Fights to make after UFC 143
Hello everyone, I realize that it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here. Been a bit of busy/ weird time for me right now, but I will attempt to start posting frequently again. I should also note that there will be some non MMA related posting coming to this site again quite soon, though will still try to keep up with my MMA musing. After this past weekend’s UFC 143 event (which I found pretty awesome, just for the record), I figured it was time to dust off an old classic (translation: something I started a few months ago). Let’s take a look at what’s next for those who fought at UFC 143.
Carlos Condit- Georges St. Pierre- If GSP heals up like he should and doesn’t feel any lingering effects of his torn ACL, then I see no reason for this fight not to happen. You have the Welterweight champion, who has held the title for almost four years taking on the interim champ to see who the true undisputed champion is. You also have to figure in that Condit is really one of the only challenges left for GSP at this point. I’m not a huge fan of Condit defending the Interim title in the meantime while GSP recovers. If you’re absolutely set on Condit fighting again before GSP, I could see him having a rematch with Jake Ellenberger, provided he gets past Diego Sanchez.
Nick Diaz- Josh Koscheck/Johny Hendricks- I really don’t believe that Diaz is done with MMA. He gets paid far too much to straight up quit the sport and is just entering his prime, as he is only 28. You’ve also got to factor in that Diaz is, at most, two wins away from a title shot. I would really like to see Diaz tested against a strong wrestler, so that he can showcase his BJJ. Hendricks is fresh off upsetting Jon Fitch and I believe he needs another top ten win before getting a title shot. Koscheck makes sense because both are close to being top fighters and the amount of trash talk would be legendary.
Fabricio Werdum- Shane Carwin- Werdum presents an interesting problem, as he has already fought quite a few fighters in the UFC, yet none of them really warrant rematches. I’d be interested to see Werdum face off against Shane Carwin when he is healthy, and I think the match-up makes sense as they have a couple opponents in common. Carwin needs a win to get back into top ten contention, while Werdum should look for a win over a big name to stack his case for a title shot.
Roy Nelson- loser of Kongo/Hunt or Mike Russow- Oh boy can Roy Nelson take a beating. In all of his UFC losses, he has been beaten to an absolutely pulp and still kept moving forward as if it were nothing. I’m not sure if Nelson’s weight loss can be attributed to him possibly wanting to move down to light heavyweight. That proposes a lot of interesting fights, but for now let’s stick to the heavyweight division. Basically, any of these fighters would involve iron chinned beasts with power. Nelson would have a clear ground advantage over either Kongo or Hunt, although a fight with Russow could be an interesting BJJ battle.
Josh Koscheck- Nick Diaz/Middleweight- I’ll admit that Koscheck is one of my favourite fighters; the problem is that they are running out of match-ups for him at welterweight. Diaz presents an interesting wrestler vs. BJJ artist match-up that I’m sure many would like to see. I’m also still interested in the possible move to middleweight that Koscheck mentioned earlier, as it opens up many new and interesting fights for him.
Mike Pierce-Mike Pyle/ Dong Hyun Kim- Pierce has this thing where his fights generally do to decision, specifically split decisions. His loss to Koscheck likely takes away all momentum built up from his win over Paul Bradley, and I’d like to see Pierce face another fighter with a similar style. It may, eventually, force him to try out new things in hopes that something works. Veterans Pyle and Kim could make intriguing match-ups, either of which would likely be a showcased prelim.
Renan Barao- Brian Bowles- Honestly, I want Barao to face Dominick Cruz for the title next. It would give the bantamweight division a new title challenger, and stylistically makes for an interesting fight. However, with Cruz tied up with The Ultimate Fighter and having to fight Urijah Faber next, I think Brian Bowles is the next best option. A win for Barao gives him another top ten win, while a win for Bowles puts him immediately back into title contention. Plus, a fight between two really heavy hitters is bound to produce fireworks.
Scott Jorgenson- Mike Easton- Jorgenson really seems to be the gate keeper of the Bantamweight division. He’s a solid top ten who can beat any of the lower and mid-level opponents, but once he moves up and faces the division’s elite, he runs into problems. I see Jorgenson being used mostly to test younger fighters, or help see where certain fighters stand in the division. I’m intrigued by Easton and would really like to see how he fares against a top ten opponent before throwing him to the wolves.
Ed Herman- Jason Miller- Talk about a career rebirth. Short fuse has gone from not fighting in almost two years, to having three straight wins in the octagon. His striking has never looked better and his BJJ is as slick as ever, evidenced by his submission win over Kyle Noke at UFC Live this past summer. While it’s tempting to say that an Alan Belcher rematch is in the cards, I’d like to see Belcher matched up against the divisions elite. For Herman, I’d prefer a fight with Jason “Mayhem” Miller, in a battle of two fighters moving in opposite directions, as Herman’s stock seemingly hasn’t been higher, while Miller is in the dog house. I think this fight would fight would be perfect to co-headline a card on FX or Fuel TV.
Clifford Starks- Brad Tavares- Sparks looked decent in the first round of his fight with Ed Herman, even stunning the veteran with punches a couple of times. Unfortunately for Starkes, the crafty veteran got the best of him. I’d like to see Starkes take on another young gun. I miss seeing Brad Tavares fight, and think that Starks would be a perfect fight, as both fighters aren’t the most experienced and need to gain experience before being thrown in the deep end of the talent pool again.
Dustin Poirier- Erik Koch/ Chad Mendes- I’ve become something of a big fan of Poirier in recent times. It has nothing to do with his victory over Josh Grispi, I just really like the kid and think he has a bright future ahead of him. The match-up that makes the most sense would be with Erik Koch, as they were scheduled to fight at on the 143 card before Koch got injured. If Koch/Poirier happens and Poirier wins, I am inclined to believe that he would be the number one contender. At the very least it would be get him a number one contender fight. I also think a match-up with Chad Mendes would be interesting, as it would give Poirier a fight with a top ten opponent.
Max Holloway- Pat Schilling- Even though Holloway was only in action for a little over three minutes, I was still impressed with his striking. I hope that the UFC keeps him around, at least in the short term. AT only 20 years of age, Holloway still has a ton of room to grow as a mixed martial artist. I would match him up with fellow young gun Pat Schilling, although a loss could spell the end of either’s UFC career.
Alex Caceres- Eric Wisely- As much as I want the UFC to just cut Caceres, I will admit that the decision was controversial, as I thought that you could have scored the fight for him. I also found it weird that Herb Dean took away two points from Caceres, as one would have probably been sufficient. I’m willing to give him one more fight, against Eric Wisely, in a loser leaves the UFC match-up.
Edwin Figueroa- Ken Stone- I like Figueroa, I really do, but he confuses me. The guy looks to have really good stand-up skills, but then to be basically lost on the ground. I really hope he trains his ground game well for the next fight. I think Ken Stone would do well, as it would put the youngster up against a more experienced fighter and would likely also force Figueroa to improve his ground game.
Matt Brown- Duane Ludwig/ Dan Hardy- I’m so glad Brown is back on a winning streak, as he lays it all on the line every time he’s in the octagon. Who the Immortal faces next really depends on where you rank him in the division. A fight with Ludwig is almost guaranteed to produce fireworks and possibly a fight of the night award. I’ve long thought that a Hardy/ Brown match-up could be a good one, as I can’t really think of many other good opponents for Hardy to face.
Chris Cope- Cut- Sorry to say, but the only notable victory of Cope’s career was over Chuck O’Neil who looked absolutely terrible on that night. The 40 second loss to Che Mills and this past loss to Brown likely spell the end of Cope’s UFC career.
Matt Riddle- Stephen Thompson- Why Not? Honestly, this is an intriguing match-up, as it pits the technical styling of Riddle up against the straight up brawling ability of Riddle. It’s very unlikely that this fight would go to the ground, although it is very likely that this could be a fight of the night performance. It’s also a good way for Thompson to face better competition without having too big a step up.
Henry Martinez- Lance Benoist- Martinez showed some good striking technique in his UFC debut. His downfall was when Matt Riddle turned it into a straight up brawl instead of a boxing match. I would like to see Martinez on another prelim card, as (just about) everyone deserves a second chance. A match-up between Martinez and Benoist could be interesting, as they are Matt Riddle’s last two opponents.
Rafael Natal- Mike Massenzio/ Tim Creuder- Natal has quietly put together a nice little two fight win streak. Back to back decision wins over Paul Bradley and Mike Kuiper have certainly done quite a bit to move Natal up the division’s ladder. Massenzio is coming off a first round submi8ssion loss to Rousimar Palhares and could defiantly use a step down in opponents. If Creuder is to make another return, I think Natal would be a good opponent, as both have some credibility, yet aren’t exactly top fighters.
Michael Kuiper- Dustin Jacoby- It’s rare that people who haven’t made any type of impact in the UFC are rewarded with a third fight (after losing their first two), but I really can’t think of anyone else for Kuiper to face. This would defiantly be a loser leaves town match-up. If Kuiper doesn’t face Jacoby, I could see him facing someone that is making their UFC debut.
Stephen Thompson- Matt Riddle- See above
Dan Stittgen- Mark Scanlon- Despite not looking very impressive in his octagon debut, Stittgen is a decent fighter overall. This past weekend just shows us that he isn’t as adapt in the stand-up as the ground game, as he has five of his seven career wins by submission. I’d like to see Stittgen face off against another ground specialist, Mark Scanlon. Scanlon hasn’t fought in quite a while, since UFC 122 against Pascal Krauss, but was booked to face James Head at UFC 138 before being forced to pull out because if injury.
Posted on February 9, 2012, in MMA, Sports and tagged Alex Caceres, Carlos Condit, Dustin Poirier, Ed Herman, Edwin Figueroa, Fabricio Werdum, Josh Koscheck, Matt Riddle, Mike Pierce, Nick Diaz, Renan Barao, Roy Nelson, Scott Jorgenson, Stephen Thompson, UFC, UFC 143. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.