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Armchair Matchmaker: ‘UFC 167: St. Pierre vs. Hendricks’ Edition

(Looks like someone could use a male nurse right about now. Photo via Getty.)

Now three days removed from the most controversial title fight decision since two title fights ago, it seems that we cannot stop talking about the rumors surrounding Georges St. Pierre, his future in the UFC, and what he “owes us,” if anything. But what about the rest of the “doomed” welterweight division, and everyone else who walked away from UFC 167 with a win?

That’s right, it’s armchair matchmaker time, bitches. Join us after the jump for the only non GSP-related article you will read today.

Rashad Evans: In our eyes, there’s not much to take away from Evans’ dominant victory over Chael Sonnen this past Saturday (*cue Debbie Downer noise*). Sure, he outgrappled and completely controlled an oversized middleweight (who didn’t want to fight him in the first place and already had his next fight lined up, BTW), but anyone who has ever seen a Rashad Evans fight knows that his grappling game is not to be questioned.

Further adding to Evans’ woes is the fact that he’s fought damn near everyone in the LHW division — while he’s a far cry from another title shot, he’s also simply too good to be placed against middle of the pack fighters. There’s only one sensible option for Evans, really, and that’s the winner of the James Te Huna vs. Mauricio Rua fight at Fight Night 33. While Rua has hinted at a drop to middleweight recently, we don’t really believe that he plans to start cutting an additional 20 pounds at this stage in his career. Te Huna, on the other hand, seems like the kind of guy who would fight his mother for the last slice of leftover pizza. In any case, book the winner against “Suga.”

Robbie Lawler: Although I still like our idea of giving GSP (Ed note: Dammit! This is the last time we will mention St. Pierre in this article. We swear.) some much needed time off and booking a Lawler vs. Hendricks interim title fight in his absence, who here wouldn’t rightfully lose their shit over the idea of Lawler vs. the Matt Brown/Carlos Condit winner? Lawler has been on nothing short of a killing spree since reentering the UFC, and a fight with either Brown or Condit has FOTY written all over it. Simple.

Tyron Woodley: Since entering the UFC, Woodley has sandwiched a snoozefest of a decision loss to former top contender Jake Shields between a pair of brilliant first round KO wins over Jay Hieron and most recently Josh Koscheck. Not bad for a guy who was nearly decapitated by Nate Marquardt (who has suffered 2 brutal KO losses of his own since re-entering the UFC) in his final Strikeforce fight. Speaking of Marquardt, we can think of no better fight for Woodley to take at the current time than the last man to defeat “The Great”: Hector Lombard. “Lightning” has been similarly inconsistent since joining the ranks last year, and a fight with Woodley would tell fans a lot about the futures of both men at 170 lbs.

Ali Babaganoushatov: Although our gambling expert, Dan George, correctly predicted that Bageltinov’s grappling prowess would lead him to victory over Tim Elliott, it was still impressive to see how far the Russian has come in just two UFC fights. And being that the flyweight division is currently as shallow as my niece’s SpongeBob Squarepants-themed splashy pool, why not match Borknagarov up with John Lineker?

The Brazilian’s toughest opponent to date by far has been the scale, which has weighed heavily (*self five*) on his current four fight win streak at 125 lbs. It would be interesting, however, to see how Lineker fares against the similarly-streaking Russian, who proved himself to be UFC-worthy in his victory over Elliott (something that most of Lineker’s former UFC opponents have yet to do). What the hell? Give the winner a title shot.

Donald Cerrone: After an up and down year saw “Cowboy” drop 2 out of 3 fights for the first time since his WEC days, Cerrone was finally able to show some flashes of his old self against Evan Dunham last weekend, locking up a SOTN-earning (by default) triangle late in the second round. Cerrone has also been hinting at dropping down a weight class — much to the shagrin of Dana White — but should he stay at lightweight, we’d like to see him take on whoever emerges victorious from the Michael Johnson/Gleison Tibau scrap at UFC 168 next month. Both guys are solid, strong lightweights who have simply failed to break into the upper-echelon of the 155 lb. division over the years, so a fight with Cerrone would make sense for all parties involved.

Who do you think the big winners from UFC 167 should face next, Nation? Let us know in the comments section. 

-J. Jones

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