What’s Next For UFC 187’s Big Winners?

Daniel Cormier:

Cormier claimed the vacant light-heavyweight title on Saturday night and then looked into the camera and told former champ Jon Jones to ‘get your sh*t together’ so they could have a rematch and establish a true, undisputed champion once again.

Unfortunately it doesn’t seem likely that’s going to be Cormier’s next fight as Jones is facing serious charges in relation to his hit-and-run incident last month which left a pregnant woman with a broken arm, with a prison sentence being a real possibility.

So the UFC will have to look further afield for a suitable opponent, and it’s perhaps a reflection of where the division is at in 2015 that the best option right now appears to be Ryan Bader who’s just moved up to the No.3 contender spot.

That’s not a fight that’s going to instantly get fans excited, though Cormier and Bader were doing their best to spice things up by engaging in a war of words at Saturday night’s UFC 187 post-fight press conference.

Chris Weidman:

There may not be too many great options for Cormier at 205lbs, but it’s a different scenario for Weidman after he retained his middleweight title with a first round stoppage against Belfort in the co-main event.

There’s two clear options for him now, with Luke Rockhold and Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza both champing at the bit for the opportunity.  Either would be an excellent match-up for the champion and it’s going to be a tough choice for the UFC to choose between them.

If we go purely by record then ‘Jacare’ has earned the opportunity with five straight victories in the Octagon to date, while Rockhold has had a 4-1 run, with his only blemish being a loss to Belfort in his debut.

Rockhold is however actually ranked as the current No.1 contender and has a little more momentum given that he’s just defeated recent title contender Lyoto Machida, while due to his original opponent being injured ‘Jacare’ had to make do with demolishing late replacement Chris Camozzi for a second time.

‘Jacare’ had also recently announced he was going to get knee surgery which would keep him out until September, so personally I’d opt for Weidman Vs Rockhold at this stage, but White seemed to be leaning a little more towards the Brazilian post-fight at UFC 187.

Donald Cerrone:

Cerrone was always the favorite heading into his fight with Makdessi on Saturday night, but nonetheless he still handled his business in impressive fashion.

That leaves him on a terrific eight fight winning streak and with Khabib Nurmagomedov still out injured ‘Cowboy’ is now all but guaranteed to be getting a long awaited lightweight title shot against the current champion Rafael dos Anjos, who also just happens to be the last man to defeat him in the Octagon.

Andrei Arlovski:

You’ve got to take your hat off to Arlovski who’s really making the most of his return to the UFC and produced one of the most unexpected comeback stories we’ve seen in the promotion since fellow heavyweight veteran Mark Hunt went on a winning streak a few years ago.

With three wins under his belt Arlovski stands tall at No.4 in the heavyweight rankings and with the division not exactly being awash with suitable contenders at this moment in time, he’s not far of a title shot that would have seemed unthinkable just a year ago.

As such there’s a good chance Arlovski will now be thrust into a No.1 contender bout with Stipe Miocic who’s just one place above him at No.3 in the rankings.

On the other hand, if Miocic is going to head straight into a title fight next then Arlovski Vs Alistair Overeem could be a fun one.

Joseph Benavidez:

Benavidez proved once again that he’s good enough to beat pretty much everyone else other than the champion in the flyweight division as he defeated Moraga to extend his current unbeaten run to three fights.

If he keeps winning it’s only a matter of time before he gets another shot at ‘Mighty Mouse’ since there’s few other viable challengers left out there, but I’d imagine they’ll be looking to give John Dodson that opportunity first.

That leaves few options for opponents that Benavidez hasn’t already fought in the top 10 rankings.  Henry Cejudo would be a possibility, but it’d be better for him to get more experience under his belt first, so lets go with recent title challenger Kyoji Horiguchi instead.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously FightOfTheNight.com) in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.