Gabe Killian’s Post-UFC Fight Night 35 Matchmaking Predictions: The Winners

T.J. DillashawUFC Fight Night 35 came and went, leaving me pondering potential match-ups for some of the winners of the evening… Ramsey Nijem vs Elias Silverio – This would be a match-up between two lightweights who both got their hands raised at UFC Fight Night 35. Nijem edged former TUF season 13 teammate Justin Edwards on the judges’ scorecards with a split decision in a closely contested bout, while Silverio dominated Jackson-Winklejohn MMA’s Isaac Vallie-Flagg for all three rounds of action. Silverio is a talented striker who showed solid skills on the ground as well. He would be a step up in competition for Nijem, and vice-versa. I think this would make for an interesting lightweight match-up that could headline a preliminary card, and it is definitely one I would be pleased to tune in for. Trevor Smith vs Caio Magalhaes – This is a pairing of two lower-tier middleweights who are coming off wins. I don’t think any fight fan cares to see either of these fighters compete again, so I see this fight being thrown to the bottom of a preliminary card. While nobody cares to see either of them fight, I think the match-up could prove to be an exciting, technique-lacking slobberknocker that could be a very deep sleeper for Fight of the Night. Smith just edged Brian Houston via split decision at UFC Fight Night 35, while Magalhaes edged Nick Ring on the judges’ scorecards in a controversial decision nearly two months ago in Australia. Brad Tavares or Yoel Romero vs Tim Boetsch – I think either of these middleweights would be a good match-up for Tim Boetsch’s next bout. Tavares and Romero were each successful at UFC Fight Night 35, with Tavares taking a unanimous decision over Lorenz Larkin, and Romero scoring a come-from-behind third round TKO over Derek Brunson. I think either of these two will match up well against Boetsch. I would really love to see either bout, and could not decide on which one I would rather see more. Romero had some trouble with the wrestling of Ronny Markes and Derek Brunson, so I’d be interested to see how he would fair against Boetsch’s wrestling. Boetsch is also more powerful and better conditioned than Romero’s aforementioned opponents. The Tavares fight would be a war between two well-rounded middleweights. I will sign up for either fight, just show me the dotted line. Baneil Dariush vs Mitch Clarke – In a match-up between two lightweights most MMA fans will not be too interested in, I think Dariush vs Clarke would be a great early preliminary fight on a future Canada card. Clarke has had quite a layoff since outpointing the Brit John Maguire on the judges’ scorecards seven months ago. Dariush was just successful at UFC Fight Night 35, where he dropped Charlie Brenneman in the first round of action, then followed him to the mat, securing a choke to earn the tap from the veteran. I don’t really care to see Clarke fight, but I am looking forward to Dariush’s next appearance in the Octagon, and I think this is a match-up that makes sense for him. TJ Dillashaw vs Takeya Mizugaki – Dillashaw was just victorious at Fight Night 35, where he outclassed Mike Easton for 15 minutes of action, earning a unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards. Mizugaki is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Nam Phan nearly two months ago, and is currently riding a four fight winning streak. It is actually a six fight winning streak, if you don’t include the robbery against Chris Cariasco, where he clearly won all three rounds, but somehow lost a unanimous decision. Dillashaw is technically on a six fight winning streak of his own right, if you count the loss against Raphael Assuncao in Brazil as a win, which it should have been. Both fighters have had bad luck when letting the fight go to the judges’ scorecards, though Mizugaki got lucky against Bryan Caraway, as I had that fight scored for Mr. Cupcake. I think a pairing of these bantamweights would prove to be an exciting match-up, and a win should put them in a number one contender match-up their next time out. I see this fight on a Pay-Per-View main card as the first or second fight, which I think is the perfect move for this match-up. Vinc “From Hell” Pichel vs Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout – This would be a lightweight contest I would really be interested in seeing. I don’t think it would cross anybody’s mind to pit these two together, but it crossed mine, then came back and wouldn’t leave. The more I think about it, the more I love this match up. It would be somewhere in the middle of the prelims, though I would not be surprised if it headlined a preliminary card, as Stout has some name value and is known to produce exciting fights. Pichel is also known by many fans for his time on TUF: Live. He was just successful at Fight Night 35, picking up a unanimous decision over Indiana’s Garrett Whiteley, while Stout did the same recently, picking one up over Cody McKenzie. This would mean back to back fights against TUF fighters for Stout, but it would be a step up from McKenzie. More importantly, it would be a big step up for Pichel, and would determine if he is capable of being a top 20 lightweight.

Written by Gabe Killian

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