Gabe Killian’s Post-UFC 170 Matchmaking Predictions: The Winners

Erik KochUFC 170 just took place, ending the string of unfortunate fight cards filled with decisions. It also resulted in the second women’s main event bout, and the first time a knockdown has been recorded in a women’s fight inside the Octagon. After a night of exciting fights, I am left with some match-ups to be desired… Erik “New Breed” Koch vs Beneil Dariush – Koch returned to the lightweight division on Saturday night for the first time in six years, and did so in impressive fashion. After scoring a first round knockout of Rafaello Oliveira, Koch now looks to settle into the 155 pound division and climb his way up the ladder, though I do not think he is too concerned about being a champ at this point, since his training partner and former roommate Anthony Pettis holds the strap. Dariush is coming off an impressive first round submission victory of his own right, as he took out the veteran Charlie Brennaman in his promotional debut just over a month ago. I think this would make for an excellent match-up between two well-rounded fighters who will give it their all in order to pick up their second W in the UFC’s lightweight division. I would be thrilled to see this fight booked on an upcoming card. I think it is a main card-worthy fight with Fight of the Night potential, but it would most likely be a featured bout on a FOX Sports 1 preliminary card. It is a solid match-up that will determine which lightweight gets a boost in the division. Aljamain Sterling vs Lucas Martins – This was the match-up that was originally supposed to happen, when Sterling stepped in for an injured Bryan Caraway. It was a fight I was looking forward to seeing, and I hope the UFC can put this one back together, as soon as both fighters are ready to go. Mike Pyle vs Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson – This is a welterweight match-up pitting two fighters together who were each successful with TKO victories at UFC 170. In back-to-back fights, Thompson finished Robert Whittaker in the first round of action, and in the following bout, Pyle took out submission ace TJ Waldburger in the third frame. With a win over the veteran and former WEC welterweight champion Mike Pyle, Thompson will move into the mix of things, and would be one more win away from getting his name mentioned during title talks. If his next opponent is not Pyle-caliber, then a win would not mean as much. For Pyle, a win over “Wonderboy” would mean he is still in the mix of things, and should not be counted out against anyone in the welterweight division. This would be a fun fight that either ends with a knockout or goes the distance and collects a Fight of the Night bonus. Rory “Ares” MacDonald vs Matt “The Immortal” Brown – The last time these two welterweights pulled out of a fight due to injury, they were each scheduled to face Carlos Condit. Brown has not returned to action since pulling out of his fight, but MacDonald came back and lost to Robbie Lawler via split decision, then returned to defeat Damien Maia via unanimous decision at UFC 170. For the first time in his Octagon career, the Canadian was dominated in the very first round of action, but returned to win the following pair of rounds. After dominating Maia on the feet in the second frame, it looked as if he was coasting his way to an eventual T/KO or a unanimous decision. When Maia took him down again in the third round, it looked as if the tables might be turning again and “Ares” would very well be on his way to losing the decision, but he managed to find his way back to his feet, and win the rest of the round, earning a clear 29-28 victory on my scorecard. Brown currently enjoys a five-fight winning streak, but has not seen action since making quick work over Mike Pyle at UFC Fight Night 26 six months ago. Daniel “D.C.” Cormier vs Ryan “Darth” Bader – “D.C.” made his light heavyweight debut at UFC 170, looking very good and taking out Patrick Cummins early in the first round of action. Cormier would like to face Jon Jones next, but the winner of the Jones/Teixeira fight is supposed to take on Gustafsson, if he wins. I think if Manuwa gets the upset over the Swede, then he deserves the title shot, as well. I think the winner of Phil Davis vs Anthony “Rumble” Johnson would be a solid fight for the former Strikeforce heavyweight champion, but he does not want to wait long before returning to action, especially if he knows a title shot is not in his immediate future. Bader is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Anthony Perosh at UFC Fight Night 33 over two months ago in what was one of the biggest one-sided beatdowns in UFC history. This is the only match-up that currently makes sense to me for Cormier. It is a fight between a pair of wrestlers who packer power in their hands. I think this would make for a really fun fight, and it is one light heavyweight battle I wouldn’t want to miss.

Written by Gabe Killian

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