Fight Fixin’: Post-UFC 187 Winners Edition

By Adam Martin

Fight Fixin’ is a fantasy matchmaking article that comes out after every major event and features possible matchups for main card winners and/or losers from the previous event.

Daniel Cormier

In the main event of UFC 187, Daniel Cormier submitted Anthony Johnson in the third round with a rear-naked choke to become the new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. Cormier had to survive a tough first round where Johnson rocked and hurt him, but after that it was smooth sailing for DC, who used his wrestling to control Johnson and eventually get the fight to the mat, where he earned the tapout victory.

The light heavyweight division is pretty boring without Jon Jones. If Jones comes back soon, then of course he gets the next title shot. But it’s likely he’ll be out for a while. So for Cormier’s next fight, the de facto #1 contender is Ryan Bader, who has won four straight fights. Cormier and Bader were supposed to fight at UFC Fight Night 68 before their fight was pulled from that card, so it makes sense they’re still matched up next, especially since there aren’t many other contenders coming off of wins at 205 lbs. It might not be the most exciting fight, but it’s the only fight that makes sense right now.

Fight to make: Daniel Cormier vs. Ryan Bader

Chris Weidman

In the co-main event of UFC 187, Chris Weidman used his ground and pound to brutally finish Vitor Belfort in the first round. Weidman had to overcome a signature Belfort blitz in the opening minutes of the fight, but once he did that he went to his wrestling and used his takedowns to set up a nasty ground attack that completely flatlined Belfort.

For his next outing, let’s have Weidman take on Luke Rockhold. I think this would be an amazing fight, one of the best the UFC can cobble together at the moment in any weight class. Some will say it should be Weidman vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza next, and while I’m not against that, I just feel like Rockhold is the most competitive matchup for Weidman out there, and I hope it headlines a PPV in the coming months.

Fight to make: Chris Weidman vs. Luke Rockhold

Donald Cerrone

In a lightweight bout, Donald Cerrone landed a brutal head kick on John Makdessi that broke the Canadian’s jaw, forcing a stop to their contest. Cerrone picked apart Makdessi the entire fight and when he finally landed the finishing blow, he put a bow on his eight-fight win streak, one that should nearly guarantee he gets the next 155-pound title shot.

When UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos returns later this year, the top two contenders in the division are Khabib Nurmagomedov and Cerrone. Nurmagomedov hasn’t fought in over a year and is seemingly always hurt, so it makes more sense if Cerrone fights for the belt next (barring an injury to him), and so the RDA vs. Cerrone rematch should take place later this year, and headline a PPV, or at the very least co-headline one.

Fight to make: Donald Cerrone vs. Rafael dos Anjos

Andrei Arlovski

In a heavyweight bout which won the “Fight of the Night” award at UFC 187, Andrei Arlovski put on a show against Travis Browne, going toe-to-toe for nearly one full round against his former training partner, eventually winning the fight via TKO. It was Arlovski’s third win in a row since returning to the UFC, and pushes him right into the title picture, something no one expected when he re-signed with the UFC last year.

Arlovski is a top contender and should fight another top fighter in his next fight. I’d prefer it was Alistair Overeem, but they are training partners at Greg Jackson’s, so instead I’d like to see Arlovski take on Stipe Miocic. This would be a #1 contender’s fight between two of the best in the world, and the winner would get the next heavyweight title shot. It can main event any Fight Night card, or the UFC could set it as the main event of a FOX card later this year, as it would be a big fight.

Fight to make: Andrei Arlovski vs. Stipe Miocic

Joseph Benavidez

In a flyweight fight, Joseph Benavidez did what he needed to do in securing a unanimous decision victory over John Moraga. This fight wasn’t really competitive at all, as Benavidez easily won every round without much danger to show the world he’s still one of the best flyweights out there.

Unfortunately for Benavidez, even though he’s won three in a row, he’s still in a bad spot because he’s lost to current champ Demetrious Johnson twice. To make matters worse, Benavidez has beaten most of the other top contenders at 125 lbs. So it’s not easy to pick his next fight. Either he fights an up-and-coming prospect or he takes on Ali Bagautinov, who hasn’t fought in a year since losing to Johnson for the title and getting caught for PEDs afterwards. Benavidez would be a nice welcome-back fight for Bagautinov, and even though the Russian is coming off of a loss, I still think this fight makes sense.

Fight to make: Joseph Benavidez vs. Ali Bagautinov


UFC 187: Johnson vs. Cormier (formerly UFC 187: Jones vs. Johnson) took place on May 23, 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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