Post-UFC 190 Matchmaking Predictions

yuri-alcantaraThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this past Saturday night with UFC 190: Rousey vs Correia and produced a memorable night of mixed martial arts action, culminating with Rousey’s 34-second destruction of Correira. Following the exciting night of fights, let’s take a look at some potential match-ups featuring some of the competitors from the evening… Demian Maia vs Gunnar Nelson This is a potential match-up in the UFC’s welterweight division that gets me really excited. I would pray and hope for this scrap to hit the mat, so we could truly witness a chessmatch between arguably two of the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in the division. Maia and Nelson are both undoubtedly elite submission artists and I would really enjoy seeing them paired up against each other inside the Octagon. The downside is that the grappling could cancel each other out and we end up seeing a striking battle, which likely won’t be too exciting. However, I would expect the fight to hit the mat, and again, I would pray and hope that it does. I think this fight should serve as the co-main event forfor October’s UFC Fight Night 76 in Ireland, which will be headlined by a five round lightweight contest between Lousiana’s Dustin Poirier and Ireland’s own Joseph Duffy. Stefan Struve vs Daniel Omielanczuk I think this is a potential heavyweight match-up that makes sense and would have a good chance of being a treat for the fans. Both fighters recently returned to the win column and aim to make it two in a row their next time out, and in this razor-thin division, I think this is the appropriate fight to make as the next move for both heavyweights. This is another fight that would be a solid fit for the main card of the aforementioned UFC Fight Night 76 in Ireland. Iuri Alcantara vs Aljamain Sterling Alcantara just bounced back into the win column with a unanimous decision win over Leandro Issa and he looks to make a run at 135-pounds. Sterling is undefeated at 11-0, 3-0 in the UFC and is coming off a third round submission of Takeya Mizugaki, which marked the biggest win of the 26-year old’s professional mixed martial arts career. An oppropriate step up for him, I think, would be Alcantara, and at the same time, I think Sterling would be a good next-move for the Brazilian, following his win over Issa. The winner of this potential 135-pound scrap would continue to move up the rankings, while it will be back to the drawing board for the loser. I think Alcantara vs Sterling would make for an excellent, ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus candidate type of fight, regardless of the card it is booked on. Speaking of which, I think it would be a solid fit for the main card of November’s UFC Fight Night 77 in Sao Paulo, which would give the Brazilian the hometown advantage. That fight card will be headlined by a five round middleweight rematch between veterans Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort. Neil Magny vs Jake Ellenberger Magny saw his seven fight winning streak come to an end at this past Saturday night’s UFC 190 in Rio de Janeiro, where he took on the toughest foe of his professional mixed martial arts career in Demian Maia, losing the bout via second round rear naked choke submission. Ellenberger recently suffered a loss of his own, coming via first round knockout against Stephen Thompson. At this point in their careers, I think it makes sense to pit them against each other, giving Magny a “passing of the torch” type of test, and seeing how Ellenberger hangs with the lower tier of the welterweights top 15. I see this potential welterweight bout as a good fit for November’s TUF: Latin America 2 Finale.

Written by Gabe Killian

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