Post-UFC 183 Matchmaking Predictions

Tyron Woodley vs Andre GalvaoUFC 183 is now in our rear-view, having produced a night of many surprises and disappointments. Following the unforgettable night of scraps, here are some potential match-ups I’d like to see for a few of the competitors from the evening… Tyron Woodley vs Rick Story I think this would make for a great match-up in the welterweight division and one I would love to see booked on a future fight card. They are both talented wrestlers who throw heavy hands, and I think pitting them against one another inside the Octagon is a pure recipe for fireworks. Woodley is coming off his split decision win over Kelvin Gastelum at this past Saturday night’s UFC 183, and is now on a two fight winning streak. Meanwhile, Story rides a two fight winning streak of his own, with a decision over Gunnar Nelson and a submission of Leonardo Mafra. The winner of this potential match-up will go to 3-0 in the division and regain relevance in the 170-pound title picture, while the loser would return to the drawing board. I think this bout would be a solid addition to the main card for May 23’s UFC 187 in Las Vegas, which is currently rumored to be headlined by a light heavyweight title bout between challenger Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and defending champion Jon “Bones” Jones. Joe Lauzon vs Ramsey Nijem “J-Lau” saw his two fight winning streak snapped by Al Iaquinta at this past Saturday night’s UFC 187, losing the bout via TKO in the second round of action. Coming off the loss, I think an opponent that makes a lot of sense as a next move for him is Ramsey Nijem. The Ultimate Fighter Season 13 finalist also saw his two fight winning streak snapped in his latest outing, suffering a second round TKO at the hands of Carlos Diego Ferreira. Both 155-pounders are now looking to get back into the win column, and this is a match-up I think they would both be happy to take. Neither fighter presents a threat on the feet, so it is likely this potential bout between these talented grapplers would take place on the mat and turn into a real chess-match. Stylistically, I think this would make for a very entertaining match-up and is one I would much rather see than to keep pairing them up against opponents who are undoubtedly going to outclass them on the feet. I think this scrap would be a great addition to the main card of any upcoming UFC Fight Night card, and I’d like to see the UFC make it happen. Tim Boetsch vs Dan Henderson “Hendo” has made it very clear that he intends on fighting again, following his first round TKO at the hands of Gegard Mousasi at UFC on FOX 15 a couple of weeks ago. Staying in the middleweight division, I think an opponent that would make for a good pairing with Henderson is Boetsch, who just suffered a second round arm triangle choke technical submission defeat against Thales Leites at this past Saturday night’s UFC 183. Even at this point in Henderson’s career, I full-heartedly believe this would be an excellent fight for him, and nowadays it’s very rare for me to say this about a Dan Henderson fight, but: this is a fight I would really be excited about and look forward to seeing. Rather than continuing to pair Henderson up against opponents who are undoubtedly going to be big favorites over him, I think he should be given a match-up such as this, where he may potentially again find himself playing the role of underdog, but this time he would be an underdog who stands a chance. That said, I would not be surprised to see him as a slight favorite at the sportsbooks for that potential match, because I do think it could be a really close one. “Experience” is not something that will benefit him against many opponents in the division, but against someone like the aging Boetsch, it could prove to be a factor. With Henderson being an internationally known MMA star, I think this bout would be a perfect fit for the co-main event of June’s UFC Fight Night in Berlin. Jordan Mein vs Dong Hyun Kim This would without a doubt be a very entertaining match-up in the UFC’s welterweight division. Whether it lasts a minute or goes for all 15, I have no doubt it will be an exciting, edge-of-your-seat type of fight, considering a knockout finish could come by either party at any moment. Both 170-pounders are coming off T/KO defeats in their latest outings and I think this potential match-up would present an ideal opportunity for either of them to bounce back into the win column and remain relevant in the division. Pitting them against opponents they could easily defeat will likely be the route the UFC takes, but I would prefer to see this pairing. It is true that one of them will slide to 0-2 and have their back against the wall for the next time they make the walk to the Octagon, but the winner will have earned a victory that means something. I think this potential scrap would be a fine addition to the main card of the UFC’s inaugural trip to the Philipinnes this May.

Written by Gabe Killian

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