Daniel CormierThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heads back to Buffalo, NY for the second time in promotional history and first time in nearly 22 years with UFC 210: Cormier vs. Johnson II. The stacked 13-fight card is set to kick off with four preliminary fights on UFC Fight Pass at 6:15 p.m. ET, with preliminary action continuing on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. and the main card getting underway at 10 p.m. on Pay-Per-View. If interested in wagering on any bouts for this fight card, all betting lines will be made available at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

Kicking things off for the UFC 210 main card on PPV will be a grappler versus grappler matchup in the UFC’s lightweight division, when wrestling standout “Ill” Will Brooks takes on submission ace Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira. Brooks is coming off a third-round TKO loss against Alex Oliveira and looks to bounce back into the win column by taking out another Oliveira. His previous opponent, Alex Oliveira, has since moved up to the welterweight division while “Do Bronx” is moving up from featherweight, so unlike the last bout, Brooks will have the size advantage heading into this one.

The Brazilian is coming off back-to-back guillotine-choke submission losses to Anthony Pettis and Ricardo Lamas and is eager to bounce back into the win column, though he remains uncertain as to whether his future is at 155 or 145 pounds. Considering the consecutive defeats, it is also likely that he has his back against the wall heading into this one.

Next we climb up to the welterweight division, where Thiago Alves moves back up to 170 pounds after a failed move down to the lightweight division, where he missed weight and lost a unanimous decision to Jim Miller. Greeting him back at welterweight will be Montreal’s Patrick Cote, as he aims for a return to the win column following a second-round TKO loss at the hands of Donald Cerrone.

Alves versus Cote is a bout between two veterans who appear to be on a decline and may be on their way out, though stylistically, they should put on an entertaining scrap for the fight fans in Buffalo. This battle could end up stealing the evening’s ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus, so it is a matchup to not sleep on.

The following bout takes place in the women’s strawweight division, as Cynthia Calvillo looks to make it two in a row for herself inside the Octagon when she squares off against UFC newcomer Pearl Gonzalez. This is a very entertaining matchup between a pair of prospects that could potentially be the frontrunner for ‘Fight of the Night’ honors.

Team Alpha Male’s Calvillo made her promotional debut earlier this month at UFC 209, where she defeated Amanda Cooper by first-round rear-naked choke submission. She makes an immediate turnaround and hopes to remain undefeated with another impressive victory at UFC 210.

Meanwhile, 10th Planet San Diego’s Gonzalez rides a six-fight winning streak, including a third-round armbar submission victory over current UFC strawweight Cortney Casey, though she has not seen action in nearly a year. She plans to capitalize on this opportunity by scoring an impressive victory over Calvillo.

The co-main event takes place in the middleweight division, as former UFC 185-pound champion Chris Weidman looks to snap a two fight losing skid by taking the momentum of the Armenian Gegard Mousasi, who currently rides an impressive four-fight winning streak that includes three finishes. This is arguably the people’s main event and is a bout every fight fan is chomping at the bits to see.

Headlining the UFC 210 main card will be a light heavyweight title rematch between champion Daniel Cormier and challenger Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. Cormier was victorious by way of third-round rear-naked choke submission when the pair first met nearly two years ago, but an impressive three-fight winning streak that consisted completely of knockout finishes has earned him another crack at the gold.

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Patrick CumminsThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heads back to Buffalo, NY for the second time in promotional history and first time in nearly 22 years with UFC 210: Cormier vs. Johnson II. The stacked 13-fight card is set to kick off with four preliminary fights on UFC Fight Pass at 6:15 p.m. ET, with preliminary action continuing on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. and the main card getting underway at 10 p.m. on Pay-Per-View. If interested in wagering on any bouts for this fight card, all betting lines will be made available at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

Getting the action started for the UFC 210 preliminary card on FOX Sports 1 is a light heavyweight showdown between two-time Division I All-American wrestler Patrick Cummins from Penn State and Poland’s Jan Blachowicz. Both 205-pounders have their backs against the wall heading into this one, as they are each 1-3 in their last four Octagon appearances and coming off defeats.

Next up on the televised prelims is a barn-burner in the UFC’s featherweight division between American Top Team’s Charles Rosa and Tiger Schulmann product Shane Burgos. A potential frontrunner for the evening’s ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus, these two are expected to produce fireworks when they square off in Buffalo, where Burgos will enjoy somewhat of a home advantage.

Rosa is coming off a unanimous-decision win over Kyle Bochniak while Burgos earned a unanimous decision of his own in his promotional debut against Tiago dos Santos. Both of these 145-pounders are very fun to watch, and stylistically, they are likely to produce some serious fireworks.

Next up on the FOX Sports 1 prelims, we head into the welterweight division, where Florida’s Kamaru Usman takes on California’s Sean Strickland. Usman is coming off a unanimous-decision win over Warlley Alves and looks to remain undefeated inside the Octagon by improving to 5-0. Meanwhile, Strickland comes off a split-decision victory over Tom Breese and goes for his fourth straight in this 170-pound showdown.

Headlining the FOX Sports 1 preliminary card for UFC 210 will be a featherweight clash between a couple of Arizona-based fighters in Power MMA’s Myles Jury and The MMA Lab’s Mike De La Torre. Both featherweights will be representing their teams going into this matchup, and they will be looking to leave it all inside the Octagon in an effort to get their hand raised.

Jury suffered a first-round guillotine-choke loss to Charles Oliveira in his featherweight debut, and after taking some time off, he is eager to bounce back into the win column with an impressive victory over De La Torre in Buffalo. De La Torre finds himself in a must-win situation as well, considering he is coming off a first-round submission loss to Godofredo Pepey and has gone 1-2 in his last three contests.

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Katlyn ChookagianThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heads back to Buffalo, NY for the second time in promotional history and first time in nearly 22 years with UFC 210: Cormier vs. Johnson II. The stacked 13-fight card is set to kick off with four preliminary fights on UFC Fight Pass at 6:15 p.m. ET, with preliminary action continuing on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. and the main card getting underway at 10 p.m. on Pay-Per-View. If interested in wagering on any bouts for this fight card, all betting lines will be made available at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

Kicking things off for the UFC 210 Fight Pass prelims will be a flyweight contest between Filipino Jenel Lausa and promotional newcomer Magomed Bibulatov. Lausa will be looking to go 2-0 inside the Octagon while the Dagestani will aim to send a message to the rest of the UFC’s 125-pound division with an impressive debut victory. This is a solid scrap to get things started at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo.

Next up on the Fight Pass prelims is a barn-burner in the women’s featherweight division, as New Jersey’s Katlyn Chookagian looks to bounce back from a split-decision loss to Liz Carmouche when she takes on Mexico’s Irene Aldana, who is coming off a unanimous-decision loss to Leslie Smith. This is an important fight for both ladies, who want to avoid going on a two fight deficit in the division.

A potential contender for the evening’s ‘Fight of the Night’ honors, the Armenian-American and Mexican are expected to leave it all inside the Octagon when they go toe to toe on April 8th in what is a striker versus striker matchup on paper. Regardless of who gets their hand raised in this one, the fans will likely feel like the real winners.

The following bout takes place in the UFC’s lightweight division and will see undefeated Team Alpha Male product Josh Emmett look to remain undefeated as he takes on Bellator and Titan FC veteran Desmond Green in what is essentially a hometown fight for Green. This is an excellent scrap at 155 pounds and another serious contender for the ‘Fight of the Night’ honors, which speaks volumes for how great the UFC 210 preliminary fight card is.

Emmett is coming off a unanimous-decision win over Scott Holtzman while Green makes his promotional debut on the heels of a four-fight winning streak, with three of those victories coming by way of decision and one by doctor stoppage TKO. This is a crucial fight for both 155-pounders, who are looking to break into the ranks of the UFC’s lightweight division.

Wrapping things up for the Fight Pass prelims will be a grappler versus grappler matchup between wrestling standout Gregor Gillespie and submission ace Holbrook, who fights out of Indiana and will be traveling to enemy territory for this matchup against the undefeated New Yorker. Gillespie earned a unanimous-decision victory over Glaico Franca in his Octagon debut while Holbrook scored a split-decision upset over Australia’s Jake Matthews his last time out.

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UFCWe are heading into the fourth month of the year, and the UFC’s 2017 calendar continues to fill up. Here are my thoughts on some recently booked matchups…

Fight: Krzysztof Jotko vs. David Branch
Card: UFC 211
Where: Dallas, TX
When: May 13, 2017
Thoughts: Branch is giving up his WSOF middleweight and light heavyweight titles to make his return to the UFC, and greeting him in the Octagon will be surging 185-pound Polish prospect Jotko, who is coming off the biggest win of his career, which was a unanimous decision over former title challenger Thales Leites. Branch is not getting an easy fight back to kick off his second stint with the promotion, and I expect this to be a tough bout for the New Yorker. I like both middleweights, so I am not particularly thrilled with this matchup, as it means one of them must suffer a loss and return to the drawing board. This is going to be a difficult matchup for both, and while I am not thrilled with the booking, I do think it will be a solid scrap at 185 pounds.

Fight: Mark Hunt vs. Derrick Lewis
Card: UFC Fight Night 110
Where: Auckland, New Zealand
When: June 11, 2017
Thoughts: This is the matchup Lewis wanted following his second-round knockout of Travis Browne, and while Hunt ended up suffering a third-round KO at the knees of Alistair Overeem at UFC 209 earlier this month, the UFC has decided to still go ahead and make this rare “winner versus loser” heavyweight matchup. The fight will be in Hunt’s backyard of Auckland, New Zealand, so perhaps the promotion was desperate for a headliner. Hunt will appear to have his back against the wall going into this one, and normally I would be happy to see this fight, but I am afraid it may be too soon for Hunt to step back in the cage following that brutal knockout loss. I suppose it helps that there’s no athletic commission in Australia, otherwise I’m not sure if they would allow him to fight in the States just three months after being removed from consciousness.

Fight: Ilir Latifi vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Card: UFC Fight Night 112
Where: Oklahoma City, OK
When: June 25, 2017
Thoughts: The matchup makes sense to me, I suppose, considering how razor thin the UFC’s light heavyweight division is right now. Both fighters are coming off T/KO defeats against the same man in Ryan Bader, no less. What does not make sense to me is this fight taking place in Oklahoma City instead of Sweden or Brazil. The only things that could make sense are if one (or both) of the fighters were not able to be ready by June 6th (UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), or if neither fighter wanted to compete on enemy territory, so they agreed on neutral ground.

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Invicta FC 22: Evinger vs. Kunitskaya II
Date: March 25, 2017
Arena: Scottish Rite Temple
City: Kansas City, MO

Invicta Fighting Championship is back with Invicta FC 22: Evinger vs. Kunitskaya II, The eight fight card will be broadcasted entirely on UFC Fight Pass starting at 8pm ET. If interested in wagering on any bouts for this fight card, all betting lines will be made available at 5Dimes Sportsbooks.

Here is my parlay:

Bantamweight title bout: Tonya Evinger (-195) vs. Yana Kunitskaya (+155)

Gabe’s Thoughts: Evinger was a massive betting favorite when the pair first met, but the odds for this rematch are a lot closer. I see value in Evinger at the current price, as I think she should indeed be a bigger favorite heading in. I would not be shocked to see her get caught in a submission again, but more often than not, I think she cruises her way to a unanimous decision won on the judges’ scorecards, potentially scoring a finish of her own along the way in this 25 minute main event title fight.

Gabe’s Call: Evinger by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

 

Strawweight bout: Amber Brown (-305) vs Ashley Cummins (+225)

Gabe’s Thoughts: I think the only way Brown loses this fight is if she gets caught in a submission, and Cummins winning this fight by submission is certainly a possible outcome here. A realistic outcome, but a slim chance of happening, in my opinion, as I think Brown will find success in defending submission attempts while laying down some vicious ground and pound when finding herself in top position on the mat. I see this as being Brown’s fight to loses, and if she shows up with a smart game plan, she should come out on top with the W.

Gabe’s Call: Brown by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

 

Gabe’s Recommended Parlay: Evinger (-195) and Brown (-305) at +100

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Invicta FC 22: Evinger vs. Kunitskaya II
Date: March 25, 2017
Arena: Scottish Rite Temple
City: Kansas City, MO

Invicta Fighting Championship is back with Invicta FC 22: Evinger vs. Kunitskaya II. The eight fight card will be broadcasted entirely on UFC Fight Pass, starting at 8pm ET. If interested in wagering on any bouts for this fight card, all betting lines will be made available at 5Dimes Sportsbooks.

Here are my plays:

Strawweight bout: Livia Renata Souza (-180) vs. Ayaka Hamasaki (+140)

Gabe’s Thoughts: The winner of this women’s 115-pound contest will likely compete for the promotion’s vacant title her next time out; that is, unless a performance here is good enough to get her pulled into the big show right away. This should be a fun scrap between two solid fighters, but I do believe the Brazilian will come out on top. She is coming off a split decision loss to Angela Hill, which was a five round title fight and saw her taste defeat for the first time in her professional mixed martial arts career. Following the loss, she will be looking to bounce back into the win column with an impressive victory over Hamasaki, who currently enjoys a five fight winning streak. Hamasaki’s lone career loss came against UFC women’s strawweight title challenger Claudia Gadelha. I think Souza has the brighter future of the two fighters and I see her winning this fight more times than not. She has youth on her side, which I think he will be an advantage in this particular contest, as I think Hamasaki is starting to slow down and hit a decline, despite picking up solid victories in recent outings. I think she Souza should be a 3-to-1 betting favorite heading into this contest, so I like her for a play at her current offering price of -180.

Gabe’s Call: Souza by T/KO (strikes, 1:44 round 3)

Gabe’s Recommended Play: Souza (-180)

 

Atomweight bout: DeAnna Bennett (-140) vs. Jodie Esquibel (+100)

Gabe’s Thoughts: In short, I do agree with the current betting odds in that this is a very close fight, however I think the odds should be flipped with Esquibel being a very slight favorite in this near pick ‘em fight. At these odds, I think there’s some value to be had with Esquibel and see her as being the ride side for a wager in this contest.

Gabe’s Call: Esquibel by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Gabe’s Recommended Play: Esquibel (+100)


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Chris HoldsworthAccording to current UFC bantamweight champion Cody “No Love” Garbrandt, the answer is yes as to whether or not former champ TJ Dillashaw ended Chris Holdsworth’s MMA career. In response to a Dillashaw interview BJPenn.com tweeted out, Garbrandt replied with a tweet of his own saying, “He knows there’s more to the story! how about ending one of your teammates career you cheap shottin mother fucker!”

The teammate Garbrandt is referring to is The Ultimate Fighter 18 winner Chris Holdsworth. The 29-year-old last saw action at UFC 173 nearly three years ago, where he earned a unanimous-decision victory over Roufusport-product Chico Camus. The win made him 2-0 in the UFC and an undefeated 6-0 as a pro.

Holdsworth had mentioned suffering a concussion in training prior to the Camus bout, the symptoms of which still had not left him years later. It had been unknown how he sustained the injury, but Garbandt has shined a light on the mystery.

Holdsworth took a step back from the sport following the injury and has been retired from mixed martial arts action, though a comeback in the future could be a possibility. He has since taken a coaching role at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, CA, and has been an asset to the gym and its roster of fighters.

Dillashaw leaving Team Alpha Male makes even more sense now. It would be really tough showing up to a gym every day, knowing you ended your young, undefeated prospect coach’s career with a cheap shot in training.

One response to Gabrandt’s tweet claimed that it was an unnecessary knee by Dillashaw that put Holdsworth’s lights out in training. Another tweet claimed that he enjoyed going hard and knocking out young fighters who were new to the gym. Only they know for sure what really happened, but it certainly makes you wonder…

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2000‘Ask Cousin Gabe’ is an article at MMA Oddsbreaker where I answer questions from readers. If you would like to ask me a question, regarding wagering, any upcoming fight cards, or MMA in general, please email it to budosophy@gmail.com and make sure to include your name and location.

Congrats on 2,000 articles! I’ve been following your plays for a while and love reading your stuff. Have you considered doing your own podcast? -Jack, Seattle, WA

Thank you. I often co-host MMA Roasted w/ Adam Hunter, PunchDrunk Sports w/ Ari Shaffir, Sam Tripoli and Jayson Thibault, and I used to co-host AtOdds MMA with Brad Taschuck, so I’m not a complete stranger to the MMA podcast world, but to answer your question, yes, I’ve been thinking about it. There are a couple of podcasts I am considering doing at the moment. I may end up doing one, both or none; but hopefully both. Stay tuned!

Hey bro congrats! Just wondering if you follow or bet other sports and what are your teams? -Lloyd, Maryland

Thanks. I don’t regularly bet any sports besides MMA, but I do pick my spots here and there. I hit quite a few games during NFL season, and I’m pretty good with tennis, too. I’ll come across some NHL, MLB and NBA plays here and there that I like, as well, and generally do well with my picks. I’ve been killin’ it with my March Madness plays this year, too! That said, sometimes I will go long periods without betting anything besides fights. As far as my sports teams, in the NBA, I like the Clippers. In the NFL, I like the Jets and Raiders. In the NHL, I like the Kings, Ducks, Red Wings, Islanders and Capitals… Yeah, I know… And finally, in the MLB, I like the Dodgers.

Congrats on 2,000! I have been staring at my phone for literally 10 minutes trying to think of a question… Hmmm… This is hard. I need my question to be worthy of a 2,000th article post… OK, I think I got it… How do you like your pancakes?! -Nick, Seattle, WA

Thanks, and great question! The answer is easy — I like my pancakes with blueberries and chocolate chips inside, and Vermont maple syrup and butter on top!

Hey, I’ve heard you on Kill Tony before and think you’re hilarious. Will you be in Tampa this year? Do you have any comedy videos online? -Teddy, Tampa, FL

I’ve actually never been to Florida, but I would love to do some shows there this winter, if able to work things out. Thanks for the kind words. I try to keep videos of my stand-up off the internet. I’d rather people see me live the first time than on the internet. I know that means most people will never see me, but eh, just how I feel.

Congrats! I saw you tweeted that you will be at the Buffalo and Nashville UFC cards this year. That’s awesome! Any chance you’ll also be at UFC 211 in Dallas? I would love to buy you a frosty cold beverage! -Will, Dallas, TX

Man, I so badly want to go to that card! Unfortunately, I won’t be able to. Never been to Buffalo or Nashville and am very much looking forward to those! Not excited about being in Buffalo in particular, but really looking forward to Nashville, as I love me some Nashville Hot Chicken! If you’ve never had the real deal, then you’re missing out!! Don’t even try the KFC knock-off.

P.S. I ended up adding the Kansas City card on my calendar, so it will be sandwiched between Buffalo and Nashville. Three back-to-back weeks of fights for your Cousin Gabe! I’m excited.

Top 10 movies and bands? -Danny, Manhattan, NY

Movies: Back to the Future, Swingers, Reservoir Dogs, On the Waterfront, Mallrats, Platoon, Ace Ventura, Dumb & Dumber, Gangs of New York

Bands: Nirvana, The Beatles, AC/DC, System of a Down, Tool, Guns N Roses, The Cure, Van Halen, The Who, RHCP and Hard-Fi

I can’t just stop there…

Solo musical artists: Elliott Smith, Jeff Buckley, John Lennon, Devendra Banhart, Sufjan Stevens, Bob Marley, Chuck Berry, Tom Waits, Damien Rice and Johnny Cash

Hip Hop artists: Nate Dogg, Canibus, Dr Dre, Eminem, Big L, DMX, Ludacris, Ice Cube, Too $hort and Snoop Dogg

I’ll throw these in on the house…

TV shows (one hour): The Wire, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, The Shield, Freaks and Geeks, Rescue Me, OZ, Six Feet Under, Game of Thrones and Mad Men

TV shows (half hour): Boy Meets World, Arrested Development, Married…With Children, Saved by the Bell, Family Ties, Spin City, The Wonder Years, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Seinfeld and Eastbound and Down. (Honorable mentions: The Inbetweeners, Friends, Party Down, Family Matters, Step by Step, Full House, The Office US & UK, and Game On)

Books: “Ham on Rye” by Charles Bukowski, “Private Parts” by Howard Stern, “The Fuck-Up” by Arthur Nersesian, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky, “Catcher in the Rye” by JD Salinger, “The Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole, “Choke” by Chuck Palahniuk, “Lucky Man” by Michael J. Fox, “Leading With My Chin” by Jay Leno and “The Housekeeper: Love, Death and Prizefighting” by Josh Samman.

Congrats on your 2,000 articles! Do you have any favorites? -Will, Dallas, TX

These are ones that immediately come to mind…

Rest in Power, Josh Samman

2013 Fight of the Year

Matyushenko Retires

Eddie Bravo Opens Up About Judging in MMA

Answer to Questionable Referee Stoppages

UFC Fight Night 62’s Unfortunate Biggest Star

I didn’t include any breakdown/play/wagering articles, as there would be too many favorites to choose from.

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Corey AndersonThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was back in London, England last Saturday (March 18, 2017) for UFC Fight Night 107: Anderson vs. Manuwa. It was an interesting night of scraps that saw only four of 11 bouts end inside the distance. The night of scraps is now in our rear view, so let’s take a look at some potential matchups featuring a few of the less fortunate competitors…

Corey Anderson vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

Anderson suffered a first-round knockout at the hands of Jimi Manuwa in his first career UFC main event bout and will be looking to bounce back into the win column his next time out. A bout that makes sense for his next outing is one against the veteran Lil’ Nog, who is coming off a third-round TKO loss against Ryan Bader. This seems like a new school versus old school matchup the UFC would make, and if Nogueira is still sticking around, I could see the promotion putting this one together. I think this potential light heavyweight contest would be a solid fit for the Fight Pass headliner for July’s UFC 213 during International Fight Week in Las Vegas.

Vicente Luque vs. Tim Means

Luque came up short in a unanimous-decision loss to England’s Leon Edwards on enemy soil in London, which snapped an impressive four-fight winning streak for the Brazilian. In order to get back in the win column, I would like to see him take on Means in a welterweight barn-burner. Means is coming off a second-round rear-naked choke loss to Alex Oliveira and is also looking to find himself back in the win column at 170 pounds. Stylistically, I think this pair would produce a very entertaining scrap, and one that has a good chance of ending inside the distance. I think this potential bout would be a great fit for the televised preliminary card of the aforementioned UFC 213 this July.

Makwan Amirkhani vs. Gray Maynard

Amirkhani lost a hard-fought split decision to Arnold Allen this past weekend and will be looking to bounce back into the win column his next time out. I would like to see him take on a veteran for the first time in his UFC career, and one that comes to mind for another new school versus old school matchup is TUF 5 veteran and former UFC lightweight title challenger Gray Maynard, who is coming off a unanimous-decision loss to Ryan Hall. I think this makes for an interesting potential pairing in the UFC’s featherweight division. Amirkhani and Maynard are both talented wrestlers, but it is Maynard who would have the advantage on the feet in this contest, although one good shot from Amirkhani could change the tune. I think this potential 145-pound showdown would be a good fit for the main card to July’s UFC Fight Night in Glasgow.

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Joseph DuffyThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was back in London, England last Saturday (March 18, 2017) for UFC Fight Night 107: Anderson vs. Manuwa. It was an interesting night of scraps that saw only four of 11 bouts end inside the distance. The night of scraps is now in our rear view, so let’s take a look at some potential matchups featuring a few of the victorious competitors…

Arnold Allen vs. Renan Barao

Allen earned a split-decision win over Finland’s Makwan Amirkhani and kept his undefeated record intact while making it three straight for himself in the UFC. It was a solid win for the Brit, and for his next outing inside the Octagon, I would like to see him take a step up in competition and face former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao, who is coming off a unanimous-decision win over Jeremy Stephens in his most recent Octagon outing. I think this is a solid pairing and a potential scrap that could produce ‘Fight of the Night’ honors regardless of the card it was booked on. It would certainly answer questions about both fighters; whether Allen can get the better of a well-rounded veteran and former title holder, and whether Barao can beat a surging prospect. The matchup does put the Brazilian in the role of gatekeeper, which is a part he has never played before in his UFC career. I think this featherweight barn-burner would be a solid fit on the main card for UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas this July during International Fight Week.

Joe Duffy vs. Paul Felder

Irish Joe versus The Irish Dragon! I think this would make for an excellent potential matchup in the UFC’s lightweight division. First things first, though — Duffy would need to be re-signed by the UFC, as this past Saturday’s unanimous decision victory over Reza Madadi was the final bout on his current UFC contract, and the Irishman has entered free agency following the contest. Felder is coming off a first-round knockout of Alessandro Ricci and will be looking to keep things rolling. If Duffy and the UFC can figure things out soon, I think this potential lightweight scrap would make for a great fit as the preliminary card headliner for July’s UFC 213 during International Fight Week in Vegas.

Marc Diakiese vs. Drew Dober

Diakiese scored a beautiful, highlight-reel knockout of Finland’s Teemu Packalen to extend his UFC winning streak to three and remain undefeated as a professional mixed martial artist. He is without a doubt a threat in the UFC’s 155-pound division, and fight fans look forward to his next outing inside the Octagon. For his next UFC test, I would like to see him take a step up in competition against Dober in what would be a rare “winner versus loser” matchup in the UFC’s lightweight division considering Dober is coming off a submission loss to Olivier Aubin-Mercier. I think this is a pairing that makes sense for both fighters, but besides that, I see it as a recipe for fireworks. Stylistically, I think these two would put on a very fun fight, a likely ‘Fight of the Night’ candidate regardless of the card it’s on. Speaking of which, I think it would be an excellent addition to the main card for May’s UFC Fight Night in Sweden.

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