Gabe Killian’s Post-UFC on FOX 9 Matchmaking Predictions: The Winners

Joe Lauzon UFC on FOX 9 came and went, leaving us with many exciting matchmaking options for the future. Here are my thoughts on what’s next for the winners. Joe Lauzon vs Nate Diaz – This is a fight between a pair of castmates from season five of The Ultimate Fighter that I would love to see. They were both riding two fight losing streaks, from which they have rebounded in impressive fashion. Diaz with a first round knockout of another fellow TUF season five veteran Gray Maynard, and Lauzon with a unanimous decision over TUF season six winner Mac Danzig. I believe this would make for a very exciting lightweight scrap, as they both like to fight for the finish. They are arguably two of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners at 155 pounds, owning a combined 29 out of 40 career victories by submission. Not only is this a fight I would really love to see, but I would really like for them to coach against each other on a season of The Ultimate Fighter where flyweights compete for a shot at a UFC contract, and a title shot. Similar to season four, “the comeback” season, where the winner earned a shot at the belt. Not only would Lauzon and Diaz make for great coaches and television personalities, but I think this would be a great way to build the roster at 125 pounds, and find a challenger for champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. Let’s face it, the UFC flyweight division is almost non-existent, and its champion has no legitimate challengers. I really think this would be a very smart move for the UFC to make in the near future, so I hope someone at the company comes across this article. Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson vs ??????? – Refer to the paragraph above. This guy has no one to challenge his title!!!!!!!!!!!! (In general, that is. However, he may already have a challenger for his next match-up in the winner of John Lineker vs Ali Bagautinov at UFC 169 next month.) Urijah Faber vs Dominic Cruz/Renan Barao winner – Faber was victorious this past weekend with a second round rear naked choke victory over Michael “Mayday” McDonald. At the post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White confirmed that Faber would again be getting a crack at the promotion’s bantamweight title, facing the winner of champion Cruz and interim-champion Barao who are set to compete at UFC 169, which will be live on Pay Per View from the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on February 1st, 2014. The co-main event on the card will be a battle for the promotion’s featherweight title, when challenger Ricardo Lamas takes on reigning champion Jose Aldo. Sam Stout vs Edson Barboza – Both of these lightweights picked up victories this past Saturday night. Stout got the better of Cody McKenzie on the feet for three rounds, cruising to a unanimous decision victory. Barboza got tagged by Danny Castillo in the first round, and survived a heavy onslaught. It looked a lot like Barboza’s bout against Jamie Varner. Castillo hurt Barboza bad, and instead of going for the TKO like Varner did, he decided to go for a choke. Barboza survived the choke, got his wits back, survived the round, came back and won the next two rounds. It was a great fight that went on to win the Fight of the Night bonus. I think pitting these two lightweights inside the Octagon together would make for a very fun striking battle. Canadian kickboxer versus Brazilian kickboxer. This fight is a proper step up for both fighters. Bobby “King” Green vs Abel “Killa” Trujillo – Another pair of lightweights who picked up wins at UFC on FOX 9: Johnson vs Benavidez. Green was successful in an upset over fellow Strikeforce import Pat “Bam-Bam” Healy, keeping the fight on the feet, and outstriking the veteran en route to a unanimous decision. Trujillo was victorious in a rematch against Roger Bowling, winning by knockout in the second round of action. This would make for an exciting striking war that will likely result in a knockout. While Trujillo is a wrestler, he prefers to stand and trade. In the three months between his fights with Bowling, he must have worked night and day on his striking, because the improvement he showed in that department was almost unbelievable. I was expecting for him to be the same fighter, but he showed up with a much improved striking game. He had kicked things up, not only one level, but two, or three. Zach Makovsky vs Alpetkin Ozkilic – This is a match-up between two flyweights who both made their Octagon debuts at UFC on FOX 9, each stepping in on short notice and picking up victories. Makovsky was just coming off of a five round title bout when he took the fight against Scott Jorgensen, after Jorgensen’s original opponent John Dodson got injured. He came in as an underdog and picked up a unanimous decision victory over Scott Jorgensen, who himself was making his debut at 125 pounds. Ozkilic made his promotional debut against Darren Uyenoyama, and got the better of him over the course of three rounds, taking home a split decision win. This would be a match-up between a couple of talented wrestlers who aren’t afraid to stand and trade. I think it’s a pairing that makes sense, and one of the predictions that is probably more likely to happen. Especially since the division is so razor thin. Ryan LaFlare vs Rick Story – This would be another step up in competition for LaFlare, after being successful in a unanimous decision victory against Court McGee on Saturday night. He stepped in on short notice when McGee’s original opponent Kelvin Gastelum suffered an injury. Beating McGee was no easy task, especially on such short notice. He got the better of McGee for the first two rounds, then when he lost steam in the third round of action, McGee took over and won the frame. If not for McGee’s superior conditioning, LaFlare could have secured a 30-27. McGee was a game opponent, and a tough test LaFlare passed with flying colors. He is now 3-0 inside the Octagon, taking a step up with each and every bout. Story would be another step up, and one that makes plenty of sense. I believe this would be a match-up MMA fans would love to see.

Written by Gabe Killian

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