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Armchair Matchmaker: UFC 116 Edition

Brock Lesnar already has a date with Cain Velasquez — potentially at UFC 119 in September — but the fates of all the other winners and losers from Saturday night are still up in the air. So let’s run down a few of the notables and try to determine who they should take on next. You’re really gonna have to start paying us, Joe.

Shane Carwin: Word on the street is that the winner of Junior Dos Santos vs. Roy Nelson at UFC 117 will receive the next heavyweight title shot after Velasquez, which means the loser could be a good opponent for Carwin’s return fight. Cigano and Big Country are both skilled enough to drag Carwin into round 2, where he’ll either crumble again, or prove to everyone that cardio is not his achilles heel.

Chris Leben: He called out Wanderlei Silva following his unbelievable submission victory over Yoshihiro Akiyama, and the Axe Murderer is down with it. Seems like a no-brainer to us. Who wouldn’t want to see two of the UFC’s most beloved brawlers beat the stuffing out of each other? Dana White says he wants to have Leben fight again soon rather than have him sit out the rest of the year while Silva’s knee heals up. But after two fights in two weeks (and $100,000 in bonus money), we think Leben could use a nice vacation.

Yoshihiro Akiyama: He got a gift decision against Alan Belcher in his UFC debut last year, and was choked out — choked out! — by Chris Leben. We think the myth of Sexyama has been officially destroyed. Give him one more fight to show us that he belongs in the Octagon. A win-or-get-lost match against the tough-but-struggling Dan Miller (who has lost his last three fights by decision) seems to be in order. Akiyama will surely complain about the matchup, but if he wants to redeem his reputation he’ll play ball.

Stephan Bonnar: Scoring your first win in almost three years, thereby saving your job and getting the opportunity to make an incredibly creepy victory pose? Nice, player. The first name that comes to mind for Bonnar’s next dance partner is Jason Brilz, who should get another high-profile fight after nearly defeating Lil’ Nog on short notice at UFC 114. No matter how it turns out, one thing is for certain — Bonnar will leave the cage with a gruesomely torn-up face.

George Sotiropoulos: After six straight wins and decisive victories over Joe Stevenson and Kurt Pellegrino, George Sotiropoulos is officially a contender. He’ll need to upset a top-ten opponent before he gets a shot at the belt, and the most logical option is to have Georgie fight the loser of Kenny Florian vs. Gray Maynard at UFC 118 (which, for all intents and purposes, is a #1 lightweight contender match). Still, if Frankie Edgar loses his rematch to BJ Penn in UFC 118′s main event, Sotiropoulos vs. Edgar would make just as much sense.

Brendan Schaub: Since his loss to Roy Nelson in the TUF 10 finals, Schaub has scored lightning-fast TKOs over Chase Gormley and Chris Tuchscherer. With Cheick Kongo and Travis Browne already booked, a fight against Pat Barry could be a good choice. It’s not really a step up for Schaub, but it’ll give the young 6-1 fighter a little more time to develop before he tangles with the top dogs in the division. However, if the UFC wants Schaub to dive into deep water, a fight against Ben Rothwell would quickly determine where his abilities lie.

Gerald Harris: During his current stint with the UFC, the TUF 7 vet has scored three-straight stoppage victories (and two Knockout of the Night bonuses), all in dramatic fashion. But all three of his opponents have been UFC first-timers with very little name value. It’s time to reward Hurricane Harris with a step up the ladder. Kendall Grove just kept himself in play by outpointing Goran Reljic on the UFC 116 prelims, and “Da Spyder” would be a perfect next test for Harris.

Got any other matchmaking ideas in the wake of UFC 116? Let us know in the comments section…


Cagepotato Comments

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X- July 6, 2010 at 8:53 am
Although I thought Brock would take the fight, I think Carwin will take the rematch easily when they fight again down the road...instead of punching himself out, Carwin would use better GNP technique...a lot of people were praising Carwin before the fight and now people are praising Brock.. Cain has this fight...based on being a better overall fighter with speed and cardio....u are forgetting Cain has heart, he can handle Brock's punches....definitely cain is not ready for carwin based on his fighting stance with Kongo...cain will improve....the key to the fight will be can brock keep cain down...I say thats I big's about who imposes their will in the the way anyone thinking sonnen has a chance of winning, don't go by emotion...sonnen is going to get what he deserves..he wants anderson to fight him and he will....short night for anderson...
IronFistOak- July 6, 2010 at 6:00 am
If I was Leben, given my quickly fruitful economic situation, the last thing on my mind would be a vacation. I would keep that gravy train rolling until it over heated and burst into flames.
Almost North- July 5, 2010 at 7:16 pm
FBF now I can't get rid of the image of ubereem in a lab coat mixing test tubes. Its pretty much exactly how I imagine that movie they mad up on Always Sunny.
DangadaDang- July 5, 2010 at 7:07 pm
DangadaDang- July 5, 2010 at 7:06 pm
Chris "Fight of the Night" Lytle
fatbellyfrank- July 5, 2010 at 6:56 pm
As long as its for research and not personal gain, I think we'd all be cool with that
Dick_Gozenya- July 5, 2010 at 6:46 pm
I'm saying The Big Reemer is going to charter new territories on the frontiers of science.
fatbellyfrank- July 5, 2010 at 6:41 pm
So your suggesting the reemer's gonna do that much roid's he ends up lookin like Chandella?
Dick_Gozenya- July 5, 2010 at 6:18 pm
Speaking of matchmaking...

...Sherdog is reporting that Strikeforce is seriously considering doing Emelianenko vs. The Big Reemer for the title next. This is the second time I have seen this as it was at the very end of an MMAjunkie article earlier in the week. Strikeforce is starting to have a well established trend here. You must lose your title contention bout to be awarded a title shot in the Strikeforce Heavyweight division. Makes perfect sense.

Then, if Emelianenko wins they can have Fedor's first challenger for his belt be Verdum, a guy who just beat him. And for further intrigue The Reemer will take on The Grim at DREAM 18 with the loser getting first shot at the belt, which incidentally will be given to Werdum after Fedor beats him but vacates the position to retire and live in an orthodox monastery in south-eastern Russia to work on a correspondence career of Russian parliamentary work and advocating for blind orphans. The Grim will come into the DREAM bout crazed from the effects of Asian Redbull and Japanese pussy and will mop the floor with the Reemer. The Reemer will immediately fly back to South Dakota for Strikeforce: Mt. Rushmore: Giant Heads of Stone: Carved in a Mountain but will get submitted by Werdum after 70 seconds by flying gogoplata after knocking Werdum down with a giant knee and delivering 47 unanswered hammerfists to Werdum's temple. Refereeing by Kim Winslow. The Big Reemer will be awarded the HW strap in defeat because, alas, Werdum's victory interview discloses the information that he has already been poached by Dana White as his cornerman got hit up on with the ":P " on his I-phone's Twitter. This will set up the rubber match of The Big Reemer vs. The Grim Tire Guy for the Strikeforce HW Title at the biggest ever Strikeforce: Incredible Pyrotechnics! This will be held on the burning wreckage of an exploded oil-rig in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coastline and broadcast live on CBS. The Reemer will come in for the bout at 306 lbs. of raging chemically enhanced horse flesh, he will actually have a head that is beginning to resemble some form of equine minotaur, and he will literally cave the side of Brett Rogers skull in with a single knee. Blood will shoot everywhere, a riot will break out, pyrotechnics will shoot into the crowd and burning bodies will be televised falling ten stories into the pitching sea. Brett Rogers will be the first televised MMA fatality, CBS stock will plummet and Ubereemer will be banned from fighting on US soil (and oil rigs) ever again. Rogers will be posthumously awarded the HW strap and it will be buried with him in a special coffin that will be a replica of Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s stock car. Strtikeforce will cancel their heavyweight division and begin to focus more and more on what they do best: throwing hapless female kickboxers to their doom against Cris Cyborg Santos. The UFC will slowly steal the last of the meaningful talent from Strikeforce and by 2012 Strikeforce will be the premier home for women's MMA, aging ex-professional athletes, and former professional wrestlers who get bored doing cocaine and riding jet skis and need new hobbies.

rite leg ospitahl- July 5, 2010 at 4:59 pm
@ milk

like i told bud sellers i was wrong and corrected it. it was a suspension via steriods my bad.

@bud sellars

shinya was #2 light weight before melendez showed that yet again asians cant fight in cages, so i dont care that sexy yama was top ten. yeah if leben beats wandi, and nate, and loser of sonnen anderson, (doesnt have to be in that order) then yeah i say give him a shot and pat on the back. but that's alot of "if" out there. but i give it to you i see where ur coming from
Dick_Gozenya- July 5, 2010 at 4:56 pm
Hasn't Wakiyama earned FOTN bonuses in his last two (only two) outings? Even in losing he should be a few fights shy of the dog house.
Dick_Gozenya- July 5, 2010 at 4:51 pm
@ Elmo's Nerp

Whales are endangered aren't they? Maybe not quite UN jurisdiction, but Greenpeace volunteers can be pretty intimidating when they're all hopped up on stevia and yerba mate.
Milklavar- July 5, 2010 at 4:30 pm
@rite leg hospital

Oh Yea and like Bud Sellers mentioned, Leben was never cut from the UFC.
Milklavar- July 5, 2010 at 4:27 pm
@rite leg ospitahl

I agree that Akiyama did not look good in this fight and even his last fight, but the reality is Akiyama was a top 10 rank fighter and had hype coming into the fight. Those variables and mixed with the fact Dana W. probably loves leben for taking the fight in short notice will undoubtely put him right in the mix.

And no I do not believe Leben wil beat Wandy, he will probably not come close, but my point is if he ends up fighting and beating wandy he can possible earn a title shot, or at the least be a fight away from that.

Remember this is the same wait class that had Thales Leites and Patrick Cote fighting for the title.
fatbellyfrank- July 5, 2010 at 3:49 pm
First thing I see when I open up CP is the peoples champ with a derp face, cant we show some props to Chris and maybe talk him up after his efforts of the past few weeks?
And, No I haven't gone all Bloody Vagina its just hes really shown some chops lately
mt59801- July 5, 2010 at 3:45 pm
I predict this will end in us getting a nelson vs lesnar and carwin getting the loser then a title shot.
Loretta Cunt- July 5, 2010 at 3:16 pm
George Sotiropoulos VS. Clay Guida
Bonnar vs hamill
Akiyama vs Maia
Carwin vs rothwell
Almost North- July 5, 2010 at 2:46 pm
Nah bro I'm pretty sure that is manbearpig
PurplePickle- July 5, 2010 at 2:44 pm
Anyone else notice that Leben's punchface looks like a pre-op Wanderlei?
rite leg ospitahl- July 5, 2010 at 2:30 pm
@jim bonics
im sorry suspended for steriod use after a loosing streak kick started by anderson, my bad. i heard it somewhere awhile back facts were wrong just looked it up.
Almost North- July 5, 2010 at 2:30 pm
Chris "How the hell does this guy ever lose" Lytle
rite leg ospitahl- July 5, 2010 at 2:23 pm
sorry i was trying to stay out of this one. how in the world can a guy get whooped like a dog that comes back to get the most easy sub. a wrestler can get on a lifeless body, compare to a double submission? i mean the guy couldnt even tap lytle had him so tied up. there didnt need to be two sotn, just the best looking one. i mean leben's was more deserving than brock.
budsellers- July 5, 2010 at 2:22 pm
master bait and tackle still has me laughing over here.

i did not get enough sleep...
budsellers- July 5, 2010 at 2:21 pm
leben has never been released by the ufc.
Almost North- July 5, 2010 at 2:20 pm
Chris "Taking a weak premise too far" Lytle