The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was back in Anaheim, CA for the seventh time in promotional history last Saturday (July 29, 2017) with UFC 214: Cormier vs. Jones II. It was an entertaining night of action that saw half the bouts end inside the distance, and with the scraps now in our rear view, let’s take a look at some potential matchups featuring a few of the competitors from the evening…
Daniel Cormier vs. Jimi Manuwa
Cormer lost his UFC light heavyweight title to former title holder Jon “Bones” Jones in a rematch via third-round TKO. That marked the second official defeat of his pro MMA career, with both coming against Jones. For his return fight following the loss, I would like to see him take on Manuwa, who also came up short at UFC 214, losing to Volkan Oezdemir via knockout inside of the opening minute of the very first round of action. The Brit was on the brink of a title shot but will now have to go back for another look at the drawing board. If Cormier and Manuwa won, this fight would have likely gotten made, but now that they both came up short, I think it still makes sense to put it together. Early 2018 would be a good time to pit these two against each other in what would be a classic striker versus grappler matchup.
Tonya Evinger vs. Liz Carmouche
Evinger made her long-awaited UFC debut, although a weight class above in the UFC’s new women’s featherweight division, where she competed for the division’s vacant title against Cris “Cyborg” Justino. She came up short, losing the bout via third-round TKO, though she displayed tremendous heart and won over many new fans. She will certainly be dropping down to the UFC’s 135-pound division for her next bout, where I would like to see her take on Carmouche, who last saw action at UFC 205 last November at Madison Square Garden in New York City, where she defeated Katlyn Chookagian via split decision. I think a potential Evinger versus Carmouche matchup would make for an excellent fit to the preliminary card for the UFC’s upcoming return trip to the Big Apple for UFC 217.
Jason Knight vs. Renato Moicano
Knight and Moicano both came up short this past Saturday night, with Knight suffering a first-round TKO loss to Ricardo Lamas and Moicano being submitted with a guillotine choke by Brian Ortega in the third round of their contest. Following the defeats, I think it would make sense to pit these two fun, well-rounded featherweights against each other inside the Octagon. This potential 145-pound contest would be a perfect fit on the main card to November’s UFC Fight Night in Virginia.