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 The Ultimate Fighter: Nations Finale, which took place on April 16 from the Colisee Pepsi in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

Tim Kennedy vs. Gegard Mousasi-Mark Munoz winner

It takes a warrior effort to defeat Michael Bisping, and Tim Kennedy brought that will to win to the cage on Wednesday.

While it may not be the finish he wanted, Kennedy defeated “The Count” by unanimous decision in a five-round headlining bout. The two-time Strikeforce top contender controlled Bisping in the wrestling department, an area where Bisping is very good at defending takedowns.

Kennedy stated his case once again as a fighter on the cusp of earning a shot at the UFC belt. To move one step closer, he is targeting the winner of the bout between Gegard Mousasi and Mark Munoz. The two middleweights are expected to meet at UFC Fight Night 41 on May 31.

Mousasi returned to 185 pounds on Feb. 15, but fell to Lyoto Machida by unanimous decision. Nevertheless, Mousasi is still one of the top fighters in the weight division.

Munoz is also coming off a loss to Machida, except his defeat came under more stunning circumstances. “The Dragon” made a highlight reel of Munoz with a head-kick knockout. However, even at 36 years old, Munoz still has some gas left in the tank to make a run in the division.

It makes perfect sense for Kennedy to fight the winner. The UFC could easily make the fight a headlining bout for a Fight Night card or include it on a pay-per-view. Even with Anderson Silva inactive, the middleweight division will be very intriguing throughout 2014.

Patrick Cote vs. Thiago Alves-Seth Baczynski winner

Just after he watched two fellow Canadians win The Ultimate Fighter, head coach Patrick Cote also picked up a win on the main card.

“The Predator” defeated Australian head man Kyle Noke by unanimous decision. Although it wasn’t a great showing by Cote, he has quietly won his last three fights. Now 2-0 at welterweight, Cote is in a good position.

Up next for him should be the winner of an upcoming bout on April 19 between Thiago Alves and Seth Baczynski. Due to injuries, Alves has not competed since 2012, and he hasn’t put together back-to-back wins since 2008. Meanwhile, Baczynski is looking to put together another winning streak. He comes in off a victory over Neil Magny.

Before Cote is inserted into fights against the upper echelon of the division, he needs one more win to prove he’s ready to take another step up. A finish of Alves or Baczynski will solidify his case.

Elias Theodorou vs. Claudio Henrique da Silva

Coming into TUF Nations as one of the favorites, Elias Theodorou lived up to the hype. The Canadian was crowned the middleweight winner of the season after he defeated Sheldon Westcott by second-round TKO in the final.

As is the case following every season of the reality series, there isn’t a sure opponent to give these guys. Theodorou is undefeated at 9-0, but he won’t be rushed towards the top. This is why a fight against someone like Claudio Henrique da Silva makes sense.

The Brazilian carries an impressive mark at 10-1 and holds one UFC win. That victory came on March 8 when he topped Brad Scott via unanimous decision. Da Silva, like Theodorou, has a lot of talent.

Let’s find out which middleweight stands a legitimate chance in bigger spotlight bouts.

Chad Laprise vs. Anthony Lapsley-Albert Tumenov winner

The welterweight king of TUF Nations is Chad Laprise. Laprise edged fellow Canadian Olivier Aubin-Mercier by split decision on Saturday to improve his record to 8-0. None was bigger than this one as he raised the trophy in satisfaction.

For his second appearance inside the Octagon, Laprise should face the winner of the contest between Anthony Lapsley and Albert Tumenov, who are expected to fight on May 10.

Lapsley made his UFC debut with a loss to Jason High by unanimous decision in November. The Russian Tumemov also fell in his first appearance. Tumenov’s loss came at the hands of Ildemar Alcantara via split decision. Both men will look to get back on track in a must-win fight. The winner could take on Laprise and look to show the organization that they are here to stay at 170 pounds.

Dustin Poirier vs. Ricardo Lamas

Dustin Poirer continues to shine bright—like a diamond.

Poirier now has the most wins in UFC featherweight history. His eighth victory came on Wednesday when he scored a TKO over Akira Corassani in the “Fight of the Night.”

The 25-year-old is currently on a three-fight winning streak and has the overall makeup to become a future titleholder. However, the two fighters who sit above him in the rankings, Cub Swanson and Chan Sung Jung, have beaten him. Sure, Poirier wants another shot at Swanson, but he has placed himself on another platform.

This leaves a fight against Ricardo Lamas for Poirier to take. After winning four fights in a row, Lamas earned the right to fight Jose Aldo for the belt at UFC 169. Although he fell by unanimous decision, he proved his worth as one of the top guys in the division and will still hold his own in the top five.

Remember, Poirier and Lamas were scheduled to meet, but Lamas was forced out with an injury. There is no better time than now to match up the two fighters.

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.