UFC 145 results pave the way for UFC 146 fight card face lift

Apr 21, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Travis Browne reacts to beating Chad Griggs in a heavyweight bout during UFC 145 at Philips Arena. Travis Browne won in the first round by submission. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE

UFC President Dana White has never been a fan of gimmicks. He's long shied away from such silly concepts (his words, not mine) as tournaments. The reason, of course, is that nothing ever goes the way you plan it. Whenever the UFC has tried something new, it seems something always goes wrong.

So it's no surprise, then, that when the UFC 146 main card was booked exclusively for heavyweights something inevitably went wrong. The event headliner, Alistair Overeem, failed a surprise drug test for an elevated T/E ratio.

That meant the powers that be were forced to scramble and find a new opponent who is worthy of challenging Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos for his title. And because there were eight other 265-pound sluggers already competing on the card, that meant some shuffling was in order.

It came in the form of former champ Frank Mir ditching his co-main event match-up against Cain Velasquez to slide into the headlining spot opposite "Cigano." Velasquez will stay on the card, however, and receive a new opponent.

But who?

Thanks to the results of last night's (April 21, 2012) UFC 145 event, the world's largest fight promotion now has some decent options on how to proceed from here.

Here's the main card as it stands now:

Junior dos Santos vs. Frank Mir
Cain Velasquez vs. TBA
Roy Nelson vs. Antonio Silva
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Shane Del Rosario
Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Struve

During the UFC 145 post-fight press conference last night, Travis Browne and Ben Rothwell -- both of whom scored first round stoppage victories and absorbed almost no damage during their fights -- said they would be ready and willing to compete next month if called upon.

Dana White was also quick to admit the issue his promotion is currently facing.

"Listen, we need guys to fight," he said. "We're doing a lot of shows and everything else. Any guy that comes off with a quick win, we'd love to turn them right back around."

This would seemingly make UFC Matchmaker Joe Silva's job much easier but he still has to figure out what fights do and don't make sense.

So what makes sense?

For starters, neither Browne nor Rothwell are ready for a match-up against a former champion like Velasquez. Plus, Rothwell already fought him and got his ass handed to him. So that's out. That means we need to move someone else up and the only viable options are Nelson and "Bigfoot" Silva.

Both lost their last fights but "Big Country" is just 1-3 in his last four while Silva is 3-1. That makes this an easy decision.

That leaves Nelson without an opponent and now we have to ask ourselves who should step in to oppose him. Browne has been the most vocal about the quick turnaround and his undefeated record should be rewarded with a strong push against a top opponent.

A win over Nelson wouldn't earn him a title shot but it would certainly get him somewhere close to the top of the ladder.

That leaves Rothwell out in the cold but he won't have to wait long to see who wins at next month's event to give him plenty more options.

Here's how the revamped card looks:

Junior dos Santos vs. Frank Mir
Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva
Roy Nelson vs. Travis Browne
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Shane Del Rosario
Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Struve

At least, that's what I would like to see. What about you, Maniacs. Got a better idea?

Let's hear it.

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