Post-UFC 187 Matchmaking Predictions

Anthony_JohnsonUFC 187 was live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas this past Saturday night (May 23, 2015) with a stacked card, and produced a night of exciting and memorable action. The big night of fights is now in our rear-view, so let’s take a look at a few potential match-ups featuring some of the competitors from the evening… Anthony “Rumble” Johnson vs Quinton “Rampage” Jackson A match-up of New Beast vs Old Beast, I think this potential scrap would be an entertaining war in the UFC’s lightweight division. It is a fight I think makes sense, despite the fact that “Rumble” is coming off a loss and “Rampage” is coming off a win. I think Johnson would be thrilled to fight a legend like Jackson and “Rampage” will take pleasure in accepting a fight with someone he knows will stand and trade with him, especially if that someone is just coming off a title fight. I think this potential bout would be a solid fit as the co-main event for September’s UFC Fight Night 77 in Japan, which will be headlined by a five round heavyweight main event between Josh “The Warmaster” Barnett and Roy “Big Country” Nelson. Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski vs Mirko Cro Cop I think this would be an excellent match-up to book in the UFC’s heavyweight division. Cro Cop just returned to the UFC and picked up a third round TKO win over fellow veteran Gabriel Gonzaga during the promotion’s inaugral trip to Poland earlier this month, and Arlovski just scored a first round TKO of friend and former training partner Travis “Hapa” Browne at this past Saturday night’s UFC 187. “The Pitbull” is now 3-0 since his return to the UFC and I think this potential match-up makes the most sense as the next move for him. I think Stipe Miocic is in line to face the winner of Velasquez vs Werdum, leaving two options: either Cro Cop or the winner of the upcoming bout between Matt Mitrione and Ben Rothwell. I think the Cro Cop fight is one that would do the best, in terms of ratings, and it is the fight that hardcore fight fans would get the most excited about. I think this fight would be a good fit for either the main card of October’s UFC 192 in Houston or the main card of the aforementioend UFC Fight Night 72 in Japan. Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort vs Tim Kennedy This potential middleweight match-up is the fight I believe Kennedy would want most, and I could definitely see him coming back from his temporary retirement for this one. Kennedy has been known as one of the biggest anti-steroid use fighters in the UFC, having made his opinions on both the matter and Vitor Belfort very clear. I think this is a match-up that makes sense for both 185-pounders and I would very much like to see it booked for a future fight card. In fact, I would love to see it on the main card of the aforementioned UFC Fight Night 72 in Japan. I would assume Belfort would have somewhat of a hometown edge in Japan, considering his background in PRIDE and Kennedy’s background as a US Army Ranger. Regardless of where this potential middleweight scrap takes place, I think it will be one that fight fans will get excited for and ultimately end up being left pleased. Travis “Hapa” Browne vs Mark “The Super Samoan” Hunt “Hapa” was knocked out by former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski in the tail end of the first round of their UFC 187 main card brawl this past Saturday night, and he will now be looking to return to the win column. Hunt suffered a similar fate in his latest outing earlier this month in the main event of UFC Fight Night 65 in Australia, losing via TKO in the fifth round, and I think a pairing with Browne makes sense for his next Octagon outing. They are both talented heavyweights who are considered amongst the best knockout artists in the division, and I think having them go to war against each other inside of the Octagon is a surefire recipe for fireworks. Regardless of how long it lasts, I feel like Browne vs Hunt would be an entertaining scrap that leaves the fans pleased. This is yet another fight that would make for a perfect fit on the aforementioend UFC Fight Night 72 main card this September.

Written by Gabe Killian

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GWFC 2’s Ryan Dickson “This fight is going to be finished within the 1st round”

Rating the Card: UFC 187 (8/10)