Post-UFC Fight Night 54 Matchmaking Predictions

Bryan CarawayUFC Fight Night 54 was live from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada this past Saturday (October, 4, 2014) night with an 12 fight card and produced a night of exciting fights, including five finishes. Now with the solid night of scraps behind us, let’s take a look at a few potential match-ups for some of the competitors of the evening… Daron “The Detroit Superstar” Cruickshank vs Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone Cerrone wants to get another fight in by years end, and I think Cruickshank is a fighter who would oblige, given he walked away from his three round decision victory over Anthony Njokuani at Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 53 in Nova Scotia without any lingering injuries. Cerrone recently found success via unanimous decision in his own right, taking a 29-28 across the board on the judges’ scorecards in a three round war against former Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez. While Cerrone would be a heavy favorite heading into this lightweight match-up, I think it will still end up being a very exciting scrap; perhaps a very competitive one, as we have yet to see “Cowboy” take on anybody with an unorthodox style of Tae Kwon Do striking similar to Cruickshank’s. The only other UFC Taekwondo black belts he has faced were Benson Henderson and Anthony Pettis, and we know how those fights went. Even though neither of these 155-pounders are Brazilians, but I believe this fight will make a solid addition as the co-main event for December’s UFC Fight Night 58 in Brazil. Given that Cruickshank is ready to go, this should be the move to make. Bryan “Kid Lightning” Caraway vs Manny “The Anvil” Gamburyan Caraway came up short at this past Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 54 in Nova Scotia, dropping a unanimous decision to red-hot Brazilian Raphael Assuncao. Gamburyan on the other hand is coming off a win, having submitted Cody Gibson on the UFC 178 preliminary card just over a week ago. After getting his hand raised, Gamburyan challenged Caraway to a fight, stating that regardless of the outcome to the Assuncao bout, win or lose, he wants him next. I believe Caraway will oblige and Sean Shelby will pit these pair of bantamweights together. Caraway will look to bounce back into the win column, while the Armenian will look to go 2-0 in the division. I think this scrap would be a solid fit for the televised preliminary portion of January’s UFC 183, which will be headlined by a five round main event “superfight” between Nick Diaz and Anderson Silva. Chad Laprise vs Paul “The Irish Dragon” Felder This would be a match-up putting together two lightweights who were each successful at this past Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 54 in Nova Scotia. Both 155-pounders picked up decision victories on the judges’ scorecards, with The TUF Nations winner Laprise dominating the Cuban Yosdenis Cedeno for three rounds of action and the Brit Felder taking a closely contested split decision over Jason Saggo. In this fight, as he saying goes; somebody’s ‘O’ must go. Both of these young lightweights are currently undefeated and will be looking to keep their records intact. They are both solid prospects in the division, and I think this is a good time to pit them against each other inside the Octagon. I believe this fight would result in a very fun striking battle, and a sure-fire contender for the evening’s ‘Fight of the Night’ honors, regardless of the card it will be held on. Speaking of which, I think it would be a solid fit for the UFC’s upcoming trip to London in February, giving the Brit the hometown edge over the Canadian. Tarec “Sponge” Saffiedine vs Mike “Quicksand” Pyle Saffiedine suffered the first T/KO defeat of his professional mixed martial arts career in the main event of this past Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 54 in Nova Scotia. It came in the third round at the hands of the Canadian Rory MacDonald. Now headed back to the drawing board, “Sponge” will look for his next move, and that’s where I think Pyle comes into the picture. “Quicksand” last saw action in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 49 just over a month ago, and much like the Belgian, he was also on the bitter end of a T/KO, getting finished by another young Canadian, Jordan Mein just over a minute into the fight. I think this would be a good fight to make in the UFC’s welterweight division, and a win for either 170-pounder in this match-up would be huge. Most especially for Pyle, as taking out the former Strikeforce welterweight champion will earn him another big fight, which would ultimately give him the opportunity to get right back into the mix of things. For Saffiedine, a win over Pyle would be a solid way to get back on track and in the hunt for the title. I think this bout makes sense as a next move for both welterweights, and I would not mind seeing it on a future fight card. I think it would make a solid addition to either UFC 182 or UFC 183, which will both be live on Pay-Per-View from Las Vegas in January 2015.

Written by Gabe Killian

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