Joe Silva's shoes: Who should be next for UFC on FOX 8 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 on FOX 8 behind us, we put ourselves in Joe Silva's shoes to play matchmaker for the event's main card winners.

UFC on FOX 8: "Johnson vs. Moraga" is in the books and the Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) eighth network television fight card delivered mixed results of knockouts, submissions and decisions.

Demetrious Johnson, Rory MacDonald, Robbie Lawler and Liz Carmouche were the big winners Saturday (July 27, 2013) inside KeyArena in Seattle, Wash., as each picked up a victory over their respective opponents on the main card, which aired on FOX.

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: Liz Carmouche
Who She Should Fight Next: Alexis Davis
Why They Should Fight: With the women's bantamweight division's next two title fights already booked up, it would be in everyone's best interest to keep fighting, move the division forward and make themselves as big and familiar a name to the UFC audience as possible so that when a title shot does come around, they will be a well known commodity.

Carmouche and Alexis Davis are the only fighters in the top-five of the weight class who are not booked for a fight or injured, so it would make sense to match the two highly ranked fighters against each other and see who moves a step close to a title shot against Ronda Rousey.

Winner: Robbie Lawler
Who He Should Fight Next: Tarec Saffiedine
Why They Should Fight: Before multiple fighters withdrew from the event, Robbie Lawler was scheduled to battle Tarec Saffiedine at UFC on FOX 8. Two injury replacements later, "Ruthless" met Bobby Voelker and earned a brutal head-kick knockout victory to move to 2-0 since returning to the UFC earlier this year.

Some feel the nature of Lawler's win moves his beyond a fight against "The Sponge" and on to bigger match ups; however, one must remember Voelker is an unranked fighter who had just a few weeks of preparation, which takes a tiny bit of the luster away from Lawler's win.

With Saffiedine still recovering and without a fight at this time, it would only make sense to rebook the match up UFC officials felt was suitable for Lawler in the first place.

Winner: Rory MacDonald
Who He Should Fight Next: Winner of Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann at UFC Fight Night 27
Why They Should Fight: Rory MacDonald's one and only career defeat comes at the hands of Carlos Condit in a fight "Ares" was likely only a few ticks of the clock away from winning. The Canadian says the loss eats away at him and wants redemption against Condit.

After edging Jake Ellenberger for the most important win of his career, the 24-year-old once again called Condit out on the FUEL TV post-fight show. And given the fact they are ranked as the No. 2 and No. 3 contenders in the weight class, it's hard to argue MacDonald doesn't have grounds to request a rematch.

We know MacDonald wants the fight; now Condit just needs to get through Martin Kampmann in a redemption match of his own in the main event of UFC Fight Night 27 in on Aug. 27, 2013.

Beyond MacDonald's quest for vengeance, the match up makes all kinds of sense for both men. Condit's status has elevated since the initial 2010 meeting between the two at UFC 115 and with "The Natural Born Killer" having just held the interim UFC title, MacDonald is catching him at a peak moment in his career and could use Condit's recent success to catapult himself further up the welterweight rankings.

Condit, on the other hand, would be granted an opportunity to take out a friend and training partner of the man who recently defeated him, Georges St. Pierre. Moreover, he would be able to prove once and for all he is superior to MacDonald even though he had his hands full in the first fight.

Winner: Demetrious Johnson
Who He Should Fight Next: Winner of Joseph Benavidez vs. Jussier Formiga at UFC Fight Night 28
Why They Should Fight: The flyweight division is extremely thin on contenders for Demetrious Johnson's belt right now with only a few 125-pound match ups confirmed for the coming months. The most significant of those match ups takes place next September at UFC Fight Night 28: "Teixeira vs. Bader" when Joseph Benavidez meets Jussier Formiga.

Both men are ranked in the top-10 in the world at 125-pounds and the winner will have a very good chance of earning a title shot with a clear-cut victory.

For a lengthy explanation on the entire situation and what "Mighty Mouse" should do next, 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 on FOX 8: "Johnson vs. Moraga," visit our complete event archive here.

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