Following every UFC and Invicta FC event, The MMA Corner will break down the event and suggest fights the promotion should make in the future. This week, our focus is on UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar, which took place on Feb. 2 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas

After being out of action for over a year, UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo returned to the cage on Saturday to defend his belt against Frankie Edgar.

Aldo edged out a decision win over “The Answer,” giving the Brazilian his 15th straight victory. With the champion retaining his belt once again, talks have already started about what should be next for one of the pound-for-pound best fighters in the world. Many fans are hoping to see Aldo move up to lightweight to fight someone like Anthony Pettis, who has spoken out saying he’d take that fight (or even move to down to 145 pounds to make it happen). Aldo needs to fight at 155 soon, but in his next defense, should face Ricardo Lamas.

Lamas is 4-0 in the UFC with wins over Cub Swanson, Hatsu Hioki and Erik Koch, all of whom are contenders in the featherweight division. “The Bully” looked impressive in his win over Koch last week at UFC on Fox 6, and he has now become the front-runner to challenge Aldo.

The timing is perfect to match the two up, and it would be an intriguing bout. Unlike Edgar, Lamas will be a bit taller than Aldo. He is also well-rounded enough to give Aldo another test.

Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva vs. Josh Barnett 

Coming into UFC 156, the talk surrounding heavyweights Alistair Overeem and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva centered on Overeem getting a title shot if he defeated Silva. However, Silva came in with a lot of emotion and stole the show by knocking out Overeem in the third round.

This changes everything in the heavyweight division.

The next opponent for Cain Velasquez is now up in the air, but it shouldn’t be Silva, due to the fact that Velasquez dominated him at UFC 146. Since that fight will be hard to sell for the UFC, “Bigfoot” should have to look elsewhere for his next opponent. There aren’t many names out there for Silva, but the one that makes the most sense is Josh Barnett.

If Barnett and the UFC can come to terms on a contract, then the UFC should match up the two Strikeforce veterans. Both Barnett and Silva are among the top 10 at heavyweight, and it makes a ton of sense to book that fight.

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua

To add to the upsets at UFC 156, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira defeated former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans on the main card by unanimous decision.

Just as in the case of Overeem, all the attention was on Evans, who was considered a possible contender for Anderson Silva at middleweight, but “Little Nog” silenced that discussion by knocking off the former champion.

Nogueira has won two straight fights and is now in a good position. Defeating a guy like Evans will lead to even bigger fights for “Minotoro.” He should next meet Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, another difficult task. Shogun is coming off a loss to Alexander Gustafsson, but he is still one of the top light heavyweights in the world. Nogueira shouldn’t fight anyone except a top contender or a former champion, and a fight with the fellow Brazilian is what makes sense.

The two fought back in 2005 at Pride Critical Countdown, where Rua won by unanimous decision. Considering that this would be a rematch between the two, it will make the match-up even more intriguing.

Demian Maia vs. Carlos Condit-Rory MacDonald winner

Since moving to 170 pounds, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist Demian Maia has been on a roll, defeating Dong-Hyun Kim and Rick Story. On Saturday, Maia added another victim to the list when he dominated one of the division’s best, Jon Fitch, en route to a unanimous decision.

Maia used his high-level grappling to control Fitch for the entire fight, the only time Fitch has been controlled that much in the UFC.

The Brazilian’s striking is still improving, his grappling is top notch, and he has the size to take welterweights to the mat. With those tools, Maia is a true threat in the division and could be one win away from a title shot.

When looking at the division, Hendricks will get the next title shot if he defeats Jake Ellenberger at UFC 158. Another welterweight fight on that card is Carlos Condit vs. Rory MacDonald, where the winner could serve as Maia’s next opponent. Both Condit and MacDonald are tall welterweights, but Maia will be even bigger. There’s no doubt that Maia, given the way he has looked at 170, deserves to face the top welterweights. He may even have an opportunity to fight the champion by the end of the year.

Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson

Flyweights kicked off the Super Saturday card, as Joseph Benavidez defeated Ian McCall by unanimous decision.

After a loss to champion Demetrious Johnson, Benavidez is back on track and may get another title opportunity against “Mighty Mouse” in the near future.

In fact, Benavidez should be next in line to fight Johnson. When you look at the flyweight division, there is only one true contender right now, and it’s Benavidez. There are many up-and-coming contenders who will fight for the belt later this year, but considering Benavidez and Johnson fought to a close split decision, a rematch needs to be made.

Benavidez was impressive against McCall, and he will give Johnson a run for belt once again. Also, with Johnson fighting just last week against John Dodson, the timing works out great to make Johnson-Benavidez II.

Photo: Jose Aldo (red gloves) lands a jab on Frankie Edgar (Ester Lin/MMAFighting)

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.