Last night UFC 173 provided the MMA world with some of the most action packed fights of 2014 so far, all topped off by the incredible performance of T.J. Dillashaw in the main event to capture the bantamweight title.
As always there are plenty of matches to be setup following every night of fights. Here are the bouts which should be made for last nights main card winners:
Fighter - James Krause
Weight Class - Lightweight
Ranking In The UFC - Unranked
Who They Should Fight Next - Takanori Gomi
James Krause was robbed of a clear-cut finish in his bout with Jamie Varner with the former WEC champion having to stop due to injury. But, the fact still remains that Krause was the one who inflicted the damage on his opponent, so he should still get all the credit.
He needs someone next with a bigger name, who can push him near the top 15. Which is precisely what Takenori Gomi could do. "The Fireball Kid" got back in the win column in April with a "Fight of the Night" war against Isaac Vallie-Flag. If all went well, a fight between the lightweights should be able to go down around August.
Fighter - Takeya Mizugaki
Weight Class - Bantamweight
Ranking In The UFC - No.6
Who They Should Fight Next - Renan Barão
Takeya Mizugaki put on a clinic in his fight with Francisco Rivera, using his quick hands and high-level grappling to pick up a unanimous decision win. The Japanese standout is now on the second longest win streak in the 135 division and closing in on a title shot, one man who would set that up for him is the former champion Renan Barão.
Barão would be a big step up for Mizugaki but nevertheless it's one he will have to take if he wants to be the best in the bantamweight division. Set this fight up and give the winner the next crack at the title.
Fighter - Robbie Lawler
Weight Class - Welterweight
Ranking In The UFC - No.1
Who They Should Fight Next - Matt Brown
Another electrifying performance from Robbie Lawler last night gave him his first win since his narrow setback to Johny Hendricks in March. "Ruthless" looked solid in his performance but he didn't get much of a fight from Jake Ellenberger.
With Hendricks not scheduled to return until some time in autumn, I would like to see Lawler take one more fight with someone who has the skills to actually test him. That man is "The Immortal" Matt Brown who is on a seven-fight winning streak at welterweight.
Let Lawler battle it out with Brown and give the winner Hendricks.
Fighter - Daniel Cormier
Weight Class - Light-Heavyweight
Ranking In The UFC - No. 4
Who They Should Fighg Next - Rashad Evans
Daniel Cormier dominated Dan Henderson everywhere inside the Octagon in the co-main event to take his fourth win inside the UFC last night, his second straight in the welterweight division. With the win he's now next inline to fight Jon Jones and he wants to wait for his shot at the title.
However, despite his perfect resume, Cormier still doesn't have a win over a top 5 guy in the light-heavyweight division. As we've all seen before, waiting for a title shot isn't always the best of ideas with injuries being so common. For that reason, D.C should fight Rashad Evans who he was originally booked to meet in his first fight at 205 pounds.
Fighter - T.J. Dillashaw
Weight Class - Bantamweight
Ranking In The UFC - Champion
Who They Should Fight Next - Raphael Assuncao
I knew Dillashaw had a lot of potential but I, and I don't think many others, expected what we saw last night. Even though his striking was exceptional against Mike Easton, he stepped it up a few notches last night to dethrone Barão.
There's a good chance the UFC are going to book an immediate rematch given Barão's run as a champion and pound-for-pound ranking. But, the fact is he was totally outclassed by Dillashaw, it wasn't even close. Does anyone really want to see that again in a couple of months?
Give the Brazilian some time to recover and let him get some confidence back with a win before we talk about a rematch. In the mean time, let's give the new champion the chance to avenge his only loss in the bantamweight division to Raphael Assuncao who has rightfully earned his title shot.