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UFC 156: What’s Next For The Winners

The first UFC pay-per-view is in the books, as UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar is over with. So, the obvious question now is, what’s next?

Who gets the shot at trying to knock off UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo after he fended off Frankie Edgar?

How about the UFC heavyweight title picture? Alistair Overeem was expected to get the next shot, but he was knocked cold by Antonio Silva. Is “Bigfoot” the new No. 1 contender?

And where does Antonio Rogerio Nogueira go after defeating former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans in the co-main event?

Let’s take a look at what could be next for the winners from UFC 156:

Jose Aldo

Ricardo Lamas wants Aldo after defeating Erik Koch just over a week ago. Anthony Pettis fired off a text to UFC president Dana White Saturday saying he would be interested in moving down to featherweight and taking on Aldo.

There’s also Chan Sung Jung, “The Korean Zombie,” who has been recovering from surgery after a win over Dustin Poirier.

Personally, the most intriguing match would be Aldo-Pettis, as “Showtime” has such a high-level offense that he could give Aldo fits.

Lamas, however, is the most worthy 145-pounder out there next for Aldo. He’s won four straight since entering the UFC, including wins over Cub Swanson and Hatsu Hioki.

Antonio Rogerio Nogueria

The 36-year-old Nogueira earned his second straight victory over a former UFC champion, adding Rashad Evans to his resume along with Tito Ortiz.

Did Nogueira’s victory jump him over the Alexander Gustafsson. No, it did not, but it positioned him for another marquee bout at 205 pounds.

Glover Teixeira is sitting out there, looking for a quick return to the Octagon. How about pairing the two Brazilians together at the next card in the country? That would make for an excellent co-main event to Fabricio Werdum-Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who are expected to collide after coaching on TUF: Brazil.

Antonio Silva

Defeating Alistair Overeem makes quite the impact, and doing it in the fashion that Silva did is an even more “I am here, and I want the title” statement.

Silva now owns victories over the likes of Overeem, Fedor Emelianenko, Andrei Arlovski and Travis Browne, but he’s still at least one win from a rematch with Cain Velasquez.

Remember, Velasquez left “Bigfoot” in a puddle of his own blood last year, earning a TKO victory in the first round.

Silva’s situation is a tricky one, as his exact placement in the division is hard to figure out. Maybe a bout with the winner of Frank Mir-Daniel Cormier makes sense, as Cormier defeated Silva back in 2011.

Demian Maia

What an impact Maia has had in the welterweight divison since moving down from middleweight.

Maia’s win over Jon Fitch impressed everyone, as he pinned Fitch to the ground and out-wrestled the wrestler. His third straight win in the division leaves him in the Top-10, and awaiting UFC 158 to take place for his next opponent.

That’s because UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz features the rest of the welterweight’s elite, all matched up in somewhat of a tournament event. Maia vs. the winner of Rory MacDonald-Carlos Condit would be a perfect test for the former 185-pound top contender.

Joseph Benavidez

Benavidez hinted that he might not push for a rematch with Demetrious Johnson for the UFC flyweight title after besting Ian McCall Saturday.

The 125-pound division is lacking in true contenders right now, so it could be hard to pair Johnson with anyone other than Benavidez at this moment.

However, there are a few choices out there, including John Moraga. The 28-year-old Moraga has won both of his UFC bouts by stoppage, and would test Benavidez and likely give the UFC another main card-worthy flyweight.