Gabe Killian’s Post-UFC 171 Matchmaking Predictions: The Losers

Diego SanchezUFC 171 wrapped up a night of exciting fights, leaving us with a new welterweight champion, and some match-up possibilities to ponder on… Diego Sanchez vs Joe Lauzon – I feel like this is a match-up that could have, and probably should have been made years ago. I would guess that these two have been in more combined Fight of the Night’s than any other two lightweights on the planet. They are both talented grapplers who leave something to be desired when it comes to their striking. I think it would be a safe bet that at the end of this bout, both fighters will be showing bruises on the face; or, it could be the first time in a long time Sanchez has a fight where he doesn’t end up looking like his face just got run over by a Mini Cooper. The Jackson-Winklejohn MMA product just came up short against Myles Jury at UFC 171, dropping a clear cut unanimous decision, and then going on the blame the loss on food poisoning. Personally, I think he is telling the truth, as it really did not make sense that he did not go for a single takedown against the undefeated superior striker. Lauzon recently earned the first unanimous decision victory of his career over Mac Danzig, sending Danzig into retirement. I could definitely see this fight kicking off or co-headlining a Pay Per View or FOX card. I could also see it as a five round main event for a UFC Fight Pass card, and Sanchez would probably prefer that, just because he would have an advantage knowing it’s a five rounder. The UFC normally doesn’t pit winners vs losers, but they did with Sanchez vs Jury, after Sanchez had just been defeated by Gilbert Melendez. That match-up made absolutely no sense to me, and I think the UFC made it to use Diego to help Jury get his name out there. That fight did not make sense to me. However, this one definitely does. This is a lightweight match-up no MMA fan on the planet will dare miss. Rick “The Horror” Story vs Court “The Crusher” McGee – Story just came up short in a split decision loss to Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 171 this past Saturday, and I think this is a match-up that makes sense for his next Octagon outing. Not only does it make sense, but I think Story vs McGee would make for a fantastic, Fight of the Night caliber match-up. “The Crusher” just had his two fight winning streak snapped by Ryan LaFlare in a unanimous decision. I think this is a great match-up for both welterweights, and I could see this being featured on a UFC Fight Night main card, though it would not surprise me to see it on a Pay Per View. These 170 pounders are both very aggressive. They have wrestling backgrounds, but both prefer to just move forward and box. Both stylistically and entertainment-wise, I think this match-up is a perfect fit as a next move for both welterweights. Jake Shields vs Mike Pierce – Shields came up short at UFC 171, losing a unanimous decision to Hector Lombard. Many expected the Cuban to finish Shields, but the former Strikeforce middleweight champion took Lombard’s shots on the feet, but then did not offer much of a threat off his back, whenever the fight would hit the mat. The loss snapped a four fight undefeated streak, and after getting so close to getting a sniff of his second UFC title shot, he is now back to the drawing board. That is where Mike Pierce comes into the picture. A solid grappler in his own right, Pierce, while likely being an underdog, would offer a threat to Shields both on the feet and in the mat, considering he has heavy hands and powerful wrestling. This is a rare Jake Shields fight I would truly look forward to seeing. I love Lombard, but even I was not looking forward to that bout. I was expecting either Lombard to get an early finish, or for him to cruise to a decision, which is what he ended up doing. I was hoping for the early finish, as that would have been much more exciting, but I knew there was nothing Shields could do to add to the fight being exciting, other than leaving his chin open. Pierce has not seen action since being submitted by Rousimhar Palhares in the first round of action over five months ago. Palhares held the heel-hook a little longer than he should have, which resulted in an injury for Pierce, and a pink slip for the Brazilian. I could see Shields vs Pierce being on a Fight Night main card. I think it’s a welterweight scrap that makes plenty of sense, and a fight between two boring fighters that I believe will not be boring. Robbie Lawler vs Nick Diaz II – This is a welterweight rematch every fight fan on the planet earth could get excited for. Diaz was the first fighter to ever knock-out Lawler. Now, 10 years and 23 fights later, Lawler still has not been knocked out by anybody else. They are both different fighters now, and I think the rematch could prove to be just as good as their initial meeting; perhaps better. Lawler is just coming off a close unanimous decision loss to current/new UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks, while Diaz has not seen action since dropping a unanimous decision of his own to former 170 pound champ Georges St. Pierre. On a two fight skid with a year-long lay-off, a rematch would Lawler would seem to be the perfect fight for Diaz to make his Octagon return with. I could see this fight as being a co-main, or main event, but I would much rather see it as a five round main event, preferably on a nationally televised FOX card. I am not sure if there is anything in the world of MMA that could possibly get me as excited as the news of Diaz/Lawler II headlining a FOX card would. Please, Uncle Dana, make my wish come true!!

Written by Gabe Killian

Leave a Reply

MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: UFC Welterweight Division A Mess

Bellator 113’s David Rickels: ‘I’m better in rounds two and three than Patricky Pitbull’