Matches to Make After UFC 209

Rashad EvansThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was in back in Las Vegas, NV this past Saturday night (March 4, 2017) with UFC 209: Woodley vs. Thompson II. It was an entertaining night of fights, and the scraps are now behind us, so let’s take a look at some potential matchups featuring a few of the competitors from the evening… Lando Vannata vs. Abel Trujillo Vannata came up short in a unanimous decision against Sweden’s David Teymur and will be looking to bounce back into the win column his next time out. For his next Octagon outing, I would like to see him take on the veteran Trujillo, who recently saw his three-fight winning streak snapped by James Vick via third-round D’Arce choke submission, and like Vannata, he will also be looking to return to the win column. I think Vannata versus Trujillo would be a fun fight in the UFC’s 155-pound division, and I would enjoy seeing it booked for a future fight card, preferably on the Pay-Per-View main card for July’s UFC 214 in Anaheim, CA. Daniel Kelly vs. Anderson Silva Kelly earned a split-decision victory over former UFC light heavyweight champion “Suga” Rashad Evans after getting the better of the former champ for the majority of three rounds of action. It was an excellent outing by Kelly, who extends his UFC winning streak to four. For his next outing inside the Octagon, I would like to see him take on former UFC middleweight champion and the GOAT — Anderson Silva. It makes sense to go from defeating a former light heavyweight champion to facing a former middleweight champion who is coming off a controversial victory and appears to be on a decline. They are both up there in age, with Kelly being 39 years old and Silva two years older at 41. I think this is a pairing that makes sense and is one that fight fans can get behind, especially considering Kelly’s late popularity. If you mentioned the possibility of this matchup to me a year ago, I would have laughed you out of the room. But today, it is a matchup I would enjoy tuning into. I think this potential middleweight contest would make sense for either the main or co-main event to June’s UFC Fight Night in Auckland, New Zealand. Rashad Evans vs. Johny Hendricks This would be a rare “winner versus loser” matchup in the UFC’s middleweight division, but it is one Octagon pairing I would be very interested in seeing. Evans is coming off this past weekend’s split-decision loss to the aforementioned Kelly while Hendricks scored a unanimous-decision win over Hector Lombard just last month. Despite one fighter coming off a win and the other a loss, I think this is a matchup that makes sense for both middleweights. It is also an intriguing matchup for both of them in their second bouts in the division. If Evans gets his hand raised here, he would be 1-1 at 185 pounds, with dropping Hendricks to 1-1 as well. If Hendricks picks up the win, he would be 2-0 in the division while Evans would fall to 0-2 and need to consider hanging up the gloves. A battle pitting a former UFC welterweight champion against a former UFC light heavyweight champion in a middleweight matchup? Sure, sign me up. I think this bout would be a solid fit on the PPV main card for July’s UFC 213 in Las Vegas.

Written by Gabe Killian

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