What's next for UFC 125 winners like Thiago Silva (pictured, top) in their next bouts? MMAForReal.com's Matt Bishop breaks down the potential future matchups. Photo by Scott Petersen/MMAWeekly.com
"UFC 125: Resolution" is in the books and it's time to take a look at where the winners are headed following their victories on the pay-per-view extravaganza.
Brian Stann: It will be interesting to see what the UFC does with the "All-American" following his big first-round stoppage win over Chris Leben. Stann called out Wanderlei Silva following the fight (as seems to be the case with a lot of middleweights these days) and that certainly. On our UFC 125 Review show, Forrest Lynn suggested Stann fight Demian Maia. I wouldn't go quite that far yet. If Alan Belcher can return to action, I think that would be a prudent fight to make. If Jorge Rivera gets past Michael Bisping next month in Australia, I'd also be a fan of that fight. I like Belcher as a better all-around test for Stann, though. Clearly the move to Greg Jackson's camp is paying dividends for him.
Thiago Silva: Even though Brandon Vera basically rolled over once the fight hit the ground, I was very impressed with Silva's performance in this one. Super impressed, actually. Of all the fighters on the card, I think I came away more impressed with him than anyone else. Silva's aggressiveness and ground control showed that he is a new fighter after being hampered by a back injury for a long time. Light-heavyweight is an interesting division. You have a lot of big fights coming up. Following UFC 121, I suggested Matt Hamill face the winner of the Silva/Vera fight. I'm going to stick with that here and say Silva should fight Hamill. Sorry, Matt.
Dong Hyun Kim: This is interesting because, while I know Kim has a ton of talent, his conditioning right now is really holding him back from me considering him on the next tier of UFC welterweights. With that being said, I'd like to see him fight another fighter who has good talent but also has conditioning issues holding him back: Paulo Thiago. Thiago, though, has lost two in a row and might not be rewarded with a main card spot that a fight with Kim would deserve. So that's my ideal fight, but understanding that, I'll look elsewhere. This is tough because a lot of welterweights currently are booked for future fights. A fight with Carlos Condit, should he get past Chris Lytle next month at UFC 127, would be a good one and a good test for both fighters with the winner moving up the chain.
Clay Guida: By winning for the third straight time by defeating Takanori Gomi by second-round submission, it's time for Guida to take another dip into the deep end of the UFC lightweight division. Two fights come to mind here: A scrap with former champion Sean Sherk, or a fight with the man Sherk last fought and beat, Evan Dunham. Of course, Dunham has Melvin Guillard later this month, so this is pending him winning, but either way, Guida will be tested. If the UFC doesn't want to move him up to the next level quite yet, a fight with WEC import Donald Cerrone (should he beat Paul Kelly at UFC 126), would be a fun way to go, too.