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Jose Aldo vs Ricardo Lamas

Jose Aldo defended his title for the 5th consecutive time in the UFC, and recorded his 16th consecutive victory. It was an odd fight against Chan Sung Jung in which, both fighters were tentative, and Aldo initiated several takedowns. It can be also noted that in the first round, Aldo had broken his foot, limiting his trademarked leg kicks which weren’t existent throughout the fight. And, if things didn’t get any weirder, Jung’s shoulder dislocated as he threw a punch, and while he tried to pop it back in, Aldo swarmed on him and finished Jung by TKO. The logical next fight for Aldo when he recovers from his foot injury is against Ricardo Lamas, who was skipped twice before. The UFC needs to do the right thing, and give Lamas the fight he deserves…third times a charm!

Demetrious Johnson vs. Benavidez/Da Silva winner

Demetrious Johnson put in a truly dominant and excellent performance as he headlined the UFC on Fox 8 card. Moraga had no answer for Johnson’s takedowns, and it was on the ground where Johnson very aggressively looked for submissions. Credit to Moraga, who hung in there, survived multiple submission attempts, but in the end succumbed to an arm bar in the 5th round. Now, Johnson has defended his belt twice, and in a shallow division, rematches are a certainty. This bring me to the possibility of a rematch, in Benavidez. Since losing the inaugural Flyweight Championship to Demetrious Johnson by split decision, Benavidez has reeled off two victories, and now faces a Top 5 flyweight in Jussier Da Silva. If “Formiga” can defeat Benavidez, he would instantly become a contender, and the fact that he is a new face, also increases his chances to fight for the belt. Either way, this fight has big implications on the line.

Rory MacDonald vs. Condit/Kampmann winner

Although MacDonald came out as the winner at UFC on Fox 8, he also received some of the most criticism from Dana White and the fans. MacDonald was technical as he kept his distance, and jabbed his way to a unanimous decision over Jake Ellenberger who seemed stifled by MacDonald’s approach. It was a victory no less, over a big name and someone in the top 5. MacDonald might not of cashed in a title shot with his performance, but is certainly within the grasps of one.  The winner of the Condit/Kampmann would be an ideal matchup. A fight against Carlos Condit would probably interest MacDonald considering he’s been vocal in the past about the rematch, and when it was rescheduled, he had to pull out of the fight. Kampmann would be equally as challenging, although coming off a devastating knockout to title challenger Johny Hendricks, a win over Condit would mark his fourth significant win in less than 2 years; which include Jake Ellenberger (TKO), Thiago Alves (Sub), and Rick Story (Dec).  Either way, it’s a definite fight to decide the next title challenger.

Phil Davis vs. Daniel Cormier

Initially I thought Davis & Machida should rematch each other after that controversial decision, but the fight itself wasn’t really entertaining enough to warrant such a thing. With the UFC lining up Glover Teixeira as the next challenger to the belt, pending he can defeat Bader, Davis would logically need to fight again. I also believe, while he is knocking at the door for a title shot, another fight would be ideal to help put the controversial decision to bed. I can’t imagine, especially when the boss thinks you lost all three rounds, you are next in line. It would also be tough to market Davis, so another fight, specifically a number one contenders fight, makes sense. Pending Daniel Cormier can defeat Roy Nelson at UFC 166 in October, he has stated he will drop down to light heavyweight. Cormier believes though, that he should fight for the belt, but I can see him not getting that shot. Even though he has been vocal about Jon Jones, turning beef into a rivalry, I’m not sure his Sonnen-esque tactics will work. This fight would make the most sense though, pending Cormier can win, and would stylistically make for a fun fight. 

Robbie Lawler vs. Brown/Pyle winner

One of the bigger winners on the card was Robbie Lawler, who added his second knockout victory since returning to the UFC. Voelker, a late replacement, had nothing for Lawler’s overpowering striking abilities. Lawler finished the job in the second round via a headkick, and instantly put his name in the hat of contenders of welterweights. Dana White has mentioned a MacDonald against Lawler fight as an interesting possibility, but stylistically I’m not feeling it. A stylistically better fight, and one that would make sense, is against the winner of Matt Brown against Mike Pyle. If Brown wins, it will be his sixth consecutive victory, and he could be very close to a title shot. Brown will probably be vocal for that title shot, but I doubt he will get it, which leads me to the possibility of fighting another contender in Robbie Lawler (who’s stock is very high). Another possibility would be against Mike Pyle should he win, would mark his 5th consecutive victory, and would be a winner of 8 of his last 9 fights. Both Brown & Pyle would be formidable challengers for Lawler, and would instantly boost the winner into the limelight of a title shot.

Liz Carmouche vs. McMann/Kaufman winner (McMann pulled out due to an injury)

Carmouche lived up to her moniker as the Girl-Rilla, as she handily defeated newcomer Jessica Andrade. Carmouche was very active throughout the fight, constantly looking for the finish, which finally came in round 2. The finish marked her first victory in the UFC, and instantly put her back in the title hunt. She might believe she should get a title shot, but the division is starting to slowly take form, and she is not the only title contender, especially considering she just fought the champion Ronda Rousey not long ago. With Sara McMann and Sarah Kaufman expected to do battle at UFC Fight Night 27, the winner becomes an instant contender. If McMann wins, she will certainly keep climbing the ranks as one of the more promising fighters in the womens bantamweight division, and certainly could find herself in a number one contenders fight. As for Kaufman, a win would put her in an almost similar as Liz Carmouche considering both are Ronda Rousey’s last two opponents. Also to boot, Kaufman defeated Carmouche, a little more than 2 years ago. But, both fighters have evolved since, and are in completely different waters than before. And although this fight could possibly provide a rematch challenger against Ronda Rousey, it also presents a more prepared fighter with redemption on their mind.

Danny Castillo vs. James Krause

Danny Castillo barely edged late replacement Tim Means at UFC on Fox 8, but no less kept team Alpha Male’s winning ways in tact. Castillo used his wrestling to avoid striking with the lengthy Means, and controlled the fight. It wasn’t the most exciting outing for Castillo, nor dominant, but it was a win no less. As for what next, he stated he wouldn’t be opposed to fighting his originally slated opponent Bobby Green, but in my opinion, I think he is due for an opponent a bit of a step up. In my opinion, the stock of James Krause is at a high after a gutsy performance against a veteran like Sam Stout. In his debut no less, he finished a veteran, and was a late replacement to boot. It would make for the classic wrestler vs striker as well. 

Cezar Ferreira vs. Derek Brunson

Ferreira looked great at UFC 163, disposing of his opponent in a mere 47 seconds by submission. The Vitor Belfort protege clipped Santos immediately with an overhand left, and than later latch on the finishing guillotine choke. The Ultimate Fighter Brazil winner is more so unknown to the North American fanbase, due to lack of resources to watch TUF: Brazil. But, with a performance such as this, and the probability of fighting in North America considering he trains in Florida now, he will be known soon enough. Ferreira is every bit of a middleweight, and makes for some interesting fights with his style. An interesting grappling match would be against someone like Derek Brunson, who equally is impressive in size. It would be a battle of strength, and clash of grapplers. 

Melvin Guillard vs. Ross Pearson

At UFC on Fox 8, the popular Melvin Guillard got back in the win column, quickly taking out Mac Danzig via vicious ground & pound. Guillard, perhaps was fighting for his job because previous to the victory, he had dropped four out of his last five fights. From once, knocking at the door of a title shot, to almost losing his job in the UFC, is a tough reality to grasp. No less, Guillard’s win secured his position in the UFC, and his style makes for very intriguing bouts in the stacked lightweight division. A fight, that he probably wouldn’t have to worry about succumbing to a submission, would be in that of Ross Pearson. Pearson is coming off a beautiful knockout over Ryan Couture, and has been pressing to fight Takanori Gomi. As much as that fight sounds exciting, I’d rather see Pearson face off with a fellow striker in Guillard. The question is though, in Houston or Manchester? 

Rani Yayha vs. Nik Lentz

Yayha recorded his third consecutive victory, defeating the tough and rather unknown Josh Clopton. Yayha’s grappling seems to be ever improving each time he steps foot in the Octagon, and has contributed immensely during this winning streak. The only thing Yayha hasn’t quite got down it appears, is his cardio. In his recent bouts, opponents have been able to steal round 3, and neutralize his Jui-Jitsu. An opponent that will really push Yayha, and engage in a grappling affair would be in Nik Lentz. Noted for his grinding style, Lentz is undefeated at 3-0 since dropping down to Featherweight. Lentz has dominated, and controlled fights, using his wrestling to a tee. It’s an interesting clash of similar styles , and would make for an intriguing grappling affair. 

Ian McCall vs. John Lineker

McCall finally recorded his first UFC win, and by far not the greatest of performances. His footwork was nice, he had solid leg kicks and jabs, as he fought mostly on the outside. However, when Santos landed a punch, mixed in with the crowd’s responses, McCall was lured into brawl scenarios where he didn’t fare all that well. In the end, the decision victory for McCall was the right call, and the top five flyweight is back on track. An intriguing, and most likely a number one contender fight would be in fighting John Lineker who is climbing the ranks quickly. After dropping his debut in a Fight of the Night, Lineker has tallied off three consecutive victories including two second round stoppages. Now, Lineker might get a title shot, but as I alluded to in another matchmaking, I believe that the Benavidez/Da Silva winner makes the most sense. But, of course, a fresh face to fight Demetrious Johnson is always a possibility, and Lineker fits the profile. Only time will tell, but at this moment, I like this match up.

Daron Cruickshank vs. Bobby Green

Cruickshank bounced back with a very controversial split decision victory, in which the scores were all over. I mean both fighters received 30-27’s, which is bizarre, and really does point a flaw in modern day judging. Anyways, the judges awarded Cruickshank with the victory, and it was his third within the UFC. Cruickshank has some dynamic striking, and makes for some fun striking battles. A fighter that could really test Cruickshank in all areas is Bobby Green. Originally Bobby Green was supposed to fight Danny Castillo, but pulled out due to an injury. Green, is coming off the thrilling comeback against Jacob Volkmann, and the recognition he earned after has his stock high within the UFC. A fun fight to make between strikers is this one, and rankings wise it make sense.

Anthony Perosh vs. Robert Drysdale 

If anyone’s noticed, Perosh has now recorded four wins in his last five, and has only been in the Octagon for 21 seconds in his last two outings. Of course, the first outing he was on the receiving end of a one punch, seven second knockout. But, he erased that quickly with a 14 second knockout over Vinny Magalhaes. It was an upset victory no less, and after all the trash talk from Magalhaes, it couldn’t of been sweeter for the 40 year old Perosh. Now, Perosh may never be a title contender, but his resurgence since 2011 has been remarkable given his age. With that said, there a few fun fights that Perosh can take, and one would be against another Jui-Jitsu practitioner in Robert Drysdale. Drysdale was supposed to fight on this card and make his debut, but dropped out due to an injury. This fight makes for a fun grappling display, which we were all hoping for against Vinny Magalhaes. And I certainly believe this fight will last longer than 14 second!

Ed Herman vs. Thales Leites

Herman went to war with the unknown Trevor Smith, and earned the Fight of Night honors, as well as the victory. It was another split decision with wacky scores, but it most importantly was a battle, and fight the fans loved. It was a nice bounce back for Herman, after being outnumbered against Ronaldo Souza in his previous fight. On the other hand, Leites made a very emphatic return to the UFC, out grappling Tom Watson from start to finish. Leites, a former title challenger is no stranger to big fights, and one against Ed Herman would certainly be a fun one for the fans. I always thought too, the UFC cut Leites prematurely, but the fire built up away from the UFC was apparent in his return. This fight makes sense, and would be a nice next step for both fighters. 

Germaine De Randamie vs Amanda Nunes

When Amanda Nunes took out Shiela Gaff in the first round, I quickly thought a fight against a fellow striker in Germaine De Randamie made total sense. Again, both are strikers, and would make for quite a scrap on the feet. Nunes displayed some quality ground skills, something she’s not really noted for, but also you need to factor in Gaff’s inabilities on the ground. As for Randamie, she fought a tough Julie Kedzie, looked strong and had pretty good takedown defense to boot. I would be down to see this scrap, and it could help continue to evolve women’s mma to the mainstream with an enticing striking battle. 

Sergio Moraes vs. Ryan LaFlare 

Moraes appeared to be the most elated fighting Brazil, and was all smiles from walking to throughout the fight. Moraes was able to get into a clinch with the lengthy Neil Magny, and from there a beautiful trip followed. After that, it was only a matter of time before the master displayed the art of Jui-Jitsu. In moments, Moraes secured a triangle choke from full mount, and it was all over from there. A fun next fight for Moraes would be against the undefeated Ryan LaFlare. This would be another awesome grappling affair, and would be a true test to LaFlare’s overall abilities. Cardio looked like an issue to LaFlare in his debut, and Moraes certainly doesn’t go away. It would be a testament to both fighters, to test abilities that are somewhat similar. 

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