Matchmaking Predictions for UFC Fight Night 103’s Winners

Oleksiy OliynykThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was in Phoenix, AZ for the third time in promotional history last Sunday (January 15, 2017) with UFC FIght Night 103: Rodriguez vs. Penn. The night had it’s ups and downs, and with the action now in our rear-view, let’s take a look at some potential match-ups featuring a few of the successful competitors from the evening… Oleksiy Oliynyk vs. Junior Dos Santos Oliynyk scored a very impressive first-round Ezekiel choke submission from bottom mount position over Viktor Pesta, and despite it only being the second submission of the year, I think it has a good chance of ending up as the best submission of the year 11-and-a-half months from now when we turn the page over to 2018. The victory puts the Ukrainian heavyweight back in the win column following the first official loss of his UFC career, which came via majority decision against Daniel Omielanczuk. For his next bout, I’d be interested in seeing Oliynyk fill in for the injured Stefan Struve against former UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos on short notice for next month’s UFC Fight Night 106 in Halifax. The potential bout would serve as the evening’s main event. Sergio Pettis vs. Jussier Formiga Pettis earned a unanimous-decision win over short-notice injury replacement John Moraga and now enjoys a three-fight winning streak inside the Octagon. Moraga was a replacement for Pettis’ original opponent, Formiga, and following his victory, Pettis made it known that he still wants the Brazilian. In this razor-thin division, I think there is a very good chance that the UFC puts this matchup together again. Joe Lauzon vs. Tony Martin Lauzon and Martin were each successful in their bouts at UFC Fight Night 103 in Phoenix, with Lauzon taking a controversial split-decision win over former Bellator lightweight title challenger Marcin Held, and Martin earning a unanimous decision over Alex White in what was a one-sided affair. Lauzon and Martin are both excellent grapplers, and I think this would stylistically be a fun matchup, as things could get very interesting when the fight hits the mat, where both 155-pounders generally want to take things. This fight would have a good chance of earning Lauzon his ninth ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus in the UFC and seems like an appropriate step up in competition for Martin. Walt Harris vs. Alexander Volkov Harris returned to the win column with a second-round knockout of Chase Sherman. It was without a doubt the most impressive performance of Harris’ UFC career, and for his next outing inside the Octagon, I think it would make sense to see him take on former Bellator heavyweight title holder Volkov, who is 1-0 in the UFC after a controversial decision win over Timothy Johnson. I think a potential Harris versus Volkov bout would be a solid addition to either March’s UFC Fight Night 106 in London or April’s UFC 210 in Buffalo, NY.

Written by Gabe Killian

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