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

Demian MaiaUFC 170 took place this past Saturday night (Feb. 22, 2014), 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. Here are my predictions for the losers of the evening… Patrick Cummins vs Anthony “Hippo” Perosh – Dana White stated during the UFC 170 post-fight press conference that Cummins will indeed get another shot inside the Octagon. After stepping in extremely on short notice and replacing an injured “Suga” Rashad Evans, the ex-barista was knocked out by the former Strikeforce heavyweight champion only a minute into the very first round of action. A match-up against Perosh for his second outing is one that I think makes sense for him. Perosh is coming off a loss to Ryan Bader, a fight in which he was dominated for three rounds of action, and displayed absolutely zero offense. This is a fight that makes plenty of sense for the “Hippo” as well, coming off that loss. This is a bout I can see on a future televised prelim card, and my money would probably be on the Under. Pedro Munhoz vs Yves Jabouin – Munhoz took this fight on very short notice, replacing an injured Francisco Rivera. He came up short on the judges’ scorecards, but with a full training camp, I think the now-former RFA bantamweight champion should get a match-up with an established Octagon veteran, and that is where a name like Yves Jabouin comes to mind. Jabouin is a solid veteran who has been playing a bit of a gatekeeper role in the UFC’s bantamweight division. I think a win over Jabouin, especially in impressive fashion, will prove that Munhoz belongs on the UFC’s 135 roster, and possibly in the top 10-15. Josh “The Gremlin” Sampo vs John “Hands of Stone” Lineker – Sampo came up short against Zach Makovsky at UFC 170, losing a unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards. The loss followed a “Fight of the Night”-winning promotional debut, in which he submitted a tough Ryan “Babyface” Benoit. The UFC’s flyweight division is very limited, and this is the only fight for him that makes any sense to me right now. I think it would be a solid fight. Sampo would be the underdog, but I could see him grinding out a decision by having some success following the blueprint Ali Bagautinov left behind. Lineker is just coming off that unanimous decision loss to Bagautinov, and is eager to get back on the win column. Both fighters have a history of missing weight in the UFC, but to be fair, Sampo’s fight against Benoit was a bit of a short notice, and it was his UFC debut, so we can cut him some slack. Lineker, however, I think has missed weight more times than not. Thankfully, he made weight for his last bout, on his second attempt, after missing by one pound on his first try. I think this would be a fun, entertaining flyweight contest, and a real chess-match to watch. I would not be surprised to see this on a future card; although since both fighters are coming off a loss, it would likely be on a televised preliminary card. Demian Maia vs Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann – I think this would be an excellent match-up for Kampmann’s return to the Octagon. He has been taking some time away from the cage to be with his family and just focus on training and getting better. He will be ready to come back soon, and after Maia takes some time off to heal up and work out any issues he may have, I think the timetable for this scrap makes sense. Maia is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Rory MacDonald at UFC 170 this past Saturday night, after dominating the Canadian on the mat for the majority of the first frame. After dropping the first round, MacDonald returned to win the next two. Maia had a shot at winning the third round when the fight hit the mat, but he was unsuccessful in keeping it there for long, as MacDonald found his way back to his feet and went on the secure the round on the judges’ scorecards. I think Maia vs Kampmann would be a great fight, and while I could see it headlining a card, I think I would prefer to see it as a three round co-main event. This is a fight for which I could not guess what the betting line could be without doing homework first. I could see either fighter opening as the favorite, which probably means the odds would be close to a coin-flip. Robert Whittaker vs Mike “Biggie” Rhodes – I think these are both undersized welterweights, and I say that knowing Rhodes used to weigh closer to 300 pounds than 170. If these two squared off, it would be my suggestion that the loser attempt to make 155 pounds. Whittaker is not in great physical shape, I could see him losing his flab, getting toned, and making the lightweight limit. Size aside, I think pairing these two would result in an exciting match-up. Both have solid striking skills, but Rhodes loves to wrestle, too, and he will be superior in that department against Whittaker. That said, the Australian has good takedown defense, so he may be able to stuff takedown attempts and continue scoring his points. I would assume Rhodes would be the favorite in this spot, though could see him being upset like he was via unanimous decision in his promotional debut against George Sullivan. Whittaker was just knocked out for the first time in his professional mixed martial arts career when Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson put him away in the very first round of action. I think Whittaker vs Rhodes would be a fun fight, and another preliminary card chess-match I wouldn’t want to miss.

Written by Gabe Killian

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