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Armchair Matchmaker: UFC 128 Edition

(“Us Californians have a pretty chill attitude about the law of gravity, brah.” Photo courtesy of MMAFighting)

Jon Jones will be defending his new belt against former teammate Rashad Evans, Urijah Faber will be rematching Dominick Cruz in another title fight (this time at bantamweight), and we probably won’t be seeing Mirko Cro Cop around these parts again. But what’s in store for the other winners and losers from UFC 128‘s main card? Allow us to offer a few suggestions…

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua: The obvious matchup is Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Rampage is fighting Matt Hamill at UFC 130 in May, but I think Shogun vs. Rampage 2 is worth booking for this fall no matter what happens in the Hamill fight. Rua and Jackson’s history in PRIDE creates an easy-to-promote storyline, and to be honest, Shogun could probably use a few more months to get in shape. Not to take anything away from Jon Jones’s brilliant performance on Saturday night, but Shogun looked like he usually does when coming back from knee surgery — a little soft, and with questionable conditioning.

Eddie Wineland: With Miguel Torres also booked at UFC 130, the only other option that makes sense is former bantamweight title contender Joseph Benavidez, who deserves a higher-profile fight after being buried in a dark match against Ian Loveland this weekend. I’ll even go one step further and suggest the event where this match should take place: UFC on Versus 4, main card.

Jim Miller: Seven wins in a row, and still so far from a title shot. That’s the cold reality in the UFC’s currently stacked-to-discomfort lightweight division. At the very least, Miller deserves a name in his next fight — he might just have to wait a few months for the right opportunity. Ideally, I’d like to see Miller matched up with either Clay Guida (if Guida can beat Anthony Pettis at the TUF 13 finale in June) or Melvin Guillard (if Guillard can beat Shane Roller at UFC 132 in July).

Kamal Shalorus: My advice? Lose some of that muscle, drop to 145, and square off with Leonard Garcia to see who can throw the ugliest hooks in the UFC.

Nate Marquardt: Nate the Great is just one of many fighters who have called out Michael Bisping lately. But if Vitor and Wanderlei are fighting each other, and Chael Sonnen is still dealing with a frozen contract and legal issues, why not book Bisping vs. Marquardt? It’s high-profile enough to be a co-headliner, and it re-establishes one of them as a top contender. And then, maybe Nate can pursue his goal of being the largest welterweight on the planet.

Dan Miller: The older Miller brother seems doomed to hang around the middle of the UFC 185-pound pack for all eternity. I say, farm him out to Strikeforce and put him up against Tim Kennedy. If SF is really sticking around for a bit, they can always use another warm body at middleweight, and Kennedy has been complaining about not fighting enough. Well, here’s somebody you can fight. Boom. Done. Next question.

Brendan Schaub: If only Schaub and Shane Carwin weren’t teammates at Grudge Training Center, that pairing would almost work. (As we’ve now learned, friends only fight when a title comes between them, in which case they’ll happily hate each other in public.) Schaub’s quickly climbing up the ladder, and it would be nice to finally see him tangle with Frank Mir, who fights Roy Nelson at UFC 130. Just like with Shogun vs. Rampage, it’s a matchup that still makes sense no matter how Mir does in that fight. After all, they both wanted it last year. But again, it requires Schaub to be on the shelf for a while, and the UFC usually doesn’t wait that long to re-book their contenders after big wins. Ah, screw it. Assuming that Strikeforce’s heavyweight tournament is probably never going to reach a conclusion…what’s Sergei Kharitonov up to these days?


Got any other wise booking suggestions? Let us know in the comments section…

Cagepotato Comments

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Jubbie- March 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm
It has nothing to do with injuries. That's just Shogun's physique since joining the UFC.
ghostboner- March 21, 2011 at 2:44 pm
Sorry but Anthony "Tiny" Johnson already got the title of most hyoogest WW eva.

Schaub Should have to fight Kongo next, if he wins that then Barry or Meathead. (If only Barry and Kongo weren't already booked. Someone think of another match for Barry)
DangadaDang- March 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm
Miller v. Siver, winner gets a title shot after Pettis, or fights him for one.
PERPATRAITOR- March 21, 2011 at 12:17 pm
Zeus with Fedor on his shoulder and nick and Nate Diaz are fedora arms. Yea!
El Guapo- March 21, 2011 at 12:10 pm
Props to Shogun for not being a pussy(cough Shooga Shad cough)and taking the fight, but if he throws 2 friggin kicks in 3 rounds you know damn well something isn't right. I'd say Rua was 75% at best.
rampageisgod- March 21, 2011 at 11:46 am
Not to take anything away from Jon Jones, but I'm taking something away from Jon Jones.
BossNasty- March 21, 2011 at 10:22 am
@El Guapo
I think Shogun threw 2 landed 1
El Guapo- March 21, 2011 at 10:17 am
I don't remember him attempting any, let alone landing any. Then again everything after the midway point of the Faber fight was a blur, as the leftover St Paddy's booze kicked my ass pretty good. Note to self: Say no to Black and Tan's
RwilsonR- March 21, 2011 at 10:14 am
Jim Miller vs G-Sot would be a great fight.
El Guapo- March 21, 2011 at 10:13 am
Stupid question of the day: Did Shogun throw any kicks?
Get Off Me- March 21, 2011 at 9:37 am
Sherk does not quite yet deserve to be in the mix, he got a gift of a decision against Dunham to say the least. I would like to see Sherk finish a fight against a quality opponent(like guillard)before including him at the top of the LW division.
Get Off Me- March 21, 2011 at 9:33 am
Lil Nog is too..little...for Schaub.
Big Nog works though, but Meathead is the match up I would like to see most.

I'd like to see Miller get the winner of Bocek/Henderson.
Let Sive fight the winner of Guida/Pettis.
There is so much talent at 155 it's hard to go wrong with any of the matches really.
Smitty- March 21, 2011 at 9:24 am
@ yanktonirishred
Now that was the smartest thing said so far here. Shogun vs Forrest II, fuckin brilliant. Schaub vs Meathead, someone beat you to, but still a good pick. Miller vs Sherk, you're on a fuckin roll bro. Joe that you????
yanktonirishred- March 21, 2011 at 9:14 am
Shogun Vs Forrest. I don't like the long waits either. Then book winner vs winner and loser vs loser following Rampage vs The Hammer to clean up a TON of the mess in this division. Does Forrest still belong, is Hammil worth to move up, does Rampage still belong, is Shogun going to forever be a one up, one down fighter...etc.

Schaub Vs Meathead Then you can book winner vs winner and loser vs loser following Mir vs Roy. After those two losses we should be done with Mir and can move on in the Heavyweight division with younger fighters.

Miller vs Sherk (After beating Dunham you have to put him back in the mix especially with BJ up a class) to move into number one contender after Maynard vs Edgar.
intercept440- March 21, 2011 at 9:14 am
hell ide even make shaub fight pat barry before considering moving him up to higher level people
intercept440- March 21, 2011 at 9:13 am
Shaub vs. Carwin?????? are you guys high??? shaub take 3 rounds to 86 a fighter who was done after gonzaga crumpled him, and you think he is high enough in the rankings for carwin??? wow thats wishful thinking right there. shaub vs. Mitrione or even little nog , or maybe even the winner of mir vs. nelson... but carwin??? whatever your smoking bro puff puff pass...puff puff pass dude..

shaub is definatly an up and comer who is doing dam good right now, but he is no where near top 5
edhedicus- March 21, 2011 at 8:52 am
Jon Jones v Fedor sitting on Anderson Silva'a shoulders, with Uber-eem standing behind them holding a crowbar and a crocodile. DO IT!!!
Taintimus- March 21, 2011 at 8:46 am
schaub vs meathead makes sense
hadouken- March 21, 2011 at 8:45 am
Yeah seriously what the hell...
Brendan Schaub vs Antonio Banuelos it
Taintimus- March 21, 2011 at 8:38 am
i'm an idiot... mixing weight classes
Taintimus- March 21, 2011 at 8:38 am
Schaub vs Bader?
El Famous Burrito- March 21, 2011 at 8:29 am

Urijah Faber can't edit his posts either.
hadouken- March 21, 2011 at 8:14 am
Shogun vs. Urijah Faber it
kangerpang- March 21, 2011 at 7:59 am
What about Uriah Faber?
Morningwood- March 21, 2011 at 7:55 am
Schaub vs mitrione (spelling) might be a good match up? Not sure what Meathead has lined up though.