Deep down, every MMA or pro wrestling fan wishes they could step into Joe Silva’s or Vince McMahon’s shoes. We will likely never get that chance, but here on The MMA Corner we can at least offer suggestions. After every UFC event and WWE pay-per-view, we will tell you who the big winners from each event should face off with next. As Bellator continues to shift away from the Tournament format we will also play fantasy matchmaker for Viacom and Scott Coker’s promotion.

Here we go:

Robert Whittaker vs. Tom Watson

In a night full of finishes, Whittaker certainly turned some heads on Friday night. The Aussie moved up in weight to face the larger Clint Hester. Many fighters move down in weight and see success, but the lesser weight cut really seemed to help Whittaker and he was just a step faster than Hester and he finished him in the second round. Whittaker is back on the winning track having won two straight after a two-fight skid. A good matchup for him next would be a veteran in Tom Watson. Watson had a ton of hype coming into the UFC, but had to win his last bout to save his job. Watson still has the tools to compete with most in the middleweight division and he would be a solid test for the twenty-three year old Whittaker.

Al Iaquinta vs. K.J. Noons-Darron Cruickshank winner

Al Iaquinta just continues to get better. The New Yorker has two setbacks on his UFC record, but he stepped up big time in the biggest spot of his career. Ross Pearson was coming off of the biggest victory of his career over Gray Maynard and Iaquinta dusted him in the second round. Iaquinta is certainly a prospect that deserves notice, but he is still in the most competitive division in the sport. Pearson was the most recognizable name Iaquinta has faced off against and he needs to continue to face that kind of name to move up the ranks. K.J. Noons and Darron Cruickshank will face off in Las Vegas in early December and whichever striker leaves that night victorious should set themselves up for a big fight with Iaquinta.

Luke Rockhold vs. Ronaldo Souza

Luke Rockhold went into the biggest grudge match of his career on Friday night and emerged with flying colors. The American submitted Michael Bisping in the second round. Rockhold only has one loss in the UFC against a TRT ridden Vitor Belfort and has been virtually flawless otherwise. There is really only one fight left for Rockhold en route to a title shot and that is Ronaldo Souza. “Jacare” has been one of, if not the most impressive fighter in 2014. I don’t think Souza should have to fight again before receiving a title shot, but with the Weidman-Belfort fight being pushed back until February the timing just won’t work out. Rockhold beat Souza back in Strikeforce and a rematch now with both men at the top of their games would really determine who the next title challenger should be.

Warlley Alves vs. Colby Covington

Alves’ decision victory over Alan Jouban was certainly the most controversial of the evening. Many thought Jouban won the final two rounds, but Alves was awarded the unanimous decision on home turf. Alves is the latest winner of TUF Brazil, but failed to impress in his first fight out of the show. I think his next opponent should be another young welterweight with huge potential. Colby Covington also won on Saturday night and did so in impressive fashion for the second time in a row. Alves vs. Covington should be an interesting matchup to see who really could be the next big thing at welterweight.

Ovince Saint Preux vs. Jimi Manuwa

When OSP was done with Shogun Rua in thirty-four seconds on Saturday night you could literally feel the air being sucked out of that Brazilian arena. Saint Preux needed a performance like that big time. Many, including myself, had pegged OSP as a future title challenger before losing to Ryan Bader in August. Saint Preux was originally slated to face Rafael Cavalcante on this night, but after an injury to both Cavalcante and Rua’s original opponent, he was moved into the main event and he made the most of it. I think Saint Preux should face Rua’s original opponent, Jimi Manuwa. The British knockout artist has been stellar in the UFC except for his setback against Alexander Gustafsson. Shogun probably would have suffered the same fate against someone with the power of Manuwa. The UFC rarely makes fights with a guy coming off of a win against a recent loser, but given Manuwa’s track record and lone setback, this fight would be a perfect matchup of top fifteen light heavyweights.

About The Author

Trey Downey
Staff Writer

A Central Florida native, Trey Downey's interest in MMA came after a trip to Blockbuster and the rental of UFC 47 on VHS. He has been blogging about the sport since 2011 and hosted a podcast called The TD Experience focusing on football and MMA (touchdowns and takedowns). Trey studied radio and television at the University of Central Florida and will soon be attending the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Trey enjoys watching sports, pro wrestling and is an avid runner.