Joe Silva's shoes: Who should be next for UFC 161 main card winners?

Photo by Esther Lin via MMA Fighting

Playing fantasy matchmaker is one of the most enjoyable things to do for mixed martial arts (MMA) fans, and with UFC 161 behind us, we put ourselves in Joe Silva's shoes to play matchmaker for the event's main card winners.

UFC 161: "Evans vs. Henderson" is in the books and for one of the weakest pay-per-view (PPV) cards in recent memory; the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) delivered mixed results.

Rashad Evans, Stipe Miocic, Alexis Davis, Ryan Jimmo and Shawn Jordan were the big winners Saturday (June 15, 2013) at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, as each picked up a one-sided victory over their respective opponents on the main card.

After every fight card, fans ponder about who the winners of each bout will be matched up with next. With another night of heart-racing fights in the rear-view mirror, it's time to climb into a pair Joe Silva's shoes, look forward and play UFC matchmaker.

Winner: Shawn Jordan
Who He Should Fight Next: Todd Duffee
Why They Should Fight: Jordan and Todd Duffee have won and lost some fights over the course of their UFC careers, and considering there styles of fighting and respective positions in the UFC Heavyweight division, a fight between the two hard hitting big men sounds like a whole lot of fun.

In Duffee, Jordan would face another fighter whose primarily strength lays in the striking department. Duffee made his return to the organization at UFC 155 last December and looked phenomenal. Getting a fight with someone with Jordan's momentum following a quick knockout of Pat Barry would be a big opportunity to quickly put his name back on the radar.

Winner: Alexis Davis
Who He Should Fight Next: Winner of Liz Carmouche vs. Jessica Andrade at UFC on FOX 8
Why They Should Fight: Davis was pegged as the next real deal in the women's Bantamweight division and she proved exactly why with a mauling of Rosi Sexton in Canada's first female UFC bout.

With the division's next two title fights already booked up, it would be in Davis' best interest to keep fighting and make herself as big and familiar a name to the UFC audience as possible so that when a title shot does come around she will be a well known commodity.

Carmouche is the only fighter ranked ahead of Davis that's not booked are injured, so assuming she gets past Andrade at UFC on FOX 8 next month, it would make sense to match the two top-five ranked fighters against each other and see who moves a step close to a title shot.

Winner: Ryan Jimmo
Who He Should Next: Robert Drysdale
Why They Should Fight: With tons of fighters in the light heavyweight division either booked, injured or coming off a loss, there is slim pickings for Jimmo to face after his lackluster win over Igor Pokrajac.

Looking over the 205-pound roster, there are many match ups that stand out for Jimmo. However, having him welcome BJJ phenom Drysdale to the UFC roster may be a good choice as it would be an interesting clash of styles. Unless Jimmo is willing to sit out for a while and wait for a more established name in the UFC to pop up, this fight would be a logical booking.

Winner: Stipe Mocic
Who He Should Fight Next: Antonio Silva.
Why They Should Fight: Miocic kind of spoiled everyone's plans with his upset of Roy Nelson and it's difficult to determine what should be next for the 30-year-old. Does the UFC rush him into another big name fight after the most significant victory of his career? Do they continue to build him up with winnable fights or do they go another route entirely?

If the UFC wants to take Miocic on a natural road of progression, the fact he just took out the No. 5 ranked heavyweight means he should now face the No. 4 ranked heavyweight. And who holds down that spot? None other than former title challenger "Bigfoot" Silva.

Despite the fact Silva is coming off a loss, a match up with Miocic makes a lot of sense and the winner would be in the mix of the very top contenders at the weight class.

Winner: Rashad Evans
Who He Should Fight Next: Glover Teixeira
Why They Should Fight: Teixeira said following his win at UC 161 main event winner and Evans said shortly after his split decision win over Dan Henderson that he would gladly except the challenge and won't turn down a fight with anyone.

The fight practically makes itself.

For a lengthy explanation on what's next for "Suga," click here.

That ends this edition of Joe Silva's shoes. What do you think of these potential match ups? Do you agree? Disagree?

Let us know in the comments section below what fights you would make if you were in Joe Silva's shoes and played the role of UFC matchmaker.

For more news and notes on UFC 161, visit our complete event archive here.

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