On Friday night we saw a contender emerge victorious, an all out war, and a surprise inhaler. With UFC on ESPN 6 now firmly in the rear view let’s jump straight into some potential matchmaking opportunities for the main card.
Deron Winn – UFC Release
The middleweight wrestler was a perhaps a little unlucky to be on the wrong side of the decision after scoring several takedowns throughout the fight; however he missed weight and he appeared to fade late on. Plenty of potential here; but for now he should revisit some smaller promotions to improve his game, and he will surely be back in the future.
Darren Stewart vs Eryk Anders
Darren Stewart just about did enough on Friday night; it came down to the fact he was in slightly better shape than his opponent as he came on strong after a tough first round, however he was unable to find an answer for Winn’s takedowns. A good next match up would be Eryk Anders, who is coming off a split decision win of his own.
Gillian Robertson vs Roxanne Modaferri
Gillian Robertson may have to take some time off after the first round stoppage loss she suffered at the hands of Maycee Barber. However she is still a solid UFC level fighter; with a record of 4-2 in the promotion. Roxanne Modaferri is another constant in the UFC who has traded wins and losses in recent fights. providing timings line up, a fight between Modaferri and Robertson would allow one of the two women to rebuild some momentum.
Maycee Barber vs Lauren Murphy
Maycee Barber was ferocious even if a little wild in victory in her fight against Gillian Robertson. Unfortunately the women’s Flyweight division is not especially deep at this moment; therefore the best option for her is a quick turnaround fight against grizzled veteran of women’s MMA Lauren Murphy. Murphy possesses crisp technique and a well rounded game which should test Barber’s ability to stay disciplined with her offence inside the cage.
Jonathan Pearce vs Clay Guida
Jonathan Pearce did not enjoy the most pleasant UFC debut against Joe Lauzon, on the receiving end of some nasty ground and pound for a first round loss. However Lauzon is a wily veteran, with the wins Pearce built up prior to his debut, he should get one more chance in the promotion. Clay Guida’s best days are definitely behind him; however he has enough left to be a stern test for the youngster in his next outing.
Joe Lauzon vs Michael Johnson/Stevie Ray winner
Just when people thought he was done, 35 year old fight of the night specialist Joe Lauzon snaps a three fight skid with a vintage finish after a barrage of aggressive ground and pound. It would not however be sensible for him to take a top 15 opponent just yet; he should run it back with the winner of Johnson vs Ray at UFC Fight Night 162; either rematch would be an exciting scrap for a PPV undercard.
Ben Sosoli vs Tai Tuivasa
Sosoli has now had 2 no contests in his last 2 fights, through no fault of his own. However from an objective point of view; he clearly lost this fight, inhalers aside. He never got inside on Hardy and the best match up which immediately springs to mind is fellow slugger Tai Tuivasa, there would likely be some fireworks in this one, with both men being short heavyweights who like to throw hard hooks.
Greg Hardy vs Andrei Arlovski
It is time for Hardy to stop fighting barely UFC-calibre opposition. There was miscommunication between Hardy and the athletic commission which we’re led to believe caused the no contest; however we know Hardy won the fight, and it wasn’t entertaining enough for the UFC to want to run it back. Andrei Arlovski would be a good test for Hardy at this point. The former champion has enough technical skill to outbox Hardy quite comfortably. However the former NFL Lineman’s athleticism; along with Arlovski’s advanced age and questionable chin make the fight compelling, providing the latter gets past Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC 244.
Jeremy Stephens vs Renato Moicano
Stephens may have been defeated Friday night; however he proved he can still put on exciting matchups and showed excellent toughness whilst surviving the second round enslaught from Yair Rodriguez. This being said; he was a class below Rodriguez and has now lost three of his last five fights (the other being the no contest against Rodriguez). Another fan pleasing affair between Stephens and fellow top ten warrior in need of momentum Renato Moicano would be the order of the day right now.
Yair Rodriguez vs Zabit Magomedsharipov/Calvin Kattar winner
Yair Rodriguez is looking more and more like an elite fighter; this is what we learnt from his fight with Jeremy Stephens, a perennial contender who only loses to the very best the division has to offer. A fight between Yair Rodriguez and Zabit Magomedsharipov was mooted before, however for reasons unknown (it is widely suspected Rodriguez declined the fight) the fight never came to pass. Zabit is fighting Calvin Kattar next; who himself has only lost once in the UFC, either would be a fitting next opponent for Rodriguez should they come out on top.
Chris Weidman vs Luke Rockhold 2
In the immediate aftermath; it is being suggested that Chris Weidman should hang up the gloves, due to the number of knockout losses he has sustained recently. Despite this; his skills due seem in tact as he started well against Reyes, using his pressure and wrestling. The question remains his ability to take a shot; which seems to have been lost in his recent fights. Weidman needs to improve his defensive ability, he has a tendency to lunge in with some of his shots, leaving himself susceptible to big counters. Another in the same boat is Luke Rockhold; and a rematch of their middleweight championship fight from December 2015 makes a lot of sense, as one of them will be able to rebuild whilst the other will likely face the axe.
Dominick Reyes vs Jon Jones
Reyes was very impressive vs Chris Weidman; displaying greatly improved takedown defence and the punching power which we already knew he had. Ideally Reyes should not be getting a title shot after beating Chris Weidman, a debutant at 205; however Weidman is a big name and the situation at 205 is difficult to navigate. Jon Jones has already beaten several of the current top ten; so Reyes potentially losing to the likes of Anthony Smith or Glover Teixeira will do very little for the division in terms of establishing a fresh dance partner for Jon Jones. Can Reyes beat Jones? It seems unlikely; but with his array of strikes and his pressure, there is enough there for the most compelling light heavyweight match up available for the champion at this point.
Thank you for reading! Please let me know what you think in the comments section.