Following every UFC and Strikeforce 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 136, which took place on Oct. 8 from the Toyota Center in Houston.

Frankie Edgar vs. ???

Realistically, there are three potential opponents for the resilient lightweight champion.

Based on the way UFC President Dana White has been speaking of late, the most likely foe will be current Strikeforce title-holder Gilbert Melendez. The wrench in this scenario is the fact that Melendez is slated to defend his belt on Dec. 17 against Jorge Masvidal. Should that bout get cancelled, expect “El Nino” to get the next crack at Edgar.

Gilbert Melendez (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Another scenario is that Edgar will battle the winner of the Nov. 12 UFC on Fox co-main event between Clay Guida and former WEC champ Benson Henderson. Both fighters have been on a roll and the winner is certainly worthy of a title shot.

The final option is another one that was brought up by the aforementioned White: A superfight with featherweight champ Jose Aldo. Either fighter is capable of competing in the other’s weight class, especially Edgar, who currently does not cut weight to make his weight class. While this is the least likely matchup, it has the potential to be the most exciting.

Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes

The Edgar talk aside, the most deserving person to try and solve the dangerous Brazilian is the undefeated Chad Mendes.

Mendes, with his wrestling base, must look to use his skills more effectively than his Team Alpha Male teammate Urijah Faber did against Aldo. Aldo essentially destroyed Faber’s lead leg with a barrage of leg kicks that nearly finished “The California Kid.”

Mendes has only finished one of his six fights under the Zuffa banner, which means he’ll have to survive the full 25 minutes against Aldo’s lethal Muay Thai assault.

Chael Sonnen vs. Anderson Silva

Admittedly, I’m not crazy about this rematch, but I’d be hard-pressed to find a more deserving middleweight. Sonnen’s performance against Silva at UFC 117 was certainly impressive, but the bottom line is that he lost. There’s nothing controversial about tapping out to a submission.

The first fight revealed that the champion can be taken down and Sonnen’s skillset is perfect for countering the most dangerous striker in the UFC. The question is, can he survive for another five rounds with the Brazilian?

In a perfect world, Silva would have another worthy challenger and Sonnen would be forced to win another fight or two to earn another chance to win the belt. Since that’s not the case, this fight makes the most sense.

Joe Lauzon vs. Anthony Pettis

Lauzon chokes out Guillard (Paul Thatcher/Fight! Magazine)

The two lightweights came out victorious at UFC 136, but in very different fashions.


Lauzon provided the biggest upset of the night, needing only 47 seconds to derail the title hopes of explosive striker Melvin Guillard. Guillard came out reckless and Lauzon capitalized. A hook stopped Guillard in his tracks and Lauzon used his slick submission skills to prevent him from recovering. After slapping on a rear-naked choke, Lauzon made a case for his place in lightweight contention.

Pettis, on the other hand, neutralized heavy-handed Jeremy Stephens en route to a decision victory. The former WEC title holder bounced back from a lopsided decision loss to contender Clay Guida in his UFC debut.

A fight between these two top-ten fighters could set the table for yet another challenger to Edgar’s strap.

Nam Phan vs. Leonard Garcia III

Phan (l) and Garcia battle at UFC 136 (Paul Thatcher/Fight! Magazine)

Despite my feelings toward a rematch between Sonnen and Silva, a third fight between Phan and Garcia is something that any fan would enjoy watching.

The featherweights and their contrasting styles put on a performance that was every bit deserving of the “Fight of the Night” bonus. Phan’s crisp boxing proved to be the difference, much like the first meeting, but the judges scored the fight correctly this time.

Many could argue that Phan is really 2-0 against Garcia, and it would be hard to make a case against it. However, with the excitement that these two bring to the cage, a rubber match could officially lay this trilogy to rest.