FIGHTS TO MAKE NEXT: After UFC Fight Night 92, what’s next for the top winners and losers?

By Joel Wielenga, MMATorch contributor

Yair Rodriguez (photo credit Joshua Dahl © USA Today)

Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 92 was not the most entertaining card that you are ever going to see. However, there were some fun fights with results that should push fighters to the next stages of their careers if they get the right next match-ups. Here are some fights that I think would make sense after Saturday’s card.

Top Winners

Yair Rodriguez

Rodriguez picked up a big win Saturday night and stayed undefeated in the UFC. It was a fun fight and I think he is ready to fight someone in the top ten to see how he fairs. A fight with Jeremy Stephens makes a lot of sense. Stephens is coming of his own impressive win over former champ Renan Barao; a win for either man would cement their place as a contender in the featherweight division. A fight between these two would also be must-see TV as they are both exciting fighters.

Next Fight vs. Jeremy Stephens

Dennis Bermudez

After his win, Bermudez called out Frankie Edgar. While I think it would be a great chance for Bermudez to prove himself, I do not think it is the route the UFC will go. I would like to see Bermudez fight fellow UFC Fight Night 92 winner Cub Swanson next instead. Both men are top ten featherweights who have struggled to win against the very best in the division. However, the winner of this fight would put himself in line for another shot at a top guy.

Next Fight vs. Cub Swanson

Thales Leites

Leites is the type of guy who is always going to be about the tenth or eleventh best middleweight in the UFC. He is going to lose most fights with anyone in the top ten, but if he fights anyone else he is probably going to win. With Dan Henderson getting the title shot at middleweight there are going to be a lot of top contenders who might have to take another fight. This could be beneficial for Leites as he could very well be matched up with one of them. Looking through the list, a fight with Yoel Romero could make a lot of sense and, while I don’t see Leites doing to well in that fight, anything can happen in MMA.

Next Fight vs. Yoel Romero

Santiago Ponzinibbio

Ponzinibbio got his third straight win on Saturday and is an up-and-comer to watch in the future. A fight against tough veteran Jorge Masvidal would be a nice test for him. If he could pull of the win, he would be able to assert himself as a serious threat in the welterweight division.

Next Fight vs. Jorge Masvidal

Maryna Moroz

She put on a lackluster performance to put it kindly, but a win is a win. I would put her in there with Felice Herrig for her next fight. Herrig also won recently, so a win for either woman would put them in line for a top end fighter in their following fight.

David Teymur

Teymur grabbed his second UFC win again in very impressive fashion. He called for a fight with Sage Northcutt next, but I believe UFC matchmakers will not want to put Sage in there with a guy who has this kind of power. I think a more likely option is a fight with Scott Holtzman. I like this fight and think that it would give both fighters an opportunity to show they’re ready for the next stage.

Next Fight vs. Scott Holtzman

Where to Go Next for the Key Losers:

Alex Caceres

“Bruce Leroy” had his moments in Saturday’s main event but in the end got fairly handled (despite the moronic split decision). He is an exciting fighter, though, and will no doubt continue to give us great fights to watch. I would like to see him take a bounce-back fight versus Thiago Tavares, giving both fighters a chance to get back on the winning side.

Next Fight vs. Thiago Tavares

Rony Jason

With his loss on Saturday, I was considering being lazy and just matching him and Caceres up next, but I think a fight between Jason and Clay Guida could be fun with the loser probably looking for work elsewhere.

Next Fight vs. Clay Guida

Chris Camozzi

If Thales Leites is not beating anyone in the top ten, the same can be said with Camozzi for the top fifteen. He can beat the lower level guys, but do not expect him to beat anyone who is ranked. As for whom he should fight next, I would like to see him take on fellow TUF vet Josh Samman.

Next Fight vs. Josh Samman

Tatsuya Kawajiri

If he still wants to fight, it should not be against a guy in the top fifteen. I would give him Sam Sicilia next.

Next Fight vs. Sam Sicilia

(Joel Wielenga of Abbotsford, BC, Canada is a new contributor to MMATorch as of August 2016. He has followed UFC passionately since 2010 and has since caught up on all past major MMA events. He closely follows UFC, Bellator, and WSOF.)

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