Post-UFC 206 Matchmaking Predictions

Misha CirkunovThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was in Toronto, Ontario, Canada this past Saturday night (December 10, 2016) with UFC 206: Holloway vs. Pettis. The card produced arguably the most entertaining fight of the year, with 50 percent of the bouts ending inside the distance. The incredible night of action is now in our rear-view, so let’s take a look at some potential matchups featuring a few of the competitors from the evening… Anthony Pettis vs. Leandro Silva Pettis suffered a third-round TKO at the hands of Max Holloway in the main event at UFC 206, and following the sour defeat, he announced his plans to move back up to the UFC’s lightweight division, where he used to be the champion. I think a good return bout for him at 155 pounds would be one against Silva, who is coming off back-to-back decision losses to Jason Saggo and Rustam Khabilov. I think Silva would be a solid test for Pettis back at lightweight, and both fighters would have their backs against the wall heading in. This potential lightweight scrap would be a solid fit for the UFC’s return to Anaheim, CA in August of 2017 for what will be a Pay-Per-View event. Donald Cerrone vs. Jorge Masvidal Cerrone scored an incredible third-round head-kick knockout of Matt Brown in the co-main event at UFC 206, and he now enjoys a four-fight winning streak inside the Octagon since his move to the welterweight division, with all four victories coming by way of finish. Masvidal won a controversial split decision against Jake Ellenberger a week ago at the TUF 24 Finale and called out Cerrone following the victory. I think this would be an excellent matchup pairing two great fighters who formerly competed at 155 pounds but have found new life at welterweight. This fight would be the perfect fit to co-main event the UFC on FOX card in Denver late next month. Doo Ho Choi vs. Renan Barao Choi came up short in a unanimous-decision loss to Cub Swanson on the main card but still took home $50,000 after winning ‘Fight of the Night’ honors for his efforts, with many dubbing it the ‘Fight of the Year’ already. It was an excellent matchup that saw the South Korean’s stock rise despite the loss. For his next outing inside the Octagon, I would like to see him take on Renan Barao in what would be a rare “winner vs. loser” matchup in the UFC’s featherweight division, considering that Barao is coming off a unanimous-decision win over Philippe Nover. I think Choi versus Baro makes for a very fun matchup at 145 pounds, and I would love to see it booked for a future fight card, preferably the aforementioned PPV card in Anaheim. Misha Cirkunov vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua Cirkunov dropped Nikita Krylov with a punch and wrapped up the show with a guillotine choke to earn the tap and his fourth straight victory inside the Octagon, with all four wins coming inside the distance. Following the bout, he called out Rua and afterwards explained the reason for his callout was that he would like to test himself against a legend. I think that is a matchup that makes sense in this limited light heavyweight division. “Shogun” is coming off a split-decision win over Corey Anderson and currently enjoys a two-fight winning streak inside the Octagon. I think this potential 205-pound contest would be a solid addition to the main card for February’s UFC 208 in Brooklyn.

Written by Gabe Killian

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