Winner: Justin Edwards
Who He Should Fight Next: Seth Baczynski
Why They Should Fight: Justin Edwards proved his worth when he put Josh Neer to sleep with a guillotine choke in the first round at UFC on FX 5. After the career-changing win, Edwards will unquestionably get tough fights from hereon out.
One of the surging fighters in the welterweight division on the same level as Edwards is Seth Baczynski, an Arizona based fighter with a 4-0 UFC record including a first round knockout of Simeon Thoresen at UFC 152. Both fighters have proven to be finishers in their most recent bouts and matching them up would make for a fun welterweight bout.
Baczynski has yet to find a place on a UFC main card, but after four consecutive wins, including three finishes, “The Polish Pistola” is deserving of a featured bout. Edwards vs. Baczynski would be a perfect fight for a card on FUEL TV or FX and considering the most recent efforts of both men; the fight is basically guaranteed action.
Winner: John Dodson
Who He Should Fight Next: Demetrious Johnson
Why They Should Fight: After becoming the first flyweight champion in history just a few weeks ago at UFC 152, Demetrious Johnson already has the first challenger to his throne lined up. That challenger is John Dodson, who earned an opportunity to fight for the title with a second-round TKO of Jussier Formiga at UFC on FX 5.
A match up between Johnson and Dodson will be a frantic battle. The combination of speed and athleticism possessed by both fighters is off the charts and one may be forced to turn the TV on slow motion in order to properly comprehend the fight. With Dodson having a fairly big name from winning “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show, having him challenge Johnson makes for a marketable fight and is the ideal situation for the UFC.
At the end of the day, the UFC gets a competitive bout with two recognizable names for their the second-ever flyweight championship fight. Regardless of the result, there should be no complaints about the legitimacy of the match up.
Winner: Jake Ellenberger
Who He Should Fight Next: Josh Koscheck
Why They Should Fight: Before Josh Koscheck suffered an injury and was replaced by Jay Hieron, Jake Ellenberger and Koscheck were scheduled to fight at the canceled UFC 151 event. Ellenberger vs. Hieron was moved to UFC on FX 5 where “The Juggernaut” earned a unanimous decision victory to avenge a 2006 defeat to Hieron under the IFC banner.
Now that Koscheck is finally healthy and Ellenberger got past Hieron, it would make sense to put together the fight originally scheduled for UFC 151. Although the original fight was likely scheduled because Ellenberger and Koscheck were coming off of losses, it still makes sense to pit the two welterweights against one another considering Koscheck’s longtime status as a contender in the welterweight division.
Ellenberger and Koscheck are in two very different places in their careers. Ellenberger is on the hunt for a welterweight title shot – before losing to Martin Kampmann two fights ago was on the brink of earning a chance at the gold. The Nebraska native is still young at only 27-years old and is eager to climb the ladder. Koscheck, on the other hand, is much older and arguably on the tail end of his career and the 37-year-old has made it public he is only interested in big fights at this point in his career. Considering the landscape of the welterweight division, there are few better name opponents than Ellenberger for “The Ultimate Fighter” season one cast member to face.
Ellenberger vs. Koscheck could easily serve as the co-main event on a PPV card, as it was to be at UFC 151, or headline a free card on FX or FUEL TV.
Winner: Antonio Silva
Who He Should Fight Next: Winner of Roy Nelson vs. Shane Carwin at The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale
Why They Should Fight: Antonio Silva showed he is still a legitimate contender in the heavyweight division with a first round finish of Travis Browne at UFC on FX 5. With the win, “Bigfoot” earned his first octagon victory and lined himself up for another meaningful fight in the heavyweight division. Stefan Struve, who defeated Stipe Miocic in the UFC on FUEL TV 5 main event one week ago, has been suggested as a possible opponent for Silva to face next, but “The Skyscraper” called out Fabricio Werdum after his victory and it’s clear the Dutchman is gunning for the Brazilan.
If a Struve match up is off the table, the most logical opponent for Silva to face next would be the winner of Roy Nelson vs. Shane Carwin, who face off in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale on December 15th.
Should Silva face Nelson, it would make a fight that was supposed to take place at UFC 146 in May happen before a number of injuries and card shuffles occurred that resulted in Silva meeting Cain Velasquez and Nelson facing Dave Herman. There was interest in a Silva vs. Nelson bout before it was scrapped and considering both fighters would be coming off big wins, they are deserving of a chance to face each other.
If Carwin were to defeat Nelson in December, a match up between Silva and Carwin would pit two of the physically largest heavyweights on the UFC roster against one another. Silva vs. Carwin would be a clash of the titans and beyond that would be a pivotal fight in the heavyweight division.
Regardless of which man “Bigfoot” faces next, there in another fascinating match up in the heavyweight division on the horizon.