Wanderlei Silva: After an amazing resurgent performance against Brian Stan, Silva is due for another big name opponent. The entire night captured the nostalgic feelings of PRIDE so why not continue those feelings and match up Silva with Dan Henderson? Henderson is coming off a loss to Lyoto Machida and is no longer in the title picture at 205. We’ve seen two great matches in PRIDE and a third matchup between the two veterans could be a perfect headliner for the next UFC card in Japan.
Mark Hunt: The former PRIDE star is now on a 4-fight win streak in the shallowest division in MMA. He has gone from a possible cut to a guy who is on the cusp of a title shot. Now, there are a few guys at the top of the division who would wipe the floor with him. But against Frank Mir who tends to wilt when faced with big power, he could get inside on Mir early and land big punches on him. If he could fight off Mir’s mediocre wrestling game, he might be able to put away the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and get one step closer to a title fight.
Diego Sanchez: He didn’t look very impressive but he did get the win over Gomi. He is now due for a step up in competition. A top-25 guy like Jamie Varner could be an interesting style matchup for “The Dream.”
Yushin Okami: Okami continues to solider on in the welterweight division after defeating Hector Lombard. He’s not the most exciting fighter and I don’t see him getting himself in the discussion for a rematch with Anderson Silva soon. But, he can still serve the UFC well as a high level gatekeeper. Constantinos Philippou and Jacare Souza are two rising fighters in the UFC; Okami would be a good test for the winner of that bout which takes place in May in Brazil.
Rani Yahya: He keeps winning but it’s hard to be impressed with a featherweight who gasses hard in almost all of his bouts. Manny Gamburian needs a fight after dropping out of his bout with Chad Mendes. It would be an interesting matchup of striker vs. grappler and we might be able to see whether or not Yahya is for real.
Dong-Hyun Kim: John Hathaway is getting closer to a title shot and Dong-Hyun Kim is making his own case for a shot at St. Pierre’s belt. Putting the two together will show us whether or not John Hathaway can handle Kim, who has a similar smothering top-game as the champion.
What do you think fight fans? Get at me @samgenovese on Twitter.