“UFC on FX 4: Maynard vs. Guida” is in the books and the main card of the event produced a number of memorable fighters, but perhaps not in the way the organization had hoped. Gray Maynard defeated Clay Guida via split decision their main event in his first fight since suffering a knockout loss to Frankie Edgar last October.
Also on the main card, Sam Stout, Brian Ebersole and Cub Swanson picked up victories over their respective opponents.
After every fight card, fans wonder who the winners will be matched up with next. With another night of UFC action in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to look forward and put ourselves in Joe Silva’s shoes to play UFC matchmaker.
Winner: Cub Swanson
Who He Should Fight Next: Winner of Chad Mendes vs. Cody McKenzie at UFC 148
Why They Should Fight: With his second-round TKO of Ross Pearson, Cub Swanson is his first two-fight winning streak since 2008. The Greg Jackson trained fighter is in prime form having picked up back-to-back finishes over very tough opponents in Pearson and George Roop. Swanson has now proved himself worthy of top-flight opposition and the winner of the UFC 148 scrap between Chad Mendes and Cody McKenzie fits the bill. Swanson is primarily a stand up fighter and needs to be tested against a strong ground fighter if he wants to be considered among the top-10 featherweight fighters in the world. Mendes is one of the best wrestlers in the world at 145-pounds while McKenzie is always a threat due to his dangerous submission.
The winner of this fight would be, at the most, two or three fights away being considered for a UFC title shot.
Winner: Brian Ebersole
Who He Should Fight Next: Evan Dunham
Why They Should Fight: Brian Ebersole stated after his unanimous decision victory of TJ Waldburger at UFC on FX 4 that he is going to make the effort to drop a weight class to the lightweight division. Considering Ebersole is undefeated in the UFC at 4-0, he should fight a high-caliber opponent next regardless of which weight class he competes in. Evan Dunham is a tough fight for anyone due to his outstanding grappling abilities and evolving striking game.
A win for either fighter would be a huge victory for their resume, but if Ebersole could drop to 155-pounds and beat an opponent with the credentials of Dunham, he would make an immediate impact in the division and would put himself in line for marquee bout against a big-name lightweight contender.
Winner: Sam Stout
Who He Should Fight Next: Jim Miller
Why They Should Fight: Although the UFC does not typically match up fighters coming off a win against fighter coming off a loss, Stout vs. Miller would be a hell of a fight for fans to see. Stout has struggled against jiu-jitsu fighters throughout his career, and a match up with Miller would be a good test to see how far the Canadian has improved over the years in that area. Miller needs to fight a quality opponent after being submitted by Nate Diaz at UFC on FOX 3. Stout makes sense under those guidelines.
This potential bout has “Fight of the Night” written all over it.
Winner: Gray Maynard
Who He Should Fight Next: Donald Cerrone
Why They Should Fight: Gray Maynard defeated the always-tough Clay Guida in a rather lackluster affair in the main event of UFC on FX 4. The victory was not one that is worthy of a UFC title shot, however, it was good enough to keep Maynard in position to continue fighting against top-10 lightweights. Unfortunately for Maynard, most of the top fighter at 155-pounds are currently booked for fights or injured, but one man that is looking for an opponent is “Cowboy” Cerrone.
Both fighters are riding one-fight win streaks and despite suffering losses two fights ago, are still considered among the best fighters in the division. Cerrone has had problems with wrestler before and Maynard is the cream of the crop when it comes to that category. It would also be interesting to see how Maynard deals with the height, length and diverse striking ability of Cerrone. Moreover, there is a backstory with Maynard just defeating Cerrone’s Greg Jackson-trained teammate in Guida.
Would “The Bully” be able to control the fight like he has so many times in the past? Or could Cerrone pick up the first top-5 win of his career? This lightweight scrap could headline a UFC on FX or UFC on FUEL TV fight card any day of the week.