Let's match them up, shall we?
UFC 174: "Johnson vs. Bagautinov" took place last night (Sat., June 14, 2014) from Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and the event wasn't exactly one you would rewatch ever again.
In the main attraction, Demetrious Johnson beat up Ali Bagautinov for five rounds, dominating the challenger and looking great indoing so. It was the champion's fourth successful title defense as the flyweight king (highlights here).
Rory MacDonald defeated Tyron Woodley in the co-main event, thrashing "T-Wood" for the course of three rounds. Still, it may not have been enough to warrant a title shot against Johny Hendricks (highlights).
Other main card winners include Ryan Bader, Andrei Arlovski (somehow), and Ovince St. Preux.
Without further ado, here are the proposed match ups below:
Winner: Ovince St. Preux
Who He Should Fight Next: Fabio Maldonado
Why They Should Fight: Considering the lack of relevant UFC light heavyweight fights on the horizon in the upcoming two months, it's tough to find the next big test for St. Preux, since everyone is either a top contender or finds himself on a torrid losing streak.
It's true Stipe Miocic dismantled Fabio Maldonado a few weeks ago in Brazil, however, he was on a three-fight winning streak at 205 pounds before making the irrational decision of taking a heavyweight fight on short notice.
"OSP" has shown us his grappling is where it's at, despite looking good on the feet, too. It's a fun match up to envision, since most would assume Maldonado could frustrate him on the feet with his "Brazilian Zombie" shtick.
Also, a fight against Bader could be cool, too, as proposed in the post-fight presser.
Winner: Andrei Arlovski
Who He Should Fight Next: Frank Mir
Why They Should Fight: It wouldn't be fair to punish "Pitbull" because of the judges being totally incompetent, but what choice do we have?
His "victory" over Schaub was an eyesore at best, and you can't really set him up against the winner of fight involving two potential contenders or dudes that could knock his head off.
In comes Frank Mir.
He hasn't fought since his lopsided loss to Alistair Overeem at UFC 169, and despite still being under contract but on a break from competing, this would be the perfect fight for both. Clearly, the loser of this proposed bout between two heavyweights who were in the limelight 10 years ago would have to go away forever.
Plus, don't act like you wouldn't be excited to see it on the main card if it were planned for the promotion's end of the year extravaganza.
Winner: Ryan Bader
Who He Should Fight Next: Phil Davis
Why They Should Fight: Bader is getting better, but it's not really doing him any favors in the excitement department.
Nevertheless, winning is everything in this sport, and it's time to find an opponent for him. The problem is the options are a little thin.
He could face Anthony Johnson if "Rumble" is victorious at UFC on FOX 12, however, it wouldn't make sense for him to face his opponent Antonio Rogerio Nogueira if the Brazilian is victorious since that rematch would be more or less fruitless.
At this point, let me go against the grain and propose Phil Davis as a possible opponent for "Darth." Davis did lose to Johnson at UFC 172, yet this would still be an intriguing fight between two former prospects that were supposed to take their careers to new heights.
That is, if Davis isn't set up with Mauricio Rua, because that scrap makes a lot of sense, too.
Winner: Rory MacDonald
Who He Should Fight Next: Carlos Condit
Why They Should Fight: "Ares" looked great, but it still may not warrant him a title shot. If there's anything we've learned from UFC, it's that they love guys who "bang" and "WAR," so you can bet your bottom dollar either Robbie Lawler or Matt Brown gets to challenge Johny Hendricks once he's fully healed.
Carlos Condit said his recovery from knee surgery is going well, and although there's still no timetable for his return, a rematch against MacDonald has to happen. The Canadian said he's officially over that loss, yet the timing is impeccable right now.
If MacDonald faces Condit sometime soon, that means the winner of Lawler vs. Brown could duke it out against Hendricks. The winner of that fight could then face the winner of MacDonald vs. Condit. It's wishful thinking, and maybe it's planning way too ahead, but is it really all that far-fetched?
Winner: Demetrious Johnson
Who He Should Fight Next: John Dodson
Why They Should Fight: Earlier this week, "Mighty Mouse" was pretty vocal when it came to his future foes, and he didn't think "The Magician" deserved a rematch for the title.
On the contrary, after seeing Dodson rip apart his opponents in his last two outings, not to mention his current UFC record of 5-1, it's safe to say he could be on Joe Silva and Sean Shelby's radar.
The flyweight division is still growing, so obviously, rematches are going to happen. Whether or not Johnson is pay-per-view (PPV) caliber, it's the fight that has the most appeal right now, and it would generate a lot more viewers than a fight against Bagautinov would.
Also, Dodson kind of deserves it after his performance last week.
For extensive coverage of UFC 174: "Johnson vs. Bagautinov," including video highlights, post-fight recaps, and more, click here.