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 170: Rousey vs. McMann, which took place on Feb. 22 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

Ronda Rousey vs. Cat Zingano

The biggest star in the UFC, Ronda Rousey, continued her reign as champion, but it didn’t come without controversy. Rousey defeated Sara McMann by TKO in the first round after the champion landed knees to the liver of her opponent. On the final blow, McMann fell to her knees, which caused referee Herb Dean to step in and stop the fight. However, McMann began to get up as soon as Dean was stepping in to call the stoppage, leaving non-Rousey fans in the arena disappointed with the officiating and the bout’s outcome.

However, Dean had good reason for stopping the fight. His duty is to protect the fighter, and there may have been more unnecessary punishment coming for McMann. Therefore, an immediate rematch should be out of the question, even though McMann and her fans would certainly like one.

This leaves Cat Zingano, who should be next to challenge Rousey.

Zingano has been through so much, both physically and mentally, throughout the past year. From the surgery that cost her a coaching job and title shot to the loss of her husband in a tragic situation, it’s been difficult for Zingano. But if she is able to answer the call, “Alpha” will fight Rousey in late summer.

If Zingano is not able to take the fight, Alexis Davis proved her contendership during Saturday’s prelims by defeating Jessica Eye. Davis is 3-0 in the UFC, and she could easily step up as a replacement.

Daniel Cormier vs. Dan Henderson-Mauricio “Shogun” Rua winner

Daniel Cormier made his debut at 205 pounds at UFC 170, running through UFC newcomer Patrick Cummins to get his first knockout inside the Octagon.

Fans didn’t get to see the showdown between Cormier and former UFC champion Rashad Evans, who blew out his knee. That fight probably won’t be brought up again anytime soon, given that Evans will be out for six months. So, what’s up for Cormier’s encore?

Why not a bout against the winner of the fight between Dan Henderson and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, who are scheduled to rematch on March 23?

Although Cormier is certainly capable of testing light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, a win over a debuting fighter isn’t going to earn him a title shot. Instead, he must challenge a UFC mainstay with some credibility, and a fight against either Henderson or Shogun is certainly intriguing.

Shogun has righted the ship with a highlight-reel knockout of James Te Huna, whereas Henderson is trying to get back in the win column following three consecutive defeats. Regardless of who wins, it makes for a marketable fight for Cormier. If Cormier is able to overcome a seasoned fighter, sign him up for a title shot.

Rory MacDonald vs. Hector Lombard-Jake Shields winner

Following a disappointing split decision loss to Robbie Lawler that cost him an opportunity to fight for the vacant UFC title, Rory MacDonald returned to the cage with a vengeance. Despite being controlled on the mat for the first five minutes, MacDonald rallied in rounds two and three to defeat Demian Maia by unanimous decision.

Lawler and Johny Hendricks fight at UFC 171 to determine the new champion, meaning that MacDonald will need another victory before earning his chance at gold. The fight that makes the most sense for the Canadian is to face the winner of the fight pitting Hector Lombard against Jake Shields on the same card as the title tilt.

Lombard is coming off a big knockout over Nate Marquardt, and Shields recently defeated Maia to bump his winning streak to two. MacDonald is in top form and is ready for a five-round battle, but he will need one more win. If he can put another solid performance against Lombard or Shields, he’ll get his chance.

Mike Pyle vs. Erick Silva

Mike Pyle, while still rocking the mullet, bounced back on Saturday with an impressive stoppage of TJ Waldburger in the third round.

The win comes after Pyle was knocked out by Matt Brown in 29 seconds, bringing a halt to Pyle’s four-fight winning streak. With a win under his belt, “Quicksand” now has a chance to string together multiple victories again.

In the UFC Fight Night 36 edition of Fight Destiny, I said the winner of Pyle-Waldburger should face Brazilian Erick Silva next. That choice still stands.

Silva defeated Takenori Sato by first-round TKO on Feb. 15. He has been highly touted since earning a 40-second knockout in his UFC debut in 2011, but Silva hasn’t got over the hump when facing the top-tier guys of the division.

The Brazilian needs to prove himself against veteran names, and Pyle is certainly a quality opponent that will test him. Meanwhile, Pyle wants to be considered a top-10 welterweight, but he needs to knock off a few youngsters before getting to that point in the rankings.

Stephen Thompson vs. Brandon Thatch

Kicking off the main card, Stephen Thompson continued to impress with a TKO stoppage of Robert Whittaker. Thompson earned “Performance of the Night” honors for the finish.

“Wonderboy” has now won three fights in a row and could become a top-15 welterweight if he can continue evolving from a kickboxer into a complete fighter. He is certainly moving in the right direction, but so is another striker.

That other striker’s name is Brandon Thatch. The Denver native has turned heads in the UFC with two finishes. Much like Thompson, Thatch, at 6-foot-2, is a tall welterweight, and he is certainly not afraid to stand and bang. Not only does the fight make sense in terms of records, but, stylistically, this fight would be a barnburner.

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.