Gabe Killian’s Post-UFC 172 Matchmaking Predictions: The Losers

Charlie-BrennemanUFC 172 came and went, delivering one of the most entertaining cards of the first quarter of 2014. Now that the event has concluded, we are left with some match-up possibilities to consider. Here are my matchmaking predictions for some of the losers of the evening… Andre “Touchy” Fili vs “Super” Steven Siler – I think this would make for a very entertaining match-up in the featherweight division. These two bring it every time they step inside the cage and are always looking to finish their fights. They are both well-versed in every facet of the sport and more importantly, have fan-friendly styles, as they both prefer to move forward and be the aggressor. Fili just suffered his first taste of Octagon defeat, losing to Max Holloway via a third round guillotine choke at UFC 172 this past Saturday. “Touchy” was doing well in the first frame, and in my opinion, won the round. However, it was Holloway who took over in the second, as fatigue began to set in for Fili. His cardio played a major factor in his loss to the Hawaiian, and if this match-up is made, he would need to have his conditioning in check, as Siler is a cardio machine. Siler is coming off a very arguable TKO loss to Rony Jason during the UFC’s most recent trip to Brazil. Jason dropped Siler with a punch, but Siler was defending with upkicks when the referee stopped the fight, and didn’t waste a second before complaining about the stoppage. MMA fans and media alike were in unanimous agreement that it was a very poor stoppage by the referee, who went on to make numerous bad calls throughout the evening. I believe Fili vs Siler would prove to be a very exciting bout; a true ‘Fight of the Night’ contender, and I hope to see it on a future fight card, perhaps in FIli’s backyard of San Jose when the UFC’s heads there on July 26th for UFC on FOX 12. Tim Elliott vs Alp Ozkilic – This is a match-up I would like to see made in the UFC’s flyweight division. Elliott looked impressive this past weekend at UFC 172, as he controlled former title challenger Joseph Benavidez for the first half of the first frame. Unfortunately for Elliott, he got caught in Benavidez’s guillotine, and was forced to submit. Nonetheless, he picked up many new fans with his performance, and I certainly became a bigger one. I am looking forward to seeing Elliott inside the Octagon once again, and I think a match-up against Ozkilic makes a ton of sense for his next outing. Ozkilic last saw action over three months ago, dropping a unanimous decision to promotional newcomer Louis Smolka. Now with his first career loss as a 125 pounder behind him, “The Turkish Delight” is ready to get back on the win column. Elliott has dropped back to back fights, so a loss here could mean a pink slip him. In a razor thin division, I think this is a great pairing, and one I could see being put on the FOX Sports 1 preliminary portion of a future fight card. I think it’d be a nice fit for this August’s UFC Fight Night in Oklahoma. If Ozkilic walks away from this bout without any serious injuries, it would be likely if he got back to training almost immediately, as he would get another fight for the UFC’s trip to Istanbul, Turkey this November. Glover Teixeira vs Loser of Henderson/Cormier – The UFC’s light heavyweight division is very thin, so there are hardly any options for Teixeira, who is coming off his five round unanimous decision loss to Jon Jones at UFC 172 this past weekend, in an unsuccessful bid for the champ’s title. Henderson and Cormier are about to square off in June for UFC 174 in Vancouver. It is likely Cormier will defeat Henderson, so Teixeira vs Henderson would be the most realistic possibility. While nobody is crazy about seeing Hendo fight these days, I think a fight with Teixeira is one that would draw up quite a bit of interest, as he may be one of the very few who could possibly stop the Brazilian. Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman vs Isaac Vallie-Flagg – This would be a fight between two lightweights who each suffered losses at UFC 172 this past Saturday. I would normally assume that they would be released from the promotion, as they have both now dropped back to back fights, but Dana White said that he was so pleased with UFC 172 that no fighter would be getting released. I’m sure that was music to the ears of Brenneman and Vallie-Flagg, who were probably expecting the worst. Brenneman went into his bout with Danny Castillo as a 3-to-1 underdog, and looked like a 3-to-1 favorite by the end of the first round, as he used his superior wrestling to control Castillo for a majority of the frame. Unfortunately for Brenneman, he did not get a chance to get anything going in the second, as Castillo landed an over-hand right just seconds into the round, dropping “The Spaniard” flat on his back for a one-punch-knockout. Vallie-Flagg looked good in a three round unanimous decision loss to PRIDE veteran “The Fireball Kid” Takanori Gomi, in a fight that took home ‘Fight of the Night’ honors and put $50,000 in the pockets’ of both lightweights. It was a back and forth brawl that saw both fighters have their moments, but it was Vallie-Flagg who appeared to be the one who looked like he was just in a war, as he was bloodied up and covered in bruises, while Gomi was scratch-free. Brenneman vs Vallie-Flagg is not a match-up I particularly care about, but it is a fight that I think makes plenty of sense, and I could see it being on a future Fight Pass preliminary card. “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis vs Fabio Maldonado – After a lengthy layoff, Davis returned to the Octagon and gave the poorest showing of his UFC career. He was dominated by Anthony “Rumble” Johnson on the feet for 15 minutes of action. Johnson had him hurt in the first round, and nearly had Davis finished. Johnson looked more dominant against “Mr. Wonderful” than Johnson’s team-mate and training partner “Suga” Rashad Evans did when he handed Davis his first professional career defeat in a five round main event bout on FOX. Now Davis has two losses on his record, and both of them against Blackzilian team members. This is a rare winner vs loser that makes sense, as Maldonado is on a win streak and looking for ranked opposition. Though Davis’ wrestling would be a concern for the Brazilian, I’m sure he would gladly accept the fight. He is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Gian Villante just a month ago, and now has three straight under his belt. This is a match-up I could see happening, because this division is very thin, and there really aren’t many options for either of these light heavyweights.

Written by Gabe Killian

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