Post-UFC Fight Night 47 Matchmaking Predictions

Ryan BaderThe UFC’s first trip to Maine is now behind us with UFC Fight Night 47 having concluded its 10-fight event which included a highlight-filled six-fight main card this past weekend. Now it’s time to look ahead at some potential match-ups for some of the competitors of the evening… Ryan Bader vs Anthony Johnson Bader stepped into the Octagon this past Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 47 in the second main event of his UFC career. He came up short the first time around against Glover Teixeira, but last night he found himself victorious, going all five rounds of action against Strikeforce veteran Ovince St. Preux to pick up the unanimous nod from the judges and extend his winning streak to three in a row. It was Bader’s superior wrestling that dictated most of the fight and earned him the rounds. It is also worth noting that his chin held up quite well, which is something that was a concern heading into the bout. Johnson was successful in his own right just a few weeks ago, notching a first round knockout of the veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira just 44 seconds into the very first round of action. Johnson is now 2-0 since his return to the UFC at 205-pounds and currently enjoys an eight-fight winning streak since being released from the promotion two and a half years ago for failing to make weight. In what is a very thin light heavyweight division in the UFC, I think Bader vs Johnson would make for a solid match-up, and one that would put the winner right into the title picture. There is already a triangle with Jones, Cormier and Gustafsson. I believe the winner of Bader vs Johnson will be the fourth head in that mix. I think this match-up would be the absolutely perfect fit as the co-main event for UFC on FOX 13 in Phoenix. Bader would have the home advantage in that outing, as he trains out of Arizona. I figure the betting odds for this one would be close, but “Rumble” currently has more hype behind him and is coming off an impressive knockout win, so my guess is that he would open as a small -140 betting favorite at the sportsbooks. Ross Pearson vs Michael Johnson Pearson was slated to face Melvin Guillard in a rematch over five months ago, but was removed from the card due to injury and replaced by Johnson. The Blackzilian went on to defeat his former training partner Guillard via unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards. Unfortunately for Johnson, he himself has dealt with his fair share of injuries since that bout, so he has yet to return to action. Pearson found himself successful in the co-main event of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 47, scoring a second round TKO of former lightweight title challenger Gray Maynard. The Brit hopes for a return to action soon, and against a top 10 opponent. Enter Johnson, who is currently number 10 in the 155-pound rankings on the promotion’s official website. I think this potential lightweight scrap would make for an incredibly exciting striking affair. These are both very talented kickboxers and I think pairing them up inside the Octagon would be a simple recipe for big fireworks. I believe this would be a serious contender for the evening’s ‘Fight of the Night’ honors, regardless of the fight card it is on. I think this fight would be a solid fit to get the action started for the main card of UFC 181 in Las Vegas. As far as the betting odds are concerned, I think they would open at coin-flip odds. Tom Watson vs Caio Magalhaes Watson saved his contract from termination with a unanimous decision victory over TUF 16 veteran and promotional newcomer Sam Alvey at this past Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 47 in Maine. It was a very exciting and closely contested 15 minutes of action that saw both fighters have their moments, but ultimately it was a Brit who ended up with his hand raised, largely in part due to his effective leg kicks, which seems to be a new weapon he has added to his striking arsenal. It was a very exciting fight that was a lock for ‘Fight of the Night’ until the crazy one round war that was Jouban vs Baczynski. Magalhaes last saw action at UFC on FOX 11 four months ago, scoring a TKO of Luke Zachrich only 0:44 into the very first round of action. He now rides a three-fight winning streak inside the Octagon and will be looking to extend it to four. That’s where Watson comes in. I think this match-up would be a solid next move for both middleweights and feel it would be a solid addition to either the main or preliminary card for the UFC Fight Night in Uberlandia, Brazil this November. This is another fight where I think the betting lines will open close, possibly with Magalhaes being a slight favorite of -130 for the hometown advantage. Brad Tavares vs Mark Munoz Tavares was looking sharp against Tim Boetsch in their main card bout at this past Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 47, taking the first round over “The Barbarian” only to get dropped and finished in the second, in what was an incredible come-from-behind victory for Boetsch. Tavares is now on the first two-fight skid of his professional mixed martial arts career and I feel a pairing with Munoz makes sense for his next outing. “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” is on a two-fight losing streak of his own and will be looking to redeem himself in his last outing, which could very likely be the last time the 36-year-old veteran sees action inside the Octagon. I think this middleweight scrap would be a good fit to headline the preliminary card for December’s UFC 181 in Las Vegas, but I could also see it grabbing a featured main card slot. Both middleweights would certainly have their backs against the wall heading into this one. Tavares will have the advantage on the feet, but Munoz will hold all advantages in the grappling department. As far as the betting odds are concerned, I think this will be another close one, with Tavares being a small favorite of -150 or so, mostly for having youth on his side. Tim Boetsch vs Nate Marquardt The aforementioned Boetsch bounced back into the win column with another very impressive come-from-behind TKO over the Hawaiian Brad Tavares. That marked the first time the very durable Tavares has been finished inside his professional mixed martial arts career; his biggest trait thus far had been his granite chin. Marquardt last saw action a little over a month ago, scoring a first round submission victory over James Te-Huna in what was his return to the 185-pound division. The win snapped a three-fight losing skid for “The Great” and let the division know that he’s still a contender. I think this would be a solid match-up to make in the UFC’s middleweight division and is a fight I would personally like to see. I think this fight would be a good fit for the UFC’s trip to Turkey this November, possibly as the co-main event, though I could see it headlining the card, as well. At the sportsbooks, I think Boetsch would open as a -150 favorite over Marquardt then immediately get bet up to -200. For the public, the biggest concern with Marquardt is still his chin, which still remains a big question mark at 185-pounds.

Written by Gabe Killian

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