Post-UFC 179 Matchmaking Predictions

Chad MendesUFC 179 was live from Rio de Janeiro this past Saturday (October 25, 2014) night with 12 scheduled bouts. It was a somewhat uneventful night of scraps that lead up to an incredible main event which saved the show. With the Rio de Janeiro night in our rear view, let’s take a look at some potential match-ups for some of the competitors from the evening… Chad Mendes vs Dustin Poirier Mendes came up short in his second bid for the UFC featherweight title against Jose Aldo at this past Saturday night’s UFC 179 in Rio de Janeiro, losing via unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards. Poirier is coming off a loss of his own, recently being knocked out by the fast-rising Conor McGregor in the first round of action at UFC 178. With both featherweights coming off a loss and looking to rebound, I think this potential match-up makes great sense as a next move for both of them. Mendes and Poirier have become amongst the most exciting fighters to watch in the UFC’s 145 pound division, and I believe a pairing of them inside of the Octagon would all but guarantee fireworks. I think this fight will make a solid addition to the main card for February’s UFC 178 in Los Angeles, which will be headlined by a middleweight title fight between challenger Vitor Belfort and defending Champion Chris Weidman. Jose Aldo vs Winner of Edgar/Swanson Not much of a prediction with this one. Swanson has been guaranteed a title shot with a win over Edgar, and I assume the same for Edgar. Regardless of the winner, Aldo will be paired up in a rematch for his next outing, as he owns a quick first round knockout victory over Swanson under the WEC banner, and a unanimous decision victory over Edgar, in what was the New Jersey native’s divisional debut. Darren Elkins vs Andre Fili “The Damage” vs “Touchy” would be a great match-up in the UFC’s 145 pound division, with both featherweights being victorious at this past Saturday night’s UFC 179 in Rio de Janeiro. Elkins took a decision over Lucas Martins, while Fili took one over Felipe Arantes. With both American’s victorious against Brazilians in Brazil, I would like to see them take on each other in their next outing on American soil, preferably on the preliminary card for January’s UFC 182 in Las Vegas, which will be headlined by a light heavyweight title fight between challenger Daniel Cormier and defending champion Jon Jones. It would be interesting to see how Fili does against a wrestler like Elkins, while seeing how Elkins does against a fast and unorthodox striker like Fili. Elkins has been unsuccessful once against Team Alpha Male already, being knocked out by Chad Mendes in the very first round of their bout. I think this is a fight both fighters would want and it is one I would personally like to see, as I am interested in seeing which featherweight will find success in employing his game plan, or if it splits 50/50 and results in great, unexpected entertainment, which you normally don’t expect from Darren Elkins match-ups. Neil Magny vs Stephen Thompson I think Magny vs “Wonderboy” would be an excellent match-up in the UFC’s welterweight division, and I would very much enjoy these two being pitted inside of a steel cage against each other. Both 170-pounders are long, randy and vicious, not to mention red-hot. They are both riding very impressive winning streaks, with Magny owning five victories, all of which coming in 2014, and Thompson riding a four-fight streak, most recently a unanimous decision over former UFC middleweight title challenger Patrick Cote. Magny was last successful in the headlining spot of the preliminary card for UFC 179 in his opponent William Macario’s hometown of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He defeated the Brazilian in front of his hometown crowd via TKO in the third round of action, putting himself in history books as only one of two fighters (the other being Roger Huerta) to pick up five Octagon victories within the course of a single year. I believe this potential 170 pound scrap would make a serious contender for the evening’s ‘Fight of the Night’ honors, regardless of the card it was on. Personally, I would like to see it headline the preliminary card for January’s UFC 182, as I think it is a perfect fight to set up a Pay Per View card, especially since it is a fight that could very well belong on a Pay Per View card. Wilson Reis vs Winner of Formiga/Moraga Reis is now 2-0 as a flyweight, with a title shot in his sights. Looking to go 3-0 in the division to set himself up for said title shot, I think a match-up against the winner of Jussier Formiga vs John Moraga at next month’s UFC on FOX 13 in Moraga’s backyard of Phoenix makes plenty of sense as a next move for the Brazilian veteran. I think a fight with either Formiga or Moraga would prove to be very entertaining, but I would personally prefer to see him go at it against fellow Brazilian Jussier Formiga, as they are both exceptional black belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and I would like to see how that chess-match on the mat plays out. That said, I think Reis vs Moraga would be a solid ‘Fight of the Night’ contender, as I think they would stylistically make for a very fun scrap; one that likely goes the three round distance and leaves blood on the mat for the rest of the night. You would not generally expect a bloody fight from either 125-pounder, but I think a pairing of them both would produce one. Regardless of who wins between Formiga and Moraga, I hope Sean Shelby matches the winner up with Reis.

Written by Gabe Killian

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