(Esther Lin/MMAFighting)Monday Morning Matchmaker for UFC 187 Scott Bond May 25, 2015 News, Previews, Spotlight After the much-anticipated UFC 187 card this past Saturday from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas we have much to discuss when it comes to future opponents for the newly crowned light heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier, and middleweight champion, Chris Weidman. Also I will look at what the future holds for the main and co-main event losers Anthony Johnson, Vitor Belfort and the other victors from the main card on Saturday night, Andrei Arlovski, Donald Cerrone and Joseph Benavidez. Joseph Benavidez vs. John Dodson (No. 1 Contender Fight) After both Benavidez and Dodson picked up three round decision victories over game opponents this past Saturday, it only makes sense now for them to fight each other for the next shot at Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. Benavidez is currently the number three ranked flyweight behind Dodson and Johnson. With a win over Dodson, Benavidez will have gone 4-0 since his last fight against Johnson, which he lost by first round TKO. Benavidez is regarded by many as the best flyweight in the world without a title belt. Donald Cerrone vs. Raphael dos Anjos (Lightweight Title Fight) After stopping the very game John Makdessi in the second round by TKO, Cerrone is on an eight fight win streak with only with only three of these victories going to decision. Cerrone has been the definition of a company man for the UFC, he fights whomever they put in front of him, he doesn’t pull out of fights because of injuries and loves to put on a show for the fans. Before this eight fight win streak Cerrone lost a three round decision to RDA. This fight would be an attempt at redemption for Cerrone and a chance to solidify himself as one of the greatest lightweights on the planet as long as he can handle the devastating leg kicks that RDA possess. Andrei Arlovski vs. Junior Dos Santos (No. 1 Contender Fight) After what was arguably the most entertaining one round fight ever in the UFC heavyweight division, I believe that JDS would be the most logical choice. JDS has long been at or near the top of the heavyweight division in the UFC and if Arlovski is going to make a push for a title shot he will have to face him sooner or later. Both of these fighters prefer to keep the fight on the feet and in the past both have shown that they can take a punch and give one in return. A fight between these two highly skilled strikers could put them in contention to have the next title fight against whoever emerges at UFC 188 as the UFC heavyweight champion with Cain Velasquez facing off against Fabricio Werdum. Anthony Johnson vs. Rampage Jackson After losing a one sided fight to Daniel Cormier at UFC 187, what is next for the heavy-handed striker. With most of the top 10 booked on cards already I could say that Johnson should stay in shape, keep training and wait for one of these fighters to pull out due to injury, which inevitably will happen. The best option for the fighters, UFC and fans would be putting Johnson against Rampage. Both fighters have heavy hands, good chins and averaging wrestling. This isn’t a fight for the rankings; this is a fight for the fans, you wont get trash talk or the build up but you will get fireworks in the Octagon. Vitor Belfort vs. Jacare Souza After being quickly dispatched by Chris Weidman in the first round of their fight at UFC 187, Vitor should look to regroup and not shy away from a true challenge. With the Top 3 being linked together in the middleweight division I believe Vitor should be thrown in to take on whoever Weidman is not going to fight next be it Rockhold or Jacare. To make this simple lets go with my match making and say Rockhold will fight for the middleweight championship next so Vitor gets Jacare. Jacare is one of the most dangerous fighters in the world because of his masterful ground game, which plays a factor in each and every one of his fights. After Vitor was so clearly dominated by Weidman on the ground I think this matchup will push Vitor to improve his ground game and his takedown defence. A win for either fighter will prove they are ready to take on whoever is the middleweight champion after Weidman and Rockhold square off. Chris Weidman vs. Luke Rockhold (Middleweight Title Fight) After stopping Belfort by TKO in the first round at UFC 187, Weidman is looking to put Brazilian fighters in his rear view mirror for his upcoming fight and that is why I believe Rockhold makes the most sense as an opponent. Weidman’s last four fights have all been against Brazilian Legends (Silva, Machida and Belfort) and he is getting the reputation as a Legend Killer. Rockhold will be a new challenge for Weidman as he is a fighter that doesn’t have a preference between fighting on his feet or the mat. On the day of the fight, Rockhold will be much bigger than Weidman and Rockhold knows how to use his size to wear on his opponents and to use his reach to keep out of their striking range. Weidman will have to rely on his ferocious ground and pound that was on full display against Vitor to pressure Rockhold to hurt him and pressure him into making a mistake. Rockhold and Weidman have both talked about being on the future Madison Square Garden card so as fans we might not see this fight for a few months. Daniel Cormier vs. Ryan Bader (Light Heavyweight Title Fight) After a dominant performance over heavy-handed Anthony Johnson at UFC 187 people were unsure about what was going to be next for the new UFC light heavyweight champion but that was soon answered at the post-fight press conference. During the post-fight press conference while Cormier was speaking Ryan Bader made his presence known and agitated the new Champion, both fighters got heated only exchanging words as Bader was escorted out of the room by security. A fight between these two may be seen as a wrestling duel, but I believe Cormier will hold a big advantage on the ground and will try to take it there right away and not stand with Bader. The fight should go similar to the one he just had with Johnson but the outcome will mean Cormier will have defeated everyone in the Top 5 or defeated someone who has recently defeated them. Cormier has his sights set on unifying the UFC light heavyweight title when Jon jones returns to the Octagon but in the mean time he will have to defend his belt against all comers just like Jones did for four years.