UFC 84 Aftermath **SPOILERS**
***SPOILERS THROUGHOUT, READ AT YOUR OWN RISK***
So, in the aftermath of UFC 84, what happens for all involved from here in terms of matchups? The light heavy division was the most interesting, and it just got a little clearer IMO. We now have a good amount of interesting matchups and places to go from here in LHW.
Jardine is no longer the odd man out, as he moves down the top 10 list. That pretty much just leaves Rashad Evans as a maybe-sorta-kinda contender until he decisively beats someone top 10. Thaigo Silva also moves up, but he still needs a big win to move into #1 contender status. I'd be interested in a Silva-Evans co-main event to determine (for lack of a better term) #2 contender status around UFC 87 or 88. It'd be a good matchup too, 2 strong wrestlers, only this time (unlike the Tito-Evans fight) they both have pretty good striking. Sokoudjou also made a case for staying within the top 10 in LHW and showed some really nice technical kickboxing. Now he just needs to prove he has a groundgame.
My favorite part of the LHW shake-out is that we may get to see a Wanderlei-Lyoto fight. Personally, I think it'd be pure awesome. I'm a big Lyoto fan, but his fight against Tito was on the boring side, save a few choice moments. Usually that's enough because he stays somewhat active with leg kicks, jabs, etc. but Tito was afraid to press the action too much and Machida needs an aggressive opponent to be entertaining. Wandy, on the other hand, is pure brawl.
Machida-Silva would be my dream matchup for #1 contender, because their styles allow both of them to play to their strengths somewhat. Machida needs an aggressor in order to counter effectively, he can use his sumo takedowns to avoid the clinch, and he has better BJJ than Wandy on the ground. On the other hand, Machida's one glaring weakness is an unwillingness, and even a fear of being drawn into a brawl. If Wandy can overload Lyoto's defense, he could overwhelm him with those wild hooks, negate takedowns by the MT clinch and GnP through Lyoto's submissions. I think it'd be an exciting fight, and a great test for both of them. Machida would either prove he can handle and is not afraid of a brawl, or would learn that he needs to learn how to brawl. Wandy on the other hand, would prove (now that he clearly has his edge back) that he still has the skills, and not just the heart of 2001 Wanderlei.
In LW, the question is whether BJ will stay and defend his belt or move up to WW to challenge GSP. I hope he'll defend the belt at least twice because he still needs to cement his legacy at LW. Winning it once is not enough for a man of his talent. One of the better surprises of the night was Rousimar Palhares dominating Saliverry and emerging as a possible contender for the MW belt. As Rogan said, MW desperately needs new talent (especially submission specialists) to challenge Anderson Silva. Maybe a sub-off bout between Demian Maia and Palhares in the future?