Post-UFC 178 Matchmaking Predictions

PoirierUFC 178 came and went this past Saturday night (Sept. 27, 2014), producing an incredibly entertaining night of fights, and with the scraps now behind us, let’s take a look at some potential match-ups for a few of the competitors of the evening… Donald Cerrone vs Michael Johnson It seems as if the UFC already has a fight lined up for Cerrone, but at this point it is an unknown. This is the match-up I would hope they are putting together, as I feel it would be a very entertaining scrap in the UFC’s lightweight division. After just defeating a Blackzilian in former Bellator lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez at UFC 178 this past Saturday night, taking on another Blackzilian in Johnson would be a solid next move for Cerrone, who is looking for a quick turnaround. Johnson is riding an impressive three-fight winning streak with a pair of dominant unanimous decisions over Joe Lauzon and Melvin Guillard, respectively, plus a knockout of perennial gatekeeper Gleison Tibau. In a quick turnaround, I’m sure “Cowboy” would love the chance to snap that streak, and ultimately put away another Blackzilian. This would make for the biggest fight and test of Johnson’s professional mixed martial arts career and I believe it is one he would be thrilled to accept. I think this would be the perfect fight to kick off December’s UFC 181, which will again be returning to Las Vegas. Dustin Poirier vs Jeremy Stephens I think this match-up makes a ton of sense and would make for an excellent scrap in the UFC’s featherweight division. Save for an early finish, I have no doubt this potential bout would be a true ‘Fight of the Night’ contender. Both of these 145-pounders are incredibly tough, so I would favor them to have a 15 minute war which would most likely be dubbed an instant classic. Poirier suffered the first T/KO defeat of his professional mixed martial arts career at this past Saturday’s UFC 178 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the same arena in which he made his promotional debut. Back to the drawing board, I believe a fight with “Lil’ Heathen” makes the most sense for his next move. Same goes for Stephens, who is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Cub Swanson. The loss to Swanson is something Poirier and Stephens both have in common, and with both 145-pounders now coming off losses, this fight would put the winner right back into the mix of things, while sending the loser further down the ladder and one more loss away from receiving a pink slip. I would love to see this scrap on the main card for November’s UFC 180 in Mexico City, where Stephens would figure to have a home advantage, as he is half Mexican. Stephen Thompson vs Jordan Mein This would be a very fun striking battle in the UFC’s welterweight division, as both fighters love to stand and trade, always looking for the knockout finish, which they often find, as they own a combined 21 out of 39 professional mixed martial arts victories by way of T/KO. Thompson just took a unanimous decision victory over Patrick Cote at this past Saturday night’s UFC 178 in Las Vegas, and now rides an impressive four-fight winning streak. Mein on the other hand is riding a two-fight winning streak and shares something in common with Thompson: a loss to Matt Brown. I think this welterweight scrap makes a world of sense and would love to see it on a future fight card. A win here would be big for either 170-pounder, as it would send them up the rankings and likely earn them a top 10 opponent in their next outing. This fight would be a good fit for January’s UFC 183 in Las Vegas, which will be headlined by Anderson Silva vs Nick Diaz, in a fight which marks the return of both fighters. Patrick Cote vs Dong Hyun Kim Cote came up short against Stephen Thompson at this past weekend’s UFC 178, dropping a unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards. Kim recently suffered a first round knockout at the hands of Tyron Woodley, and will desperately be looking to get back into the win column. Now with both welterweights currently back at the drawing board, I think this fight makes sense for both of them for their next outings, and a win for either would be huge, especially for Cote. An upset of “Stun Gun” would be big for his career and would almost make up for the Thompson loss. I think this would be an entertaining fight in the UFC’s 170-pound division and would not mind seeing it on a future fight card. This scrap would be a good fit for the FOX Sports 1 televised preliminary card portion of UFC 182, which will be headlined by a Light Heavyweight title fight between challenger Daniel Cormier and Champion Jon Jones.

Written by Gabe Killian

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