Post-TUF 24 Finale Matchmaking Predictions

Tim ElliottThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was live with The Ultimate Fighter Season 24 Finale this past Saturday night (December 3, 2016) and saw Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson make his ninth successful UFC Flyweight title defense with a unanimous-decision win over Tim Elliott. The event saw eight of 12 scheduled bouts hit the judges’ scorecards for a decision, many of which were wars that were in the running for the evening’s ‘Fight of the Night’ honors. The TUF 24 Finale action is now behind us, so let’s take a look at some potential matchups featuring a few of the competitors from the evening… Tim Elliott vs. Justin Scoggins Elliott won the TUF 24 tournament and earned a shot at “Mighty Mouse” and his UFC flyweight title. He nearly finished the champ in the opening frame but went to lose a unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards after five entertaining rounds of 125-pound action. Following the contest, Elliott announced that he plans to move up a weight class to the UFC’s bantamweight division for his next outing, where I would like to see him take on Scoggins in what I would expect to be a barn-burner from start to finish. Scoggins recently made the move from flyweight to bantamweight himself, but unfortunately suffered a second-round guillotine-choke submission loss to Pedro Munhoz. I think Elliott versus Scoggins would make for an excellent matchup in the UFC’s bantamweight division, and I would like to see it booked for a future fight card. I think it would be a perfect fit for either the main card or the preliminary card headliner for March’s UFC 209 in Las Vegas. Jorge Masvidal vs. Cerrone/Brown winner Masvidal got a controversial first-round TKO win over Jake Ellenberger, the result of which will likely be turned to a No-Contest, as the Ellenberger camp plans to appeal the loss. Masvidal has long been wanting to fight Donald Cerrone and Matt Brown, and with their UFC 206 matchup fast approaching, I think taking on the winner of that bout makes sense for the Cuban. A potential matchup of Masvidal versus either Cerrone or Brown would make an excellent addition to the main card for the aforementioned UFC 209. Brandon Moreno vs. Ben Nguyen Moreno defeated Ryan Benoit via split decision this past weekend and is now 2-0 inside the Octagon. For his next outing, I would like to see him take on Nguyen, who just earned a unanimous decision win over Geane Herrera. Moreno scored a first-round guillotine-choke submission victory over Louis Smolka in his promotional debut, and Smolka was coming off a second-round TKO win over Nguyen, so there’s some MMA math to make here. I think Moreno versus Nguyen would be a phenomenal 125-pound matchup, and I would expect it to be another barn-burner. I think this potential flyweight contest would make for an excellent addition to the main card for UFC Fight Night 106 in Las Vegas this March, which takes place a night before the aforementioned UFC 209. Ion Cutelaba vs. Josh Stansbury Cutelaba came up short in a closely contested unanimous-decision loss to Jared Cannonier, though he managed to walk away with his second straight $50,000 ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus for his efforts. He was dominant in the first round against Cannonier, but his opponent was the fresher fighter in the second and third rounds, which were very close rounds with all three judges at Octagon-side going against him. Stansbury competed earlier in the evening, dropping a unanimous decision to Devin Clark on the Fight Pass prelims. Coming off UD defeats, this is a light heavyweight pairing I wouldn’t mind seeing on a future fight card. I think it would be a nice addition to the Fight Pass prelims to the aforementioned UFC Fight Night 106 in Las Vegas.

Written by Gabe Killian

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