Post-UFC Fight Night 51 Matchmaking Predictions

yuri-alcantaraUFC Fight Night 51 was live from Brasilia, Brazil this past Saturday night (Sept. 13, 2014) with 11 scheduled bouts, and after a solid night of fights, I am left with some potential match-ups to think about… Iuri Alcantara vs Johnny Eduardo Alcantara kept his win streak alive, defeating the Hawaiian Russell Doane via controversial split decision on the judges’ scorecards at this past Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 51 in Brasilia. After losing a very closely contested decision to Urijah Faber a year ago, the Brazilian has won three straight and will be looking to take on top-10 opposition in his next outing. Enter: Johnny Eduardo, who is currently ranked #8 in the UFC’s bantamweight rankings, while Alcantara is at #7. The 37-year old Brazilian returned to action after a two-year layoff just over four months ago and scored a huge upset by knocking out 135-pound contender Eddie Wineland in the very first round of action. The big win skyrocketed him in the rankings and he will be looking to build on that, so I think a scrap against Alcantara makes a lot of sense for his next outing. I believe this would be an excellent match-up in the UFC’s bantamweight division, and one that makes a ton of sense for both parties. I would love to see this fight as the co-main event for December’s UFC Fight Night in Barueri, Brazil. Andrei Arlovski vs Winner of Hunt/Nelson I think “The Pitbull” taking on either of these heavyweights would produce an incredible match-up, and I would truly love to see both fights. Hopefully by the time he hangs up his gloves, Arlovski will have taken on both Hunt and Nelson. If Hunt defeats Nelson without suffering any injuries, a quick turnaround for November’s UFC Fight Night in Australia makes a ton of sense. Should Nelson walk away with the victory, I think Arlovski vs Nelson would be a great fit for the main card of December’s The Ultimate Fighter Season 20 Finale in Las Vegas. Arlovski is now 2-0 inside the Octagon since his return to the UFC and currently enjoys a four-fight winning streak. He was last successful at last Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 51 in Brasilia, where he scored a big upset over the Brazilian, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, knocking him out in the first frame. Antonio Silva vs Frank Mir This is a match-up I would truly love to see take place in the UFC’s heavyweight division, as I cannot imagine it being anything short of exciting. I think it is a great stylistic match-up and one that would prove to be very entertaining. I could see an early finish coming on either end, but if it makes it past a couple of minutes, I think it would be a real contender for the evening’s ‘Fight of the Night’ honors. Mir would have his back against the wall heading into this battle, as he is currently on a four-fight losing streak, having lost to Junior Dos Santos, Josh Barnett, Daniel Cormier and most recently, Alistair Overeem at UFC 169 over seven months ago. “Bigfoot” last saw action at this past Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 51 in Brasilia, where he took on the veteran Andrei Arlovski in a rematch, and lost the bout via knockout in the first stanza. Mir is hoping to fight “Big Nog” in a rubber-match, and while that is a fight I would eventually like to see, this is the fight I want to see first. Though, should he lose to Silva, he would likely be released from the promotion, as the loss would make it five in a row for him and kiss the rubber-match goodbye. I think “Bigfoot” vs Mir would be a great addition to the main card of December’s UFC 181, which will be headlined by a Middleweight title fight between challenger Vitor Belfort and champion Chris Weidman, and co-headlined by a Lightweight title fight between challenger Gilbert Melendez and champion Anthony Pettis. Tibau vs Nurmagomedov II I was originally going to suggest Tibau vs Ross Pearson, but the thought of this potential match-up popped into my head, and I love it. Tibau and Nurmagomedov first fought at UFC 148 over two years ago, where the Dagestani fighter defeated the Brazilian via a very controversial 30-27 unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards. Many spectators scored the bout for Tibau, including five out of six MMA websites. Though on paper, he won every round on all three judges’ scorecards, many people believe Nurmagomedov is not really undefeated, as they felt Tibau was robbed. That said, I personally scored the fight for Nurmagomedov, but think it was really close and could have gone either way. Both 155-pounders have improved since they last met, and considering how close their first fight was and the controversy surrounding it, this is a rematch I would really like to see. It would be a great return-to-action fight for Nurmagomedov when he is fully recovered from his knee injury, and would be a solid fit to the main card of any UFC Pay Per View card. The Dagestani fighter last saw action at UFC on FOX 11 five months ago, where he defeated Rafael dos Anjos via unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards. Tibau, on the other hand, just competed at this past weekend’s UFC Fight Night 51 in Brasilia, where he outpointed Piotr Hallmann on the judges’ scorecards for a split decision victory.

Written by Gabe Killian

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