I'll Take This One Joe - Post UFC 146 MatchmakingUFC 146 is in the books, with some huge knockouts, slick submissions, huge upsets, and enough claret to fill a blood bank. Now the dust has settled, i will be giving UFC matchmaker Joe Silva the day off, and throwing up some potential next matchups for some of the guys who were in action. None of these are official in any way, shape or form, just personal opinion.
JUNIOR "CIGANO" DOS SANTOS (15-1)
JDS entered the octagon at UFC 146 as a heavy favourite to score the knockout win over former two time champion, Frank Mir, and he didn't disappoint, picking apart his opponent, before ending the fight mid way through round two. It was the Brazilian's tenth straight win, his first successful title heavyweight defence, and it makes him an impressive 9-0 in the UFC.
In an ideal world, i would love to see Junior dos Santos square off with recent Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix winner, Daniel Cormier. Unfortunately, it seems Cormier will have to kick his heels and fight once more in Strikeforce before making the jump over to UFC. That leaves a lack of any real deserving contenders in the division, nobody is really standing out as deserving. With that said, the most likely and attractive matchup available is a rematch with Cain Velasquez, who squeezed a pint of blood out of Antonio Silva in the co-main event. It's a rematch that people want to see, and would likely deliver a real challenge for the champ.
JUNOR DOS SANTOS VS. CAIN VELASQUEZ II
FRANK MIR (16-6)
Despite the loss to Junior dos Santos at UFC 146, Frank Mir is still a very dangerous and highly ranked heavyweight, and is always in and around the heavyweight title mix. Mir holds records in the UFC, and still has plenty of fight left in him. There is no shame in losing to the champion, so i can't see him losing too much credit for the loss.
As i'm sure a lot of you have heard, there are rumblings that former UFC champion, and Frank Mir nemesis, Brock Lesnar, may be showing some signs of an MMA comeback. Whilst i'd like to see that fight, it's far too speculative right now to make. Instead, i'd like to see Mir up against fellow Jiu-Jitsu wizard and fellow top ten ranked heavyweight, Fabricio Werdum. Both men have solid striking and world class grappling skills, and i think they match up perfectly. First up, Werdum will have to navigate his way past Mike Russow next month at UFC 147, which wont be easy. But win or lose, i think it's a make sense fight for both guys.
FRANK MIR VS. FABRICIO WEDRUM
DAN "THE OUTLAW" HARDY (24-10-1)
Dan Hardy went in to UFC 146 having been awarded second and third chances to remain in the UFC. Three straight losses usually result in a fighter being released from the UFC, losing four and still having a job is a god damned miracle. How Hardy clung to his job is anyone's guess, but he made his last chance count, by scoring a TKO win over Duane Ludwig, giving him a fat dirty scar in the process. The win kept Hardy in a job, and at the very least, earned him one more fight.
Now, despite being an Englishman, i agree with the majority who said Hardy deserved to be cut after losing to Lytle. So one win over an admittedly tough Ludwig wont see me getting carried away and clamouring for a top ten opponent. Next up for Hardy, i say give him Yoshihiro Akiyama, a man who is in the exact same spot Hardy was, having lost his last four, and now currently sitting in the last chance saloon. It would be an entertaining fight between two men who need to earn back a lot of the credit there losing streaks cost them.
DAN HARDY VS. YOSHIHIRO AKIYAMA
PAUL SASS (13-0)
At UFC 146, English grappling standout Paul Sass earned the biggest win of his career so far, when he slapped his legendary triangle choke on tough lightweight Jacob Volkmann, a fighter who was riding a five fight win streak, and was known for grinding out results. It took Sass less than two minutes to slap on his signature move, taking him to a 3-0 UFC record, and earning him a step up in quality.
As for whom that step up should be, after taking a look at the current shark infested 155lb division, i came up with Mark Bocek. The little Canadian has won his last two, is a force to be reckoned with on the ground, and would likely prove a huge test for the still improving Sass. Bocek last fought at UFC 145, so the timing for his next fight should sync up well with the Englishman.
PAUL SASS VS. MARK BOCEK
ROY "BIG COUNTRY" NELSON (17-7)
The big bellied, shaggy bearded heavyweight veteran got a much needed win at UFC 146, and did it in classic style, by landing that huge right hand on the chin of Dave Herman, making him drop like Bambi on ice. It was only Nelson's second win in five fights, and it likely kept the iron chinned fat man in a job.
Next up for Nelson, i'd like to see him go against Stipe Miocic, another heavyweight who scored an impressive win at UFC 146, defeating Shane Del Rosario via bloody TKO. It's the perfect step up for Miocic, who has now won three straight in the promotion. Whilst for Nelson, it's another tough and credible opponent to keep him ticking over until he can string together enough wins to earn his own step up in quality.
ROY NELSON VS. STIPE MIOCIC
GLOVER "THE BAKER" TEIXEIRA (18-2)
Hidden deep in the undercard of UFC 146 is arguably one of the brightest prospects in the light heavyweight division. 32 year old Glover Teixeira was making his debut for the UFC, and managed to score an impressive first round submission over Kyle Kingsbury. The win was the Brazilian's sixteenth straight victory, a streak which includes notable wins over Rameau Sokodjou, Marvin Eastman, and Ricco Rodriguez. Even more impressive, is that 15 of those 16 wins have come via some form of stoppage....that's right Addicts, this guy knows how to end a fight.
This brutal Brazilian does not need any kinda coddling. After 20 fights, some big name wins, and his UFC debut under his belt, i see no reason that Teixeira can't be given a quick step up in competition. One fighter soon to return, and sure to be looking for a tough fight against a non-wrestler, is Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Both men love to strike, and both are impressive on the ground. It would make for good entertainment either way.
GLOVER TEIXEIRA VS. ANTONIO ROGERIO NOGUEIRA
EDSON BARBOZA (10-1)
You hate to see it. An exciting young fighter, rising through the ranks, and doing it in some style, gets upset by a fighter everyone expected him to beat. That's exactly what happened to Edson Barboza, as the Brazilian was upset by the returning Jamie Varner, suffering the first loss of his career. It really put a halt to what was an impressive rise through the ranks for Barboza. Now is the time when we find out if he is the new Jon Jones, or the next Rameau Sokodjou.
Next up for Barboza, i say match him up with another aggressive kick-boxer who is equally dangerous on the ground, as is himself fighting to break that dangerous lightweight top ten ranking. I'm talking about Donald Cerrone. It would be a guaranteed exciting fight, the timing synchs up well, and both fighters are in similar territory at 155lbs.
EDSON BARBOZA VS. DONALD CERRONE
That's it for me Addicts. I'm sure many of you will have your own opinions on what you would like to see next. Like i said, this is just personal opinion from another MMA Addict.
Published by Lee Rabey - Sun, 27 May 2012 17:53