UFC 158 prelims: Next matches to make following Saturday night’s fights

March 18, 2013


UFC 158 prelims: Next matches to make following Saturday night’s fights

John Boldrick – The following are the potential next fights for Saturday’s preliminarily card fighters that competed at UFC 158 in Montreal, Quebec.

George Roop vs. TJ Dillashaw– In his first UFC fight at bantamweight (and at the weight class since 2010) it looked like the usual Roop. The cut didn’t seem to affect his cardio, while giving Roop a strength advantage. It came in handy while defending takedowns and implementing some dirty boxing. Roop walked away with the decision win and saved his livelihood.

Roop should stay at bantamweight. It’s in this division that he can really bully opponents. He shouldn’t have to look far for his next fight. Why not match up two winners from the same card?

In his fight, Dillashaw continued to evolve. He showcased his wrestling, but added a new technique. Throughout the fight, Dillashaw continued to throw head kicks. The first few failed to connect, but Dillashaw did land a huge knee. He followed it up with some ground and pound to get the “W”.

A fight between the two makes sense. Both are very well rounded and bring the fight. It would be a nice test for Dillashaw, as Roop’s big level experience could prove problematic. Finally, both have fairly dangerous head kicks.

Rick Story vs. Brian Ebersole– That killer instinct may have returned. Coming into this fight, Story was 1-3 in his last four. He didn’t have the same look as when he fought Thiago Alves or Dustin Hazelett.  That look returned. Story was in the zone, stalking Mulhern and continuously backing him up. From there, Story softened his opponent up before dropping him and finishing.

Story is hard to place. He’s now 2-3 but lost to Martin Kampmann and Demian Maia. Next up should be Ebersole. While he’s coming off a loss, Ebersole isn’t far removed from a long winning streak of his own. They have similar styles, which could make for a good match-up. One thing is for sure, if Ebersole is involved, it’ll be interesting.

John Makdessi vs. Danny Castillo- When the dust settled, Makdessi was declared the winner in this Street Fighter-esque battle. While The Bull came with all of the kicks and spins he usually throws, he also had another weapon. While jabs and takedown defense aren’t as flashy, they got the job done. Makdessi used the jab, even countering a Cruickshank spin with one. He was able to keep the fight on the feet, using a vastly improved sprawl game.

It’s two in a row for Makdessi, as he continues to climb the ladder.  What’s next? How about Danny Castillo? Castillo bounced back from a loss to defeat Paul Sass in England in February. Castillo is perfect to test Makdessi’s takedown defense. The Team Alpha Male product would also be able to show us if Makdessi has improved on the ground since the Dennis Hallman fight.

Daron Cruickshank vs. Aaron Riley- He may have started off strong, but the ending left something to be desired. Cruickshank started well, connecting on kicks and jabs. He also threw some of the unusual taekwondo kicks he’s known for. As the fight progressed, Cruickshank started to second guess everything and waited for Makdessi to make a move. It was his undoing.

While he takes home the L, all is not lost for the Detroit Superstar. It’s only his first octagon defeat and while a loss is a loss, he showed potential. In his next fight, Cruickshank should face another fighter coming off a loss. He may seem to disappear from time to time, but Riley should be next. The oft-injured Riley’s last UFC appearance was at UFC 135. That night he had his jaw broken by Tony Ferguson. Riley would be a good veteran test for the young Cruickshank.

Jordan Mein vs. Patrick Cote- Hype, consider yourself lived up to. Mein entered the octagon riding a wave and certainly proved it was justified. He becomes the first person to finish Dan Miller, defeating him by TKO in the first round. Mein showcased his usual good hands while also displaying some defensive wizardry, getting out of a tight armbar.

There’s no reason to think Jordan Mein can’t be back in the cage soon. He didn’t take much punishment. Mein will continue his climb to becoming the next great Canadian welterweight.

As has become a staple of his fights, Cote used his chin. Cote started strong, landing hard shots and upper cuts. He was taken down, but active off his back. Being Cote’s first fight at welterweight, his cardio was substandard in the third, but held on to take the decision win.

Have these two fight next; Two Canadians coming off a win. We would get a chance to see a bit of Mein’s ground game. He’d likely try to take it down, as standing with Cote is trouble. This would be a great fight if the UFC decided to hold a Fuel TV card from Canada.

Dan Miller vs. Josh Neer– All good things come to an end. While Miller won his first outing at 170, he picks up the L here. He didn’t win, but did have a nice armbar attempt that could have easily finished a number of other fighters. Even though Miller hasn’t looked particularly impressive at welterweight, he will likely stay instead of moving back up.

Miller might never be a top ten fighter. He may never hold a UFC title. Still, he’s as tough as they come. While it won’t set the world on fire, Miller should face off with Neer next. Neer is currently in the middle of a three fight losing streak and needs a win to keep his job. A fight between veterans of this caliber, with the loser possibly being out of a job, could produce a Fight of the Night.

Darren Elkins vs. Nik Lentz- It wasn’t the way Elkins imagined his first UFC win via stoppage, but he’ll take it. Elkins won via TKO, despite a less than spectacular stoppage. The round saw Elkins soften his opponent up with body shots. After a couple of failed takedown attempts, Elkins landed a nice combo sending Carvalho retreating and then to the mat. Referee Yves Lavigne stopped the contest, although it may have been a tad early.

With the win, Elkins is the only featherweight to go 5-0 in the UFC. With the quick finish here, it could shoot him up the card. Next up, Lentz. Both are good ground fighters who used to be lightweights. Both are on wins streaks and even share a common opponent that they faced at a higher weight class (Charles Oliveria).


Antonio Carvalho vs. Mizuto Hirota– Tough break for Carvalho. He sees a two fight win streak snapped with this loss. While it wasn’t the longest of fights, Carvalho did show good takedown defense against a very good wrestler. He also threw some dangerous strikes, including a head kick. The damage Carvalho sustained isn’t known yet, but Carvalho may not be out long.

At 2-2 in his UFC career, Carvalho may have to impress in his next fight. Match him up with Hirota next. Both lost their last fight and likely have something to prove when they fight next. The fight also works in the sense that both have a lot of international experience, competing in Japan numerous times. Put this fight on the card for the next trip to Japan.

Bobby Voelker vs. Chris Clements- In his fight with Patrick Cote, Voelker proved he can hang. He mixed his attack very well, getting five takedowns in the fight to go along with ground and pound and some hard knees. Perhaps most impressively, Voelker seemed to crack Cote’s chin. While Voelker didn’t win the fight, he did win over some fans and earned himself another UFC fight.

Up next for Voelker is a rematch with Roger Bowling. Maybe Not. Kidding aside, have him face Chris Clements. Clements hasn’t fought since a loss last summer to Matt Riddle. That loss was overturned after Riddle tested failed a drug test, so technically Clements is coming off a win. Both fighters love to strike, so this would be a stand up battle.



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