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 UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3, which took place on Oct. 19 from the Toyota Center in Houston.

Cain Velasquez vs. Fabricio Werdum

The heavyweight rivalry between champion Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos was put in the books for now, as, on Saturday, Velasquez finished the Brazilian in the fifth round of their rubber match.

The fight itself was grueling, with dos Santos taking a lot of punishment. He was still able to keep things interesting even with his face in a bloody mess. Both men will likely face off again farther down the road before they hang up the gloves, but for now Velasquez will get a fresh challenger for his next title defense.

That challenger will be another Brazilian, Fabricio Werdum. In his second stint in the UFC, the submission specialist is 3-0 with wins over Roy Nelson, Mike Russow and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Werdum has been waiting for Velasquez and dos Santos to settle their feud. Now that they have, he will finally get his chance to face the champion next.

With his grappling advantage, Werdum presents a different challenge for Velasquez. But will the wrestling and power punches be too much for Werdum to overcome in pulling off the upset?

Daniel Cormier vs. Phil Davis

In the co-main event of the evening, Daniel Cormier made his second appearance inside the Octagon and delivered another one-sided performance, this time over Roy Nelson.

Following the win, Cormier confirmed that he will be moving down to 205 pounds, therefore avoiding any potential conflicts with his training partner, reigning heavyweight champ Velasquez. Cormier weighed in at 224 pounds for his fight with Nelson, and he will now cut the additional weight to make light heavyweight for his next outing.

Without a victory in the light heavyweight division, Cormier will need to notch at least one win before getting a shot at champion Jon Jones. Therefore, it makes sense to give Cormier a guy like Phil Davis.

Davis is on a three-fight winning streak, but his last victory over Lyoto Machida was controversial in nature. Regardless, a win is a win, so “Mr. Wonderful” is in the title contention mix. If Cormier is able to make weight and not have any issues when he steps in the cage 20 pounds lighter, it would solidify him as the next man up for Jones.

For Davis, a win over the undefeated Cormier would be huge. That in itself would likely be enough for Davis to leapfrog everyone in his way for a title shot.

Gilbert Melendez vs. T.J. Grant

Gilbert Melendez returned to his winning ways following a narrow decision loss to Benson Henderson. He defeated Diego Sanchez by unanimous decision in a fight fans in Houston and across the world will never forget.

Up next for “El Nino” could be a match-up with T.J. Grant. Grant was expected to be next in line for a title shot on two occasions, but injuries prevented him from fighting. Now, still sidelined, he may have to fight someone not named Anthony Pettis or Josh Thomson before getting his shot.

This sets Grant up to face Melendez, who is one win away from earning another crack at the UFC crown.

Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

After being released by the UFC in 2010, Gabriel Gonzaga’s career appeared to be on a downhill slide. However, the Brazilian was given another chance as an injury replacement and has gone 4-1 since.

“Napao” added the fourth win on Saturday when he knocked out Shawn Jordan with a big counter shot that dropped his opponent. The victory gives Gonzaga seven by knockout.

A possible fight for Gonzaga could come against fellow Brazilian Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. “Big Nog” has been up and down, dating back to 2009, but, even at age 37, he is still a very game opponent for anyone.

Gonzaga has proven he deserves a big-name competitor to boost his stock back up to where it was, and a challenger like Nogueira will give him that opportunity.

John Dodson vs. Demetrious Johnson-Joseph Benavidez winner

Former flyweight title challenger John Dodson returned to the cage following a loss to champion Demetrious Johnson to take on UFC newcomer Darrell Montague.

Dodson displayed his small-but-heavy hands once again by stopping “The Mongoose” in the first round to earn “Knockout of the Night” honors.

After this impressive performance, Dodson could be back in line for a title shot in the shallow flyweight division. Johnson will defend his belt against Joseph Benavidez on Nov. 30, but after that, there is no true No. 1 contender. Dodson is ranked No. 2, so he could be back in a five-round fight soon.

Two other key flyweight bouts this year are Ian McCall vs. Scott Jorgensen and John Moraga vs. Darren Uyenoyama, both at UFC on Fox 9 in December. The assumption has to be that the winners of those bouts will be matched up against each other, instead of one of them facing Dodson.

Hector Lombard vs. Jake Shields

A main-card caliber welterweight fight was featured on the Fox Sports 1 prelims, with Hector Lombard making his 170-pound debut against Nate Marquardt.

Lombard earned a first-round stoppage over the former Strikeforce champion to get back on track following a loss to Yushin Okami.

Up next for “Lightning” should be a clash with another former Strikeforce champion, Jake Shields. If you remember correctly, I said in the UFC Fight Night 29 edition of Fight Destiny that Shields should fight the winner of Lombard-Marquardt, and I’m sticking by my word.

Lombard and Shields makes for an interesting fight. Lombard has one-punch knockout ability, but if the fight goes into the later rounds, then Shields will have the advantage. Shields was able to earn a decision over one of the top contenders in the division, Demian Maia, in his last fight, and another win will put him in the driver’s seat at 170 pounds.

Lombard has been .500 since the UFC signed him, but if he can add another knockout win, it will send a message to the remaining welterweight roster.

Jessica Eye vs. Germaine de Randamie-Amanda Nunes winner

Jessica Eye made her UFC debut on Saturday. Even with people doubting her, she pulled off a decision upset over No. 2-ranked Sarah Kaufman.

Eye has now won her last eight fights. With a victory over someone like Kaufman, Eye, a former flyweight, is right in the mix of a shallow women’s bantamweight division.

Up next for “Evil” Eye should be a bout against the winner of Germaine de Randamie and Amanda Nunes, who are scheduled to meet at the upcoming Fight for the Troops card on Nov. 6.

De Randamie is coming off a split decision nod over Julie Kedzie, and Nunes earned a first-round stoppage over Sheila Gaff in her last fight. Both women are ranked in the lower half of the top 10, which is where Eye resides after Saturday. Having Eye fight the winner of De Randamie-Nunes makes the most sense for the division.

Photo: Cain Velasquez (top) batters Junior Dos Santos (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

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.