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 on Fox 5: Henderson vs. Diaz, which took place at the Key Arena in Seattle.

Benson Henderson vs. Donald Cerrone/Anthony Pettis winner

Benson Henderson defeated a tough challenger in Nate Diaz. However, Anthony Pettis is the last guy to hand the current champion a loss, and he’s eagerly awaiting his opportunity to put on a repeat performance. Pettis next fights Donald Cerrone, and the winner of that bout should earn a shot versus the champ.

Pettis and Cerrone, like Henderson, are WEC veterans that can scrap. Both are guys that should be No. 1 contenders, and one will emerge as such after they meet in Chicago.

Nate Diaz vs. Gray Maynard

A split decision defines the fight records of these two lightweight contenders.

Diaz and Maynard fought to the contentious verdict in Jan. 2010, but after the loss, Diaz moved up to welterweight for a four-fight stretch.  Meanwhile, Maynard used the win as a springboard to a title eliminator bout with Kenny Florian and two title tilts against Frankie Edgar.

Diaz has jiu-jitsu to counter Maynard’s wrestling. Anytime you get a guy that can counter whatever a wrestler throws at him, you have yourself a winner. If you were to look at both guy’s stand-up, it is almost even. Diaz has great volume punching, whereas Maynard is a power guy.

With both men looking to reestablish themselves atop the list of lightweight contenders, it makes sense to let these two seek a more definitive win in a rematch.

Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jon Jones/Chael Sonnen winner

Gustafsson might not be quite ready yet, but everyone seems to think he is. So, let him fight the champ. If he fails, it proves that he needed more experience.

Gustafsson isn’t ready for Jon Jones. Hell, Hurricane Katrina isn’t ready for Jon Jones. At this point, he stands head and shoulders above the rest of the light heavyweight division as the man.

However, Gustafsson has the size and skill to challenge the champ, and he quite possibly secured his chance with a win over former champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Phil Davis

Phil Davis lost an opponent in Forrest Griffin at UFC 155. He will now have to wait for a new opponent and a new date, but Shogun is not too damaged.

If Davis wins, he is a title contender. Should he lose, he is back to the middle of the division. And a victory for Shogun puts him right back in the title hunt.

Rory MacDonald vs. Johny Hendricks

Johny Hendricks said he won’t fight until he gets a title shot. Good, go sit on the sideline somewhere while the men sort things out with their fists.

Hendricks wants GSP. If you want to prove you can fight GSP, he should rethink his decision and look to beat GSP’s protege. Rory MacDonald is as bad as they come. Beat him, and a shot at GSP awaits.

The welterweight division is a lion’s den. If MacDonald wants to be the guy that carries the division, he needs to continually beat the best guys. Hendricks thinks he’s the best thing since sliced bread, so let MacDonald test that assumption.

BJ Penn vs. Mark Bocek

B.J. Penn needs an opponent, and he also needs to shift back to the lightweight division. Not many opponents are available, but Bocek is a guy that could bring a great fight out of Penn.

Assuming that Penn does not retreat into retirement once more, a final run at lightweight is a perfect move for “The Prodigy.”

Photo: Nate Diaz (L) gives Benson Henderson the finger during their lightweight championship bout at UFC on Fox 5 (Paul Thatcher/Fight! Magazine)

About The Author

Riley Kontek
Staff Writer

Riley Kontek is a Chicago-land native that has been an addict of mixed martial arts since the first Chuck Liddell-Tito Ortiz encounter. He has been writing on MMA for the last year and is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. In addition to that, he used to host a weekly radio show on MMA. Though he has no formal training in mixed martial arts, Riley is a master in the art of hockey fighting.