Post-UFC 184 Matchmaking Predictions

Holly-HolmThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to Los Angeles last night (Feb. 28, 2015) with UFC 184, or better known as, The Ronda Rousey Show. Now, following the memorable night of fights, I’m going to take a moment to look ahead at a few potential match-ups featuring some of the competitors from the evening… WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT EDITION Ronda Rousey vs Bethe Correia Yet another dominant title defense for Rousey, who submitted Cat Zingano just 0:14 into the main event of last night’s UFC 184, marking the fastest submission finish in UFC title fight history. Though, when I watch the tape, I see Zingano beginning to tap at the 0:11 mark. After making the quickest work of the woman who was thought to be her toughest challenge, “Rowdy” is looking ahead at Holly Holm and Bethe Correia as possible opponents for her next outing. UFC President Dana White has also thrown Jessica Eye’s name into the mix of things, but I think the fight that makes the most sense for her right now is Correia. The Brazilian has defeated two of her friends in Shayna Baszler and Jessamyn Duke and has long been asking to fight the champion. Rousey badly wants to be the fighter to give Correia her first taste of defeat, so I think the UFC should give her that opportunity. She is going to take some time away from action to film a movie, and when that’s wrapped-up, I’d like to see this bout booked for a future fight card. Cat Zingano vs Miesha Tate II Their first contest did not end without some controversy, and to this day Miesha Tate holds a grudge against referee Kim Winslow for stopping the bout in the third frame and declaring Zingano the victor by way of TKO. Following the first loss of Zingano’s professional mixed martial arts career against Ronda Rousey at last night’s UFC 184, I think this is a great time to book this rematch. Tate is currently riding a three fight winning streak with decision victories over Liz Carmouche, Rin Nakai and Sara McMann, respectively, and would be eager to settle the score with Zingano. For Zingano, snapping Tate’s three fight winning streak would be the best way to get right back in UFC’s women’s 135-pound title picture. I think this potential bout makes a ton of sense and believe it to be the perfect booking for both fighters for their next outings. I think this scrap would be a good fit for the main card of June’s UFC Fight Night 68 in New Orleans, which will be headlined by a light heavyweight contest between Daniel Cormier and Ryan Bader. Holly Holm vs Jessica Eye “The Preacher’s Daughter” made her promotional debut in the co-main event of last night’s UFC 184 in Los Angeles and defeated Raquel Pennington via split decision on the judges’ scorecards following three rounds of action. Nobody is calling for a title shot following that performance, so I think a pairing with “Evil” makes the most sense at this point. Eye is coming off a very impressive TKO win over Leslie Smith at UFC 180 over three months ago and hopes to challenge Rousey, but I don’t think she has earned that fight yet. If she is able to get past Holm, I believe that would make her the rightful #1 contender. Following the win over Pennington, I think Eye is a step up in competition for Holm and she would certainly make an impression by defeating her, especially is if she is able to do so in impressive fashion. This is a potential match-up I would very much like to see, and I think it would be a perfect fit for the main card of July’s UFC 189 in Las Vegas, which will be co-headlined by a welterweight title fight between challenger Rory MacDonald and defending champion Robbie Lawler, and headlined by a featherweight title fight between challenger Conor McGregor and defending champion Jose Aldo. Raquel Pennington vs Rin Nakai I would love to see this potential women’s bantamweight contest booked for the FOX Sports 1 preliminary card of June’s UFC 188 in Mexico City, which will be headlined by a heavyweight title fight between interim-champion Fabricio Werdum and defending champion Cain Velasuez. Coming off her split decision loss against Holly Holm in the co-main event of last night’s UFC 184, I think this potential match-up makes the most sense as a next move for Pennington. Nakai came up short in her promotional debut over five months ago at UFC Fight Night 52, where she was defeated by Miesha Tate via unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards following 15-minutes of action. I think “Rocky” is the perfect opponent to pair her up with next in the razor-thin women’s 135-pound division, and believe the two would more than likely produce a very entertaining fight.

Written by Gabe Killian

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