Fights to make after UFC 159 “Jones vs Sonnen”

April 28, 2013


Fights to make after UFC 159 “Jones vs Sonnen”

John Boldrick – With the wealth of UFC events recently, it’s hard to believe UFC 159 was the first pay per view card in over a month. The creation of more free cards has led to an increase in events, and yet still numbered cards remain special. They just have a different vibe about them. It rang true on Saturday night, as the event was “different” on many levels. Let’s look ahead to future matchups for this past weekend’s warriors.

Pat Healy vs. Jaime Varner – What a UFC return for Healy. Bam Bam was able to use his size advantage to grind down his opponent, eventually locking in a fight ending rear naked choke for the victory. It’s the seventh win in a row for Healy, who should now be viewed as a top ten fighter. The problem is a lot of the other top ten are currently booked. Josh Thomson is free, although the two have already fought. Let’s look a little outside the top ten, and look to Jaime Varner. A former WEC champ, Varner won a decision over Melvin Guillard last time out. A fight between the two vets is sure to entertain.

Jim Miller vs. Thiago Tavares- Tough break for Miller. He started strong and almost finished his opponent in the first round. Were there 10 more seconds on the clock, who knows what could have happened. Instead, Miller alternates wins and losses again, failing to get any traction since his big seven fight win streak. Miller may still be a top ten opponent, but maybe it’s time for him to face someone a little lower in the rankings. Miller versus Tavares would be entertaining as both fighters have shown flashes of brilliance but have also been inconsistent recently inside the octagon.

Phil Davis vs. Matt Hamill- Davis didn’t submit his opponent like he said may happen, but a win is a win. Davis showcased an improved standup game, even rocking his opponent en route to a decision win. It’s the second win in a row for Davis, who seems to have forgotten all about his loss to Rashad Evans. Next up for Davis, have him face a fellow wrestler coming off a win. While it may be tempting to have Davis face a top fighter, a slow build is best here.

Vinny Magalhaes vs. loser of Thiago Silva/ Rafael Cavalcante- For all the trash talking, Magalhaes just couldn’t back it up. Magalhaes moves to 1-1 in his UFC return with a loss here, as he was unable to beat Davis. He was able to get a takedown, and also land some leg kicks, but in the end it wasn’t enough. Next up, have Magalhaes face a fellow down on his luck Brazilian. Silva and Cavalcante are both opposites of Magalhaes, as they are both good strikers. Neither has the wrestling of Davis, so Magalhaes has the potential to get it to the ground.

Roy Nelson vs. loser of Junior Dos Santos/Mark Hunt- Another opponent, same result. In a fight that has been years in the making, Nelson proved that you can prolong the inevitable, but you can’t escape it. Nelson scored yet another first round knockout, downing his opponent in just over two minutes. Nelson may have called for a title shot in his post fight interview, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The UFC doesn’t like to match winners and losers up, but it could work here. If Nelson faces Hunt, we have a battle of iron chinned fighters who throw to kill. If it’s Nelson/JDS, we will see a rematch, however Big Country has improved so much since their first encounter, and it should feel fresh.

Cheick Kongo vs. Gabriel Gonzaga- We didn’t get to see much Kongo, as it was lights out before things got going. Kongo has been around a while, leaving few fighters in the division that he hasn’t faced. Still, there is one that would provide some intrigue. A battle between Kongo and Gonzaga would be a fight between two long time UFC veterans who just can’t seem to break into the upper echelon. It also makes sense, as Gonzaga lost his last fight, a KO to the elbows of Travis Browne.

Michael Bisping vs.Yushin Okami- On Saturday, we saw a vintage Bisping performance. He controlled the whole fight, setting the pace and continually landing clean, crisp strikes. A late fight eye poke should not distract from the fact that this was an impressive win for Bisping. Next up have him fight Yushin Okami. Both are resident contenders at middleweight who never stray far from the top. Both are solid in all aspects of the game. They share common opponents. They even have similar UFC records. This fight should be the headliner the next time the UFC travels overseas for an event.

Alan Belcher vs. Alessio Sakara- The Belcher we saw on Saturday night was not the usual Belcher we are used to seeing. He didn’t get the chance to really get his striking going. Not much of that matters at the moment. Belcher took a late fight eye poke that, given his track record with eye injuries, is definitely cause for concern. We don’t know if there is any injury yet, still the situation remains scary. When (or if) Belcher can return to the sport, there will be a fight waiting for him. A fight with Sakara would see two very good strikers go at it. Add in that both are on losing streaks, and you have a recipe for entertainment.

Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida or Alexander Gustafsson- For Jones Saturday was more than just a title defense. He put to rest all of his foes trash talk and in doing so had his most dominant title defense yet. Jones was even able to outwrestle his opponent, where as coming in nobody knew who had the advantage in that department. For his next title defense, Jones really has two options. One is a rematch, while the other is a fight fans have been looking forward to for a while. Basically, whoever gets a win first (or in a fight between the two) should get the next shot.

Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva – Not the result that Sonnen wanted. He fell to a barrage of punches and elbows in what may have been a quick stoppage, although things looked grim for Sonnen. It’s back to the drawing board and let’s assume he stays at 205. Let’s settle some more bad blood. These two have gone at it back and forth since at least 2010. With both at light heavyweight, it’s the perfect time for this fight. With Sonnen’s love of promotion, there really isn’t even that much effort needed from the UFC to sell this one.






Follow John Boldrick on Twitter @JohnBJournalism



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