Ryan Bader vs. Winner of Glover Teixeira vs. Phil Davis
A lot of people are calling for Anthony Johnson to face off with Ryan Bader, but the problem is that Bader has not earned that fight yet. A matchup with Phil Davis would determine who is the best grinder in the division, but he is already matched up with Teixeira. Even still a rematch with Teixeira may be deserved since the first UFC fight could have gone either way the first time they faced off.
Ross Pearson vs. Winner of Jorge Masvidal vs. James Krause
Pearson took a huge step forward and is realistically 4-1 since returning to lightweight. Masvidal is on a similar stretch but has to face off with Krause first. If Pearson faces the winner of their fight it will prove who is ready for a crack at the top ten of the division.
Tim Boestch vs. Michael Bisping
Win or lose for Bisping this next weekend this is the fight to make. Both fighters have been perennial contenders for a long time and both are on the downslope of their prime if not already out of it. Plus, it is almost certain to be a compelling fight that will draw every one’s attention.
Alan Jouban vs. Winner of Neil Magny vs. Alex Garcia
Jouban made about as big of impression as you can in your debut, but he still needs time to grow. Garcia and Magny have some more Octagon time and some impressive wins as well. They would be a nice step up for Jouban but not too big of a jump for his second fight.
Shawn Jordan vs. Sao Palelei
Jordan may have won his last fight and Palelei may have lost, but this fight will determine who can still be a contender. Palelei is a bit older and Jordan has a few losses. They will be able to check each other’s chins and abilities.
Thiago Tavares vs. Jeremy Stephens
Tavares and Stephens spent many years at 155 but never faced off with one another. Tavares picked up a big win in his debut at featherweight and being the proven talent he is, he can kind of jump in line. This fight will prove who is better at 145 after coming from Lightweight.
Jussier Formiga vs. Dustin Ortiz
Formiga is stuck due to his losses to the top of the division. Given he has not fought the champion but he has losses to number one and two. Ortiz has proven himself ready for a step up in competition and a matchup with Formiga will prove if he is top five material.
Sara McMann vs. Bethe Correia
McMann may want to call out whoever she wants, but at the end of the day her win was not that great. Sandy canvas or not she needs more experience under her belt. While it is not a forgone conclusion that Correia will get past Shayna Baszler, if she does it seems both her and McMann have a legitimate want to fight Rousey. A win over each other will prove who wants and deserves it more.
Tom Watson vs. Brad Tavares
Both fighters fought on the card, but even though one lost and one won this fight still makes since. Watson has been up and down and after two straight losses, Tavares needs to get his confidence back, especially after losing by knockout. Watson can prove he is top flight with a win over Tavares, or Tavares can reclaim his top ten position.