Posted by Hurricane_Brad
Forrest's win was definitely huge, but lets not forget that Jardine's win was also huge. The Dean of Mean also has a recent TKO victory over Griffin, which is further complicated by Jardine's KO loss to Alexander. The easiest solution that comes to mind is have Forrest vs Jardine 2 for the number 1 contender spot. Wandy still needs to win a fight (maybe against the winner of Evans - Ortiz 2?) before he fights for the title, IMO. Alexander should fight Machida, and Shogun should fight Hendo to determine who will challenge for the title after the winner of Jardine - Griffin 2.
Good post, but I disagree with a few points you made. I think Forrest sent out a big message, and placed himself in title contention with the win over Rua. I think you're absolutely right with the fact that Jardine has KO'd Griffin, and there should be a rematch. Although Griffin's win was huge, Jardine's was equally huge (possibly bigger). Everyone has been ragging on Liddell lately since he lost to Jackson, but the guy is still a future UFC hall of famer, and up until recently seemed unstoppable in the UFC (after all that's the organization we're talking about). So I feel Jardine's win puts him higher in the ranking than Griffin. That being said, I don't think either of them deserve a shot at the title until that rematch takes place, but definitely don't think anyone should get it before one of these two do.
As for Wandy, I think the best thing for him (and to hype the fight) is to give him at least 2 fights before a title shot. Sure he has fought in the UFC before, but that's been quite a while back. Irregardless of how good he is, it would be smarter for him to have a couple fights to get the feel of the Octagon again. Not to mention since the Pride fighters haven't done so well in the transition... with a couple of wins (instead of losses) in the UFC that shakes any theory that Wandy will fall to the recent "Pride effect". I don't think anyone should get an immediate title shot (again) no matter how great they were in another organization. That could really hurt someone's career. Irregardless of what the die hard MMA fan may think, the mass audience doesn't know everyone's backstory and could care less about a guy who loses a couple of times. In either case, if you put Wandy against Tito, then you have a marketable fight because Tito has beaten him before (probably can't again though). But if Evans wins, I don't think he's necessarily earned a fight with Wandy though (but it would be a good fight to throw Wandy).
I feel the same about Alexander fighting Machida. Machida isn't very well known (Alexander only is because of Jardine), but Alexander's win over Jardine put him closer to the spotlight. I know being known has little effect on your ability, but it affects your marketability. Zuffa might not believe they could sell too many Jackson vs Machida (or Alexander) tickets. Not that I think either of them deserve a title shot at the moment anyway.
Hendo vs Shogun might not be the best matchup for either of their careers. They are both coming off losses, and to pair them up means one will lose again (unless there is a draw). Inevitably the name of the game is selling tickets and ppv's, and it would be harder to sell tickets or ppv's to a guy coming off 2 losses. And with Hendo and Shogun you still have a great deal of marketability. I don't think either of the two deserve a title shot just yet even if they win their next fight. I say they both need at least 2 wins.
So I think throw Shogun and Bisping together, ultimately putting Shogun right back in the spotlight. They could end up playing it off that the UFC transition got the best of him, and you've got another highly marketable fight (as long as he didn't lose to Bisping) to follow.
With Hendo, I think you could put him against the loser of the Griffin/Jardine rematch. Then if he wins, put him against whoever loses the title fight between Jackson and the the winner of the Griffin/Jardine fight. Then another title shot for Hendo if he wins both.