Post-UFC 204 matchmaking: what’s next for the winners?

Here are some potential matches for the standout winners and main card fighters of UFC 204: Bisping vs. Henderson 2.

UFC 204 saw middleweight champion Michael Bisping make history in the main event against the legendary Dan Henderson. By successfully defending his title, Bisping surpassed Georges St-Pierre for the most wins in UFC history with 20. He also avenged his 2009 loss to Henderson, who landed a brutal knockout blow that has been played over and over on highlight reels in the years since.

In the co-main event, Gegard Mousasi put former light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort away with a relentless barrage of strikes. Mousasi, who is dissatisfied with his status in the middleweight division, has recently become more vocal in his campaign to run through the best of the 185-pounders.

The rest of the card featured several other impressive finishing performances. The standout moments were Stefan Struve’s D’arce choke on Daniel Omielańczuk, Jimi Manuwa’s crushing knockout of Ovince St-Preux and Mirsad Bektić’s rear-naked choke over Russel Doane. Oh, and don’t forget Iuri Alcantara, who landed a spinning elbow on Brad Pickett before sinking in a triangle choke. Let’s see if we can figure out what will come next for UFC 204’s victorious fighters.

Iuri Alcantara

Alcantara (34-7-1 NC) put on one of the best performances of his octagon career. Pickett is always a game opponent, but Alcantara simply had his way with him. He impressed on the feet by landing a hard spinning elbow and followed up on the mat with an onslaught of ground strikes and some slick grappling. Alcantara was two steps ahead of Pickett during their roll. The Brazilian gained the mount and went for a mounted triangle. Pickett rolled and Alcantara transitioned to an armbar. When Pickett tried to step over the armbar, Alcantara transitioned back to the triangle — that was all she wrote for Pickett. Spending time at Jackson Wink MMA definitely seems to have benefited the Brazilian fighter.

Pickett is a solid veteran, so this is certainly a credible victory, but the Brit hasn’t been performing well lately, so the win might not do much for Alcantara’s standing in an increasingly crowded bantamweight division. Maybe it moves him into the top 15. What matters most for Alcantara is that he avoided consecutive loses and he got back in the win column after losing to Jimmie Rivera in January at UFC on FOX 18. He can probably expect his next opponent to be around the top 15. How about Eddie Wineland or Thomas Almeida?

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