UFC 134: Who Should the Winner of Shogun vs. Griffin Fight Next?

Kyle ZALLContributor IIIAugust 26, 2011

Finally the day is upon us. UFC 134 is here.

The promotion’s event in Rio will pit ex-champions Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Forrest Griffin against one another in what many feel will be an epic rematch or their bout from UFC 76.

In that fight, which was Shogun’s first in the UFC, Griffin pulled off the huge upset by pulling a rear-naked choke out of his pocket towards the end of the third round.

The reason this fight seems to garner so much attention to this day is not just because these two fighters are beloved by fans, but because Shogun fans have excuses wrapped all around this fight from 2007.

Shogun had just come off of a serious knee surgery and apparently was not able to train properly for the fight. This seems to have been a theme for his career in the UFC. That is why there are such things as rematches. Shogun fans will point to this fight and say if Shogun was right, he would have won.

Fights like this are why there are such things as rematches.

The rematch is taking place as part of the co-main event of one of the most talked about cards in the promotion’s history.

This is a big deal.

This showdown between two past champions begs us to ask what looms for the winner after this fight down in South America?

I don’t know what the answer is, but I know what it should be. Dan Henderson should be waiting for the winner. They should even have Dan come into the cage after the fight and challenge the winner WWE style. That would just be perfect.

The victor taking on Dan Henderson is the only fight that makes sense for the weight division. 

Basically, everyone assumes that Hendo crossing over to the UFC is inevitable. So, let's assume for a second this is true. Henderson can't just walk over Nick Diaz-style and get an immediate title shot, Rashad is already next in line. Barring an injury, he has to wait for his shot. So Henderson needs at least one fight before he gets a shot.

Who that is will be the question.

Henderson can’t fight Rampage again, that has already happened and no one is clamoring to see a rematch of that.

Well what about Jones if he gets upset in September? No way, everyone already decided Jones is inhuman and cannot lose. He will not be upset. It is impossible. Stop even considering it.

Okay, now that we have that settled, how about Machida? Let's be honest, after the “Anderson Silva money” fiasco it is hard to see Dana White showing him much love anytime soon.

Following this logic most likely leaves one legit contender (the winner in Rio), that it would make sense for Hendo to fight to challenge for the title. So let's go ahead and have the winner smack heads with Henderson. It makes perfect sense to me.

Not only does such a match up make sense from a match-making point of view, but what better fight could there be than with one of these warriors and Henderson? None.

This matchup would pit two of the more exciting fighters in the promotion against one another. Someone is going to get beat up. Also, neither Shogun nor Griffin has ever squared off against Henderson before. If they did for the first time it would become a huge draw and would bring a ton of attention to whatever card it is pinned to.

I am not a professional matchmaker, but I feel seeing former champions take on former champions is always a recipe for success.

Realistically, this could be a main event on any card. Who knows? There was talk earlier this week about Henderson debuting on the Fox card in November; this could fit the bill. What a way to make your debut on Fox than with a matchup of this caliber.

This is all speculation, but it seems to make total sense. It’s a perfect match. Who do you think the winner should get next?

This fight on Saturday should be one to remember as Shogun tries to even the score with Forrest. It is happening in his back yard and face it, the winner deserves to make another run in what is a shallow (yet extremely top heavy) light heavyweight division.

No matter how this fights on Saturday ends up, I know two things for certain. First, it is going to be awesome. And second, Dan Henderson needs to fight the winner.