Post-UFC Fight Night 62 Matchmaking Predictions

Erick-SilvaUFC Fight Night 62 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil produced a night of jaw-dropping, seat jumping and unfortunately some head scratching moments this past Saturday night. With its ups and downs, it was a solid night of scraps for fight fans to tune into (FS1 and FS2) at no cost. With the action now behind us, let’s take a look at a few potential match-ups for some of the competitors from the Rio de Janeiro evening. Gilbert Burns vs Beneil Dariush Burns defeated promotional newcomer Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira via third round armbar submission this past Saturday night, and did so in impressive come-from-behind fashion. Oliveira was late replacement for the injured Josh “The Punk” Thomson, so many are now calling for the original match-up between Burns and Thomson. However, I personally think that would be a horrible match-up. Burns’ performance on Saturday night revealed that he would likely lose to Thomson, and that would be a too big of a step up in competition for him at the opponent. An opponent who does make sense is Beneil Dariush, who was victorious with a second round submission victory over Daron Cruickshank at UFC 185 just over a week ago. I believe Burns vs Dariush would be a phenomenal match-up in the UFC’s lightweight division and I would truly love to see it booked for a future fight card. Burns and Dariush are arguably two of the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts competing at 155-pounds in the UFC, and they are both surging prospects in the promotion; each with three fight Octagon winning streaks. I think this potential bout would be a true gift to fight fans, and especially fans of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. From my fingertips to Sean Shelby’s ears, I really hope this fight gets made. I think it would be a great fight to get the action going for the Pay Per View main card of October’s UFC 192 in Houston. Demian Maia vs Matt Brown This is a rare “winner vs loser” match-up, but I think it makes a lot of sense for both Maia and Brown. Maia is coming off his unanimous decision win over Ryan LaFlare in the main event of UFC Fight Night 62 in his native Brazil this past weekend, while Brown lost a unanimous decision to former UFC Welterweight Champion Johny Hendricks the week before. Maia is now 2-0 and Brown is 0-2, but I think this potential bout is the best move for both 170-pounders who are looking to move up the promotions welterweight ladder and remain relevant in not only the division, but also the title picture. I think this fight would be a solid fit for the main card of either late July’s UFC on FOX 16 in Chicago or early August’s UFC 190 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which will be headlined by a Women’s Bantamweight title bout between challenger Bethe “Pitbull” Correia and defending Champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey. Erick Silva vs Jake Ellenberger Silva took on short notice injury replacement Josh Koscheck in the co-main event of the evening this past Saturday night and after an entertaining battle, wrapped things up with a guillotine choke to earn the tap from the 10-year UFC veteran. Many are now calling for a match-up between Silva and his original opponent Ben Saunders, and while I believe that is a truly incredible match-up, I feel like I have moved on and would rather see that fight come to fruition somewhere down the line. For now, I think the match-up that makes the most sense as the next move for Silva would be one with the only other man to defeat Koscheck this month. That is Ellenberger, who submitted Koscheck with a north-south choke in the second round of their bout at UFC 184 earlier in the month. Stylistically, I think these welterweights are likely to produce a very entertaining fight, and whether it lasts a minute or goes the distance, I think it is another fight that will be a real treat for the fans. In fact, I think this fight should be the headliner for June’s The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): Brazil 4 Finale. From my fingertips to Joe Silva’s ears. Edimilson ‘Kevin’ Souza vs Maximo Blanco I think Souza vs Blanco would be a very entertaining scrap in the UFC’s featherweight division and I would be happy to see it booked for a future fight card. Souza just scored a first round knockout of Japanese veteran Katsunori Kikuno this past Saturday night, and the last time Blanco saw action was at UFC Fight Night 52 six months ago, where he defeated Daniel Hooker via unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards following three rounds of action. I think this potential bout would be a good fit on either the main or preliminary card for June’s UFC 188 in Mexico City, which will be headlined by a five-round heavyweight title fight between interim-champion Fabricio Werdum and defending Champion Cian Velasquez, and co-headlined by a three round lightweight contest between Gilbert Melendez and Eddie Alvarez.

Written by Gabe Killian

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