Does Joe Silva have a hard job? Yeah, I don’t think so either. And just to prove it, this keyboard warrior is going to do his job for him and play matchmaker with a few of the UFCs best. Now don’t worry, I’m not going to say Chael vs. Pick a Brazilian or Overeem vs. the Door. No, I’m going to look into the future and pick the next fights for the headliners of both of next week’s shows, Fight Night Condit vs Kampmann 2 and UFC 164 Henderson vs Pettis 2.
We’ll start with the two men headlining FS1’s Fight Night.
Condit may be in the most precarious position of all the fighters on this list. He’s looking at back-to-back losses for the first time since 2006 and only the second time in his career. With a (second) loss to Kampmann, Condit will be facing the dreaded three fight losing streak that spells the end of so many UFC fighters contracts. But with two of those losses being to the #1 and #2 WW’s on the planet, it may not be as bad as it sounds. Condit is an exciting, thrilling fighter who’s rarely in boring match, win or lose. With a loss Wednesday night I think he gets matched up with another exciting fighter instead of receiving a pink slip. Ideally Robbie Lawler would be the perfect match up, but with Dana intent on making Lawler/MacDonald happen, he’s off the table. I also expect Jake Ellenberger to make a bid for revenge but I’d steer clear of giving Condit any top 5 guys at the moment and instead pair him up with either Yoshio Akiyama in a loser leaves town match or a healthy Thiago Alves. Both of which are surefire FOTN candidates. Now if Condit redeems his earlier split decision loss to Kampmann, I’d like to see Ellenberger get his chance to do the same, or have the Natural Born Killer take on the loser of the aforementioned Lawler/MacDonald match.
Kampmann may not be in as bad a position as Condit, but then again, he also didn’t challenge for the title two fights ago. That all could change with a win next week though. A look at Martin’s WW resume shows a winning record against a veritable who’s who of tough outs in the division. Even his losses (aside for the Hendricks fight) are questionable, an early stoppage against Daley, a highly controversial decision against Shields, and an out and out robbery against Sanchez. The fact is with Rory MacDonald refusing to fight mentor Georges St. Pierre, a win over Carlos Condit could very well place Martin Kampmann next in line for a title shot. Unfortunately that title shot may be a long way off especially if GSP needs an immediate rematch. Therefore, with a win, I think Kampmann deserves the winner of Lawler/MacDonald in a down right true #1 contender match. Although a loss to Condit would hurt Martin, it still shouldn’t knock him out of top 10 status. In which case I’d like to see him take on the young John Hathaway or the loser of the Maia/Shields match.
Now for UFC 164 and the two men responsible for the most memorable GIF in MMA history.
Picking the opponent for the winner of Bendo/Pettis next weekend is quite simply a no-brainer. They would simply fight the man whom Pettis is replacing and that’s TJ Grant. He was scheduled to fight and pulled out due to injury, not a loss, so he gets next crack regardless of who holds the belt. The fun (and skill) is in picking whom each man faces if he loses.
Although a case can be made for the winner/loser of Pat Healy vs Khabib Nurmagomedov, I think the real next fight for Pettis should be the one He was originally scheduled for, Jose Aldo. Now I hate the idea of a fighter losing a title shot and changing weight and getting an immediate title shot too, so that’s not what I’m proposing. Nope, Aldo has continually toyed with the idea of going up a weight and Anthony Pettis is still the best prospect of welcoming him to 155. Pettis/Aldo in a non title fight is a Fight Night headliner or PPV co-headliner at least, even with one fighter coming off a loss, that fight sells. If Anthony can’t take the belt away from Ben Henderson next weekend, I’d love to see him fight Aldo at 155 in a UFC on Fox headliner.
For as much hate as Bendo receives sometimes, one thing I think everyone can agree on is that we’re glad he finally broke the LW rematch curse. If Henderson repeats his final WEC fight and gives up the gold next week we can at least know he won’t be tying up the belt with an instant rematch (barring any unforeseen circumstances like a draw or alien invasion or what not.) No, I’d like to see him verse another top guy that may be a fight or two away from a title shot. I’m of course talking about Josh “the Punk” Thomson. For as fun as his starching of Nate Diaz was, Thomson is technically only 2/2 in his last 4 fights and only one of those fights was in the UFC. The fact that he didn’t enter the Octagon with a championship belt means he has to work his up to a title shot. A win by either would leave each man only one fight away from another potential fight at a lightweight title.
So there you go Joe Silva, your job next week is done. If you, the reader, disagrees with me, feel free to let me know in the comment section below.