Post-UFC 180: Matchmaking Predictions

kelvin-gastelumThe Ultimate Fighting Championship was in Mexico City, Mexico this past Saturday night for the first time in promotion history with UFC 180. The action-packed 11-fight card featured an incredible eight finishes, and now with the solid night of scraps behind us, let’s take a look at some potential match-ups for some of the competitors of the evening… Kelvin Gastelum vs Tyron Woodley Coming off his first round rear naked choke submission victory over Jake Ellenberger in the co-main event of UFC 180 in Mexico City, Gastelum extends his winning streak to 11 in a row and remains undefeated as a professional mixed martial artist. He just turned 23 years old a couple of weeks ago and has serious potential of becoming the youngest welterweight champion in UFC history. He has passed every test he’s been assigned, and currently the only other available opponent on the UFC’s welterweight roster who would be considered a true test for him is Tyron Woodley. Any other fighter who would give him a real challenge is either booked for a fight or injured. Despite that fact, I believe Gastelum vs Woodley would be a very entertaining fight and one that produces fireworks from start to finish. For the first time since his promotional debut, I think Gastelum would enter this bout as the underdog, and it would truly be the biggest challenge of his professional mixed martial arts career. Woodley last saw action at UFC Fight Night 48 a couple of months ago, defeating “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim via TKO in the very first round of action. This is a welterweight scrap that could end up being a classic and I feel it would be a solid contender for the evening’s ‘Fight of the Night’ honors, regardless of what card it is on. Speaking of which, I think this fight would be a solid fit for the main card of February’s UFC 184 in Los Angeles, which will be headlined by a middleweight title fight between challenger Vitor Belfort and champion Chris Weidman. Ricardo Lamas vs Nik Lentz Lamas snapped Dennis Bermudez’ very impressive seven-fight UFC winning streak by dropping him with a jab and then locking up a guillotine choke to earn the submission finish. The win put him on a two-fight winning streak, which he will be looking to extend to three, as he has his sights set on another title shot. Lentz last saw action at UFC Fight Night 40 over six months ago, defeating a game Manny Gamburyan via unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards. With the win, “The Carney” bounced back into the win column, following a unanimous decision defeat to recent title challenger Chad Mendes. I think Lamas vs Lentz would be an excellent match-up in the UFC’s featherweight division and one I would really like to see. Stylistically, I think this fight has a great chance of proving to be very entertaining, and think it would make for a solid co-main event for any future UFC Fight Night card. Dennis Bermudez vs Dustin Poirier Both fighters are coming off first round defeats and are eagerly and desperately going to try to get back on track and into the win column. Generally, they are both winners, so suffering defeats, especially coming by way of finish and in the first round of action, does not sit well with them. I think they will each throw caution to the wind and be looking to make a statement against one another. I think this match-up is the perfect next move for both featherweights and I hope Sean Shelby makes this pairing happen. I think this fight would be a great fit for the main card of January’s UFC 183 in Las Vegas, which will be headlined by a middleweight contest between returning veterans Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz. Despite the outcome of this scrap, or regardless of how long it lasts, I think it would be a solid contender for the evening’s ‘Fight of the Night’ honors. Not only does this match-up make a ton of sense, but it has fireworks written all over it. Should this fight be announced, fight fans would certainly be excited for it, and even on UFC 183, it will be one of the most anticipated fights on the entire fight card. Augusto Montano vs Dhiego Lima I think this Mexican vs Brazilian scrap would be a very solid pairing in the UFC’s welterweight division, and one that makes a ton of sense. This would be a very entertaining fight between a couple of tall and talented strikers. Both of them recently picked up their first Octagon victories and will each be looking to extend their UFC winning streaks to two in a row, and a win over one another would make for a big notch under either one of their belts. They will each be a step up in competition against one another and a victory for either party would be big, as it would likely earn them a top 15-20 opponent in their next outing. Regardless of the outcome of this 170-pound scrap, I think it would prove to be very entertaining. Considering both of their fighting styles, I fail to even imagine this fight being anything short of exciting. I think this is one fight that will have fight fans on the edge of their seats from start to finish, and despite whatever card it is one, could be a solid contender for the evening’s ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus worth $50,000. I think this welterweight match-up would be a perfect fit for February’s UFC 184 in Los Angeles.

Written by Gabe Killian

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