This past weekend, at UFC 168, MMA in 2013 was closed out in dramatic fashion. In the main event of the evening, the highly anticipated Middleweight championship rematch between Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman ended in the most stunning fashion imaginable. Silva broke his leg on a kick that was checked by Weidman, meaning Weidman would retain the Middleweight championship. Although the injury ended the card on a sour note, we can not forget the multitude of impressive performances. Today, I discuss who the winners on the main card should fight next.
Dustin Poirier: Poirier was extremely impressive once again in his dismantling TKO win over Diego Brandao. Poirier now has two wins in a row, and is looking to get a big name opponent. Unfortunately for him, most of the top half of the Featherweight division are already booked with fights. The one man who is not booked is #4 Cub Swanson. Swanson defeated Poirier back in February by decision in a close fight. At the post-fight press conference, Poirier said he deserves a rematch with Cub, because he took the fight on short notice. I tend to think that the UFC will stay away from that rematch, as Swanson is likely one win away from a title shot. Although I would love to see Dustin take on Conor McGregor when he returns, I see Dustin taking on fellow UFC 168 winner, Dennis Siver, sometime early in 2014.
Jim Miller: Miller desperately needed a win last night to stay relevant in the UFC’s Lightweight division. Not only did he win, he did so impressively by submitting a BJJ black belt in Fabricio Camoes. Miller had a long layoff before his fight on Saturday night, and I expect him to get right back in the mix. I think a fight between Miller and Michael Johnson would be perfect. Both men are on the fringe of the Lightweight division, and are looking to break into the division’s elite.
Travis Browne: It only took Browne 1 minute to knock out the legendary heavyweight, Josh Barnett, on Saturday night. He has three straight victories, all coming by way of first round knock out. Dana White has already announced that Browne will be taking on Fabricio Werdum for the right to fight Heavyweight champion, Cain Velasquez. Can Browne extend the KO streak to four straight?
Ronda Rousey: Another victory, another armbar for the Women’s Bantamweight champion. Ronda Rousey seems to be an unstoppable force in the Bantamweight division. Although Miesha had her bright spots, the fight was mostly one sided. After her long layoff between her debut and second title defense, Rousey will make a quick turnaround. In the post-fight press conference, Dana White announced that Ronda Rousey would be taking on Sara McMann at UFC 170. That fight will serve as the main event of the evening, and will pit two Olympians against one another.
Chris Weidman: Chris Weidman wanted to prove that his first win over Anderson Silva was not a fluke. Unfortunately for him, the questions will likely still remain after Silva’s gruesome leg injury. Regardless, Weidman is the Middleweight champion and has defeated the greatest of all time twice. He will now move on to fight yet another legendary Middleweight, Vitor Belfort. Belfort is currently on a three fight winning streak, with three straight head kick KO’s. Belfort defeated Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold, and Dan Henderson all by violent KO in 2013. While controversy surrounds Belfort due to his TRT usage, no one can deny that he has deserved his title shot. Expect to see the two Middleweights collide in May 2014.