-Russow tilt should be the man who next opposes the former champion
Next up: Winner of Fabricio Werdum vs. Mike Russow
Next up: Junior Dos Santos
Antonio Silva: After the biggest win of “Bigfoot’s” career against Fedor Emelianenko, the massive heavyweight has now fallen in back-to-back performances against teammates Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez. Silva should be facing a heavyweight on the periphery at this point. Brendan Schaub, who suffered a devastating knockout at the hands of Ben Rothwell comes to mind, perhaps even Dave Herman who is also riding two losses.
Next up: Brendan Schaub or Dave Herman
Roy Nelson: With the ever popular “Big Country” getting back on the winning side of things, one name comes to mind, albeit for what may be selfish reasons. I would like to see Nelson matched with Mark Hunt in what it sure to be a wildly entertaining heavyweight tilt to determine where both men in the grand scheme of things. Hunt, who was slated to appear on the card before an injury, obviously has a lot of steam behind given the fact that “Rally for Mark Hunt” was even a thing. Nelson should serve as a serviceable test for the Samoan, who honestly may not still be ready for the “big” fight.
Next up: Mark Hunt
Dave Herman: Currently on a two-fight skid, the fact of the matter is that Herman is a flake and is overmatched when it comes to the rest of the top division, a quick look at the names above him on this list tells you that. Herman is best suited as an action fighter for the big men. Pat Barry comes to mind as a potential opponent, both men know their role in the division, and a match between the two seems like a promising clash of styles.
Next up: Pat Barry