ByJustin Golightly, writer at
Design wizard. MMA mathematician. Formerly of Middle Easy, Justin Golightly has been featured on Bleacher Report, Uproxx and TMZ.
Justin Golightly

As with any big pay-per-view event, there is usually going to be some shake-ups.

There is a lot going on in the UFC leading up to the end of the year. Two giant cards remain—the first event in New York and a New Year's Eve show—which will gobble up a huge portion of the booking. This makes figuring out what to do with the fighters that won tonight a little difficult.

Here are some fights to make post-UFC 204.

Mirsad Bektic vs. Andre Fili

This guy is undefeated in his MMA career and is on a four-fight win streak in the UFC. It may be time for a step-up in competition or at least a recognizable name.

A fight with Andre Fili for Bektic, perhaps in Fili's hometown of Sacramento for the UFC on FOX 22 card, could be an exciting style match-up and a good launching pad into the top 15 of the Featherweight division. But if you really wanted to feed him to the wolves, Darren Elkins or Doo Ho Choi would be difficult tests.

Stefan Struve vs. Derrick Lewis

Andrei Arlovski is coming off three losses and Travis Browne has faltered in back-to-back contests. And with with Mark Hunt in limbo, Struve, who has rattled off consecutive wins for the first time since 2012, might find the best fight for him right now against Derrick "Black Beast" Lewis, who is now without a fight after the UFC canceled its Manila card.

Another possible matchup for "Skyscraper" Struve would be against Josh Barnett, who is coming off of a win over Arlovski.

Jimi Manuwa vs. Ryan Bader

Both Manuwa and Bader lost to number-one contender Anthony Johnson and then rebounded with a victory. These two guys once again rest at the threshold of the upper reaches in their division.

Of course, when, or if, Jon Jones comes back, he'll get an immediate title shot and the champ is already booked against Johnson. The other man in the equation is Alexander Gustafsson but he already has a win over Manuwa. A bout with Bader just seems to make the most sense given both top-10 light heavyweights recorded "Performance of the Night" KOs in their most recent bouts.

Gegard Mousasi vs. Rashad Evans/Tim Kennedy Winner

Perhaps no one's stock rose more after UFC 204 than Gegard Mousasi's.

He's been vocal this week about how many people are ahead of him and that there is a big clog in the division with everyone already booked in fights.

While things play out above him, Mousasi has mentioned he wants to fight Anderson Silva, but even he may have other plans at UFC 206. If Mousasi doesn't get booked for that card or UFC 207, he has said he'll likely take some time time off. While things get worked out, the winner of Evans and Kennedy could keep him busy even though he deserves someone in the top four.

Michael Bisping vs. Time Off

Bisping's latest run has already made him a legit pick for "Fighter of the Year." After everyone counted him out, he beat Anderson Silva, won the title from Luke Rockhold and just defended against Dan Henderson. That puts him at a five-fight win streak.

This week, he's pretty much called out all the other guys in the division as well as Georges St-Pierre, but he probably should just take some time off after this war with Henderson.

And with Chris Weidman taking on Yoel Romero at UFC 205 on November 12th, and Luke Rockhold fighting "Jacare" Souza in Australia on November 27th, the fighter who puts on the best performance of the four should get the next title shot.

For now, it may be smart for Bisping to sit back and see how all this pans out.

Image courtesy of Per Haljestam / USA TODAY Sports


Latest from our Creators