I'll Take This One Joe - Post UFC 150 MatchmakingUFC 150 saw a good night of action. We saw Yushin Okami get back to winning ways, Max Holloway announce himself as a future 145lb star, Jake Shields make a winning return to 185lbs, Donald Cerrone and Melvin Guillard put aside friendship for fireworks, and Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar play another round of lightweight chess in there rematch.
With the dust settled, i give UFC Matchmaker Joe Silva the day off, take a look at some of the fighters who competed, and suggest some possible next fights for these MMA warriors.
BENSON "SMOOTH" HENDERSON (17-2)
The 27 year old can count himself very lucky to still be the UFC lightweight champion after UFC 150. That's because I, like many others, just cannot see how Henderson was awarded that fight by the judges. But what i think has no real bearing on anything, and we now get to look forward to Henderson's next fight, and we already know who that will be against.
Next up for the defending champion is the challenge of Stockton bad boy Nate Diaz. It should be an interesting stylistic matchup for both men. Diaz brings clean and crisp boxing and a slick ground game. Henderson brings a more varied striking game and a lot better wrestling. Expect this one to go down in late 2012/early 2013.
BENSON HENDERSON VS. NATE DIAZ
FRANKIE "THE ANSWER" EDGAR (14-3-1)
You can't help but feel sorry for the little man with the biggest heart in MMA. he fought an incredible bout against Henderson, only for the judges to score it against him. What's worse, is that the loss leaves Edgar completely stranded as a 155lb fighter. With no chance at getting another title shot anytime soon, Edgar would have to string together a hell of a run of results to get another crack at the champion. So what does Frankie do next? tread water in the lightweight division, or make that drop down to 145lbs and take a run at Jose Aldo?
Whilst Edgar can most certainly compete at lightweight and make a damned good job of it, i still want to see the 30 year old make that cut. Worst case scenario is he doesn't enjoy it, and moves back up in the future. But i think he has what it takes to defeat Aldo at 145lbs, and could well earn that shot with just one win in the division. I say if he is going to earn that title shot with one win, make it against someone top ten. Chad Mendes seems a perfect fit.
FRANKIE EDGAR VS. CHAD MENDES
JAKE SHIELDS (28-6-1)
It wasn't the most exciting bout you will ever see, but the middleweight return of former Strikeforce 185lb champion Jake Shields ended in a one sided grappling clinic. Shields was gifted the win by Herman, who for some reason decided to clinch with an elite wrestling/BJJ fighter. It was arguably the best Shields performance we have seen since he joined the UFC, which os not saying much. The Cesar Gracie standout will need to build on this win if he wants to challenge for a second UFC title in the future.
Next up for Shields, i'd like to see him against someone who can match his grappling ability. Put him against the crazy aggressive jiu-jitsu beast that is Rousimar Palhares. Palhares may be coming off a loss to Alan Belcher, but it would be another good test for Shields. It would also give Palhares a huge opportunity to het himself back in the mix at 185lbs. The Brazilian is currently rehabbing an injury, but should not be out for too much longer.
JAKE SHIELDS VS. ROUSIMAR PALHARES
ED "SHORT FUSE" HERMAN (20-8)
I have to say, if it was one of Herman's coaches that decided a grappling style would be the best plan of action against Jake Shields at UFC 150, then the guy needs to get shot of him. Herman entered with a fairly solid striking advantage and refused to use it, instead implementing the little seen 'grapple with a top wrestler and BJJ Blackbelt' plan. Herman got what he deserved, a lopsided decision loss, and the end to his three fight losing streak.
Where next for the 31 year old? He won't be getting anything marquee after a showing like that. I expect to see him back on either the PPV undercard or on a FUEL TV show. There are plenty of mid level fights for Herman, so i'll just chuck the name Riki Fukuda out there.
ED HERMAN VS. RIKI FUKUDA
YUSHIN "THUNDER" OKAMI (27-7)
The opponent may not have been as high profile as Rousimar Palhares or Luiz Cane, but you can be sure that Yushin Okami did not give a damn. The fact is, Okami is back in the win column after the first two fight losing streak of his entire career. Okami looked calm, composed and dominating against Buddy Roberts en route to a second round TKO. The Japanese fighter can now focus on earning back the top five ranking his 2 losses cost him.
Next up for Okami, i would like to see him up against the man with arguably the most disappointing debut in UFC history....Hector "Shango" Lombard. After dropping a decision to Tim Boetsch, Lombard needs to bounce back BIG. On the flip side, Lombard would be a huge scalp for Okami.
YUSHIN OKAMI VS. HECTOR LOMBARD
DONALD "COWBOY" CERRONE (19-4)
Before UFC 150 had even begun, we all knew that Cerrone wanted to fight Anthony Pettis. A win over Melvin Guillard would all but guarantee that that match would be booked by the UFC. After the most exciting 77 second fight in UFC history, Cerrone scored the knockout, and has been granted his wish, with Dana White announcing Cerrone vs. Pettis would indeed go down, probably near the end of the year, and would earn the winner a title shot against the winner of Nate Diaz vs. Benson Henderson. Despite a combined 16 fights in WEC, the two men have never met before in the cage. This one is sure to produce fireworks!
DONALD CERRONE VS. ANTHONY PETTIS
MELVIN "YOUNG ASSASSIN" GUILLARD (30-11-2)
It's been a tough time for the worlds oldest "Young Assassin". The Blackzilian lightweight has been finished in the first round of three of his last four fights and missed weight for this bout with close friend and former training partner Donald Cerrone. It seems that Guillard is destined to never break through that glass ceiling, always seeming to lose against a higher quality of opponent. That said, the guy is always entertaining, and will be in the UFC for years to come.
Next up for Guillard, i think he needs a step back from the lime light. Let him get on with training and fighting, keep him away from the media and hopefully we can see the 29 year old get some of that old swagger back. I want to see Guillard matched up with fellow striker Terry Etim. Both men like to strike, have slightly different styles, and could put on one hell of a fight.
MELVIN GUILLARD VS. TERRY ETIM
Published by Lee Rabey - Sun, 12 Aug 2012 17:47