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 Fight Night 37: Gustafsson vs. Manuwa, which took place on March 8 from The O2 Arena in London, England.

Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jon Jones-Glover Teixeira winner

“The Mauler” Alexander Gustafsson proved his worthiness for another crack at the light heavyweight belt when he defeated a dangerous opponent in Jimi Manuwa on Saturday by TKO in the second round.

A clear case could have been made for an immediate rematch between Gustafsson and champion Jon Jones following their “Fight of the Year” battle at UFC 165, but Brazilian Glover Teixeira had already been promised a title shot. However, after an impressive performance, Gustafsson should—and will—face the winner UFC 172’s showdown between Jones and Teixeira.

Gustafsson has become a key face of the UFC, in and out of the cage. He landed a spot on the cover of the new UFC video game alongside Jones and carries the torch when it comes to popularity in Europe. Gustafsson can be considered a star in the MMA world.

Without question, a rematch between Jones and Gustafsson will draw a large audience.

Michael Johnson vs. Bobby Green-Jim Miller winner

It may not have been pretty, but Michael Johnson continued to string together wins in the lightweight division. In the co-main event, Johnson, stepping in as an injury replacement for Ross Pearson, defeated Melvin Guillard by unanimous decision.

Johnson has now won three straight fights, all against quality names (Joe Lauzon, Gleison Tibau and Guillard). However, none of his three opponents have been ranked in the top 15. The next fighter Johnson meets should be someone who can boast such a high ranking.

Therefore, it makes sense for Johnson to await the winner of the fight featuring Bobby Green and Jim Miller. Green hasn’t lost since 2011, which was back in his Strikeforce days, and he has carried that momentum into the UFC to go 3-0. Meanwhile, Miller bounced back with an impressive performance against Fabricio Camoes at UFC 168 to maintain his spot in the mix at 155 pounds. Green and Miller are scheduled to meet at UFC 172 on April 26.

There is a long list of names awaiting champion Anthony Pettis. But with “Showtime” coaching against Gilbert Melendez on an upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter, contenders will be forced to grab a ticket and wait in line. Johnson, Miller and Green are each seeking one of those tickets.

Brad Pickett vs. John Dodson

One of the most entertaining bantamweight fighters in WEC and UFC history, Brad Pickett, made his debut at 125 pounds on Saturday.

Pickett was originally expected to face Ian McCall at the event, but an injury to McCall erased that potential match-up. Instead, Pickett fought UFC newcomer Neil Seery, a former Cage Warriors champion, and won a competitive fight via unanimous decision.

Obviously, a win over a guy like McCall would look better on Pickett’s resume, but he still will find himself ranked near the top of his new division. Up next for “One Punch” could be a fight with former title challenger John Dodson.

Dodson tested flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson in early 2013, but fell by unanimous decision. Since then, he has delivered a highlight-reel knockout of Darrell Montague at UFC 166 to maintain his standing as the No. 2-ranked fighter in the division.

A knee injury has kept Dodson out of action, but once he is able to return, a battle with Pickett would be great for everyone. It could give Dodson a launching pad to get his rematch with “Mighty Mouse,” it provides Pickett with a chance to earn his right to fight for the belt. It’s also a dream fight for fans.

Dodson is as entertaining as they come. Pair that with Pickett’s history that includes three UFC “Fight of the Night” awards, and you have the potential for a fight filled with non-stop action.

Gunnar Nelson vs. John Howard-Ryan LaFlare winner

To kick off the main card, Gunnar Nelson, one of the rising stars in the welterweight division, improved to 3-0 in the UFC with a guillotine choke submission win over Omari Akhmedov.

Nelson joins several other names in the conversation of the division’s future, now that St-Pierre has vacated the belt and a new generation of welterweights is on the rise. At just 25 years old, Nelson still hasn’t even hit his full potential.

Up next for “Gunni” should be the winner of the fight between John Howard and Ryan LaFlare. Howard earned his way back into the Octagon midway through 2013, and he has made the most of the opportunity with back-to-back wins over Uriah Hall and Siyar Bahadurzada. LaFlare, meanwhile, has quietly maintained an undefeated record of 10-0 and has three decision wins in the UFC. Howard and LaFlare face off at UFC Fight Night 39 on April 11.

The fighters in this group are on the cusp of breaking out to become threats to those that sit above them. It’s only a matter of time before at least one will reach the top 15 in the rankings.

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.