The Fantasy Matchmaker is back to make sense of UFC 144. - NBC Sports

The Fantasy Matchmaker is back to make sense of UFC 144.
Who should Benson Henderson defend his title against first?
February 28, 2012, 3:02 pm

The Fantasy Matchmaker is back to make sense of UFC 144. Who should Benson Henderson defend his title against first? What's next for Frankie Edgar? Will "Sexyama" get one more shot in the UFC? All those questions and many more are answered below.

Benson Henderson: Anthony Pettis.

If life were truly fair, Frankie Edgar would get another shot at Benson Henderson after having to fight both BJ Penn and Gray Maynard as champion. But with a potential Ben Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis rematch right there for the taking, the UFC has to book that right now. Something tells me Edgar will be fighting for the strap sometime again in 2012 anyway.

Frankie Edgar: Joe Lauzon

Edgar said he doesn't want to move down to 145 right now. Fair enough. As a result, I would like to see him fight Lauzon, who obviously didn't look good against Pettis at UFC 144. The reason I'm thinking Lauzon is because all the other top lightweights are already booked.

Ryan Bader: Phil Davis.

I don't think Bader is ready for the Ruas of the world, so I would like to see fight fellow wrestler Davis in a fight that could very well be contested mostly standing.

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson: Rich Franklin.

A war of words between Jackson and Franklin broke out just hours before UFC 144, and since it seems like Jackson needs a little extra motivation these days, a fight against "Ace" could very well do the trick.

Mark Hunt: Stefan Struve.

Sure, Hunt has been the recipient of some favorable matchmaking as of late, but c'mon, I dare you to find me one person who hasn't been getting a kick out of his recent UFC run. A fight against Struve would be a fun one.

Cheick Kongo: Roy Nelson.

Both men are coming off losses, both need to get back on track.

Jake Shields: Diego Sanchez.

It doesn't sound like Sanchez is interested in moving back down to 155, and while I know the UFC shies away from booking a recent winner vs. loser, this seems to be the only fight that makes sense for Shields right now.

Yoshihiro Akiyama: Mike Pierce.

A loss to Pierce would surely single the end of "Sexyama's" UFC run.

Tim Boetsch: Chris Weidman.

The winner of this fight could make a strong case for being a top-5 middleweight.

Hatsu Hioki: Jose Aldo.

I commend Hioki for saying he isn't ready for Aldo, but honestly, who else is out there for the champ to fight?

Anthony Pettis: Ben Henderson.

The time is now to make this rematch happen. Their confidence is through the roof, and I haven't seen the "Showtime Kick" in a couple weeks. Let's do this.

Other fights to make:

Yushin Okami vs. Demian Maia

Joe Lauzon vs. Frankie Edgar

Takanori Gomi vs. Yves Edwards

Riki Fukuda vs. Ronny Markes

Vaughan Lee vs. Jared Papazian