("Holy crap. Do my eyebrows really look like that?")
So here’s what we know: Josh Koscheck will be playing the fraggle-haired heel in Georges St. Pierre‘s next title defense. Kimbo and Semtex are dunzo. Mauricio Rua‘s next opponent will be determined by UFC 114′s Rampage vs. Rashad feature. Matt Mitrione and Joey Beltran could face each other at UFC 117 in August, which sounds about right. As for the rest of last weekend’s winners and losers, their fates are still to be determined. Not saying you need any help, Joe Silva, but if things are piling up at UFC headquarters, allow us to offer a few suggestions…
Lyoto Machida: If Antonio Rogerio Nogueira can get through Jason Brilz later this month, Machida vs. Lil’ Nog is the fight that makes sense. A win for Machida would be a perfect rebound against a dangerous, highly-regarded striker, while a win for Minotoro would convince fans that he’s a title threat worth caring about. Even though they’re both members of the Black House collective, Machida hasn’t ruled the match out.
Alan Belcher: He wants Anderson Silva. Isn’t that precious! Still, there’s no denying that Belcher is a rising star with some great recent wins under his belt. My first instinct would be to put him against Michael Bisping if the Count is victorious against Dan Miller at UFC 114. But there’s something just a little too obvious about that. If Belcher can handle Anderson Silva, surely he’d have no problem with Demian Maia, right? Tremendous upside for Belcher, and a good tune-up for Maia, who needs to re-locate his formerly fearsome jiu-jitsu.
Marcus Davis: This one’s a no-brainer. Davis wants a spot on the Boston card, so put him up against Phil Baroni to stoke the Boston vs. New York rivalry, and watch them slug their way to a Fight of the Night bonus.
Sam Stout: Hands of Stone just picked up his third-straight Fight of the Night award (and fifth FOTN overall), which means he’s basically the Chris Lytle of the lightweight division — exciting to watch, and frustratingly inconsistent. Since Clay Guida and Joe Stevenson are already booked for August, a meeting with the loser of Tyson Griffin vs. Evan Dunham at UFC 115 seems like a good fit.
Johny Hendricks: He narrowly scratched out a majority decision over TJ Grant, so we think a lateral move is in order. Put him up against DaMarques Johnson, who has looked great since his TUF 9 stint, and defeated Brad Blackburn in an impressively gutsy performance at UFC 112. The word is that Johnson will be facing Matt Riddle next. Well, that’s a terrible idea and should be re-considered immediately.
Tom Lawlor and Patrick Cote: Pair ‘em up against each other, and the loser gets lost. Both guys have dropped two straight, and both deserve one more chance to prove themselves. Cote’s loss to Belcher could easily be attributed to excessive ring rust. As for Lawlor, he needs to spend as much time working on his cardio as he does planning those lavish entrances.
Tim Hague, Jonathan Goulet, Jason MacDonald: They only got a spot on the "Machida vs. Shogun II" card because the UFC needed some local flavor, and we expect to see these guys back on the Canadian regional circuit after the way their fights turned out. But as long as they can keep racking up wins, a callback is always possible. Just ask Joe Doerksen.