Joe Silva's shoes: Who should be next for UFC 162 main card winners?

USA TODAY Sports

Playing fantasy matchmaker is one of the most enjoyable things to do for mixed martial arts (MMA) fans, and with UFC 162 behind us, we put ourselves in Joe Silva's shoes to play matchmaker for the event's main card winners.

UFC 162: "Silva vs. Weidman" is in the books and for one of the most anticipated pay-per-view (PPV) cards of the year, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) delivered a memorable fight card from top-to-bottom.

Chris Weidman, Frankie Edgar, Tim Kennedy, Mark Munoz and Cub Swanson were the big winners Saturday (July 6, 2013) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, as each picked up 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: Cub Swanson
Who He Should Fight Next: Frankie Edgar
Why They Should Fight: With Jose Aldo set to defend the featherweight title against Chan Sung Jung in August and Ricardo Lamas waiting in the wings, there aren't many logical options for Cub Swanson to take on next after his (technical) knockout victory over Dennis Siver at UFC 162.

Swanson has earned five consecutive victories at 145-pounds, which would typically be enough to warrant a title shot or at the very least a No. 1 contenders fight. Unfortunately for Swanson, though, the fact he already has an eight-second knockout loss to Aldo on his record means he has to do more than the average fighter to earn a rematch with "Scarface".

With a title fight out of the question at this point, it only makes sense to put Swanson in a fight that would move him towards the belt. The only candidate who fits the bill at this point in time is Frankie Edgar, who also earned a victory at Saturday's event.
Swanson and Edgar are both well rounded, exciting fighters with the ability to end a fight anytime, anywhere. Throw that combination into the cage with high stakes such a No.1 contendership on the line and you have what will very likely be a memorable fight on your hands.

Winner: Mark Munoz
Who He Should Fight Next: Francis Carmont
Why They Should Fight: Despite the fact Francis Carmont has looked extremely underwhelming in back-to-back fights, the French-Canadian transplant is 5-0 in the UFC and is need of a step up in competition.
Depending on how soon Mark Munoz is ready to compete against after a tough outing against Tim Boetsch, a match up with Carmont would make a lot of sense.

Carmont's last few fights were far from exciting and he needs an opponent that can create a fun fight. Munoz is the type of fighter who can lull even the most unappealing of opponents into an exciting bout. It would be hard to see a match up with Carmont going any different considering what "The Filipino Wrecking Machine" has shown in the past.

The biggest weakness in Carmont's game at this point in his career seems to be a difficulty in dealing with fighters that bring the fight to him. Munoz is all about trying to finish his opponents and could be that man. Carmont had a shaky performance in his last outing, but a win -- especially in exciting fashion -- over a surging fighter like Munoz would go a long way in pushing him back into the heart of fans after a few underwhelming efforts.

Some might see this match up as a step down for Munoz after defeating a top-10 opponent in Boetsch, but considering the run Carmont has put together thus far in the UFC, he deserves a fight against an opponent in the bottom-tier of the top-10 in the middleweight division. And Munoz is right there.

Winner: Tim Kennedy
Who He Should Next: Andrew Craig
Why They Should Fight: Andrew Craig earned a victory on the preliminary portion of the UFC 162 fight card to get himself back on track and a future match up between "Highlight" and Tim Kennedy would be a fascinating clash of styles.

Craig hasn't really had to test himself against strong grapplers in the past, but if he could stop Kennedy's takedowns that creates massive, massive problems and would make for an interesting stand-up fight.

Throw this fight on the preliminary portion of a PPV card and you have a fun middleweight scrap.

Winner: Frankie Edgar
Who He Should Fight Next: Cub Swanson
Why They Should Fight: See above.

Winner: Chris Weidman
Who He Should Fight Next: Anderson Silva
Why They Should Fight: Despite Anderson Silva's claims that he is not interested in facing Chris Weidman in an immediate rematch, it's not difficult to predict that UFC President Dana White will eventually talk "The Spider" into trying to avenge his one and only loss inside the Octagon.

If Silva really isn't down for another fight with Weidman then bring on Vitor Belfort, but White really wants the rematch and when the UFC boss wants something, more often than not he gets it.

For a lengthy explanation on what's next for "All-American" 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.

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