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Matches to Make after UFC 183

(Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz)

UFC 183 is in the books. While the night ended with a very weird bout between Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz, it was one of the year’s most entertaining cards to date. Some of the night’s top performers included main card winners Al Iaquinta and Thiago Alves, but plenty of competitors on the undercard put forth career defining performances. Take a look below to see what matches should be next for all of UFC 183’s winners and losers.

Anderson Silva

(Anderson Silva celebrates KO victory vs. Vitor Belfort)

After over a year of speculation, Anderson Silva returned to the UFC and showed that he is still able to compete with the promotion’s elite. While he did beat a fighter that usually competes at welterweight in Nick Diaz, it was an impressive feat none the less.

To overcome both the physical and mental obstacles of a broken leg is something only the best can do and Silva did both with ease. He peppered Diaz with kicks from his formerly broken leg and showed the same confidence long time fans of “The Spider” have come to expect.

With that being said, it may be time for Silva to hang up his gloves for good. The way he fell to his knees crying after being announced the winner showed me that this fight was possibly just his way of proving that he could comeback from something as harrowing as a broken leg. The win over Diaz would be the perfect way to go out, but I think Silva has one more fight left in him. Here’s a bold prediction for 2015: Anderson Silva will fight Georges St. Pierre in his retirement bout before the year is out.

Tyron Woodley

Photo via BleacherReport.com

Saying that Tyron Woodley had a bumpy road to UFC 183 would be an understatement. The Ferguson, Missouri resident had to deal with protests and riots that tore his hometown apart, was ripped by the MMA community for declining to fight teammate Hector Lombard, and nearly did not fight at UFC 183 due to his opponent Kelvin Gastelum missing weight by ten pounds. Still, Woodley persevered and picked up a close split decision victory. The win pushed Woodley to 4-1 in his last five bouts with three of those wins coming against top fifteen opponents. Even with his recent success, Woodley’s most recent loss to Rory MacDonald will keep him out of a title fight for the time being. A match-up with the winner of Demian Maia vs. Ryan LaFlare would be a good fit for Woodley.

Al Iaquinta


“Raging” Al Iaquinta is making quite the name for himself in the UFC’s lightweight division. The Ultimate Fighter Live runner-up picked up his third straight win with a second round TKO of veteran Joe Lauzon. Iaquinta once again showed his brutal power as he had Lauzon wobbling around the cage like someone who had one to many drinks before the referee mercifully stepped in. The Long Island resident deserves a step-up in competition but he should not be rushed in to face the division’s elite. A bout between Iaquinta and the winner of UFC 184’s Tony Ferguson vs. Yancy Medieros fight makes all the sense in the world.

Thales Leites

(Photo: Warren Little/ Zuffa LLC.)
(Photo: Warren Little/ Zuffa LLC.)

Who saw Thales Leites becoming a legit contender in 2015? The former UFC Middleweight title challenger was ousted from the UFC in 2009 after uninspiring losses to Anderson Silva and Alessio Sakara. Leites’ second round submission over Tim Boetsch this past Saturday was his fifth in a row since returning to the UFC in 2013 and firmly places him 2-3 wins away from a title shot. The only way for Leites to go from here is up. He needs to take on a top ten fighter in his next bout and put a stamp on his comeback. A bout with the winner of UFC 186’s Michael Bisping vs. C.B. Dollaway fight should be next for the Brazilian.

Thiago Alves

Photo via UFC.com & Getty Images
Photo via UFC.com & Getty Images

For a round it looked like Thiago Alves was competing at UFC 183 as a sacrificial lamb for fast rising prospect Jordan Mein. Alves was soundly outstruck and rocked by the young Canadian in the first round and looked to be on his way to a decisive loss. That all changed moments into the second round as Alves landed a brutal body kick that put Mein down and out for good. Alves has seemed a step slow since returning from his two year layoff and may have his best days behind him. A fight with another young gun in Lorenz Larkin would be a perfect way for Alves to prove me wrong.

The Rest of the Card:

Nick Diaz vs. Matt Brown

Kelvin Gastelum vs. Tim Kennedy

Joe Lauzon vs. Abel Trujillo

Tim Boetsch vs. James Te-Huna

Jordan Mein vs. Siyar Bahadurzada

Miesha Tate vs. Sarah Kaufman

Sara McMann vs. Holly Holm/Raquel Pennington loser

Derek Brunson vs. Brad Tavares

Ed Herman vs. Antonio Braga Neto

John Lineker vs. Francisco Rivera

Ian McCall vs. Louis Gaudinot

Rafael Natal vs. Robert Whittaker

Tom Watson vs. Jake Collier

Illdemar Alcantara vs. Daniel Sarafian

Thiago Santos vs. Dan Kelly