Post-UFC 196 Matchmaking Predictions

MMA: UFC 166-Melendez vs SanchezUFC 196 delivered a night of shocks and awes, leaving behind a very memorable night of mixed martial arts action. Now with the entertaining night of scraps in our rear-view, let’s take a look at a few potential match-ups featuring some of the competitors from the evening… Corey Anderson vs Ilir Latifi Anderson and Latifi were each successful in their bouts at UFC 196, where they each took home unanimous decision victories. Anderson defeated Tom Lawlor, who was coming off a knockout win over Gian Villante, who was coming off a knockout win over Anderson heading into the Lawlor bout. Latifi defeated Villante on the scorecards, and to continue this MMA math, I think it makes sense for Anderson and Latifi to face each other their next time out, especially when considering how razor-thin the UFC’s light heavyweight division really is. I think this potential 205-pound bout would be a solid addition to any UFC Fight Night main card. Nate Diaz vs Dustin Poirier I think Nate Diaz vs Eddie Alvarez and Diaz vs the winner of next month’s Anthony Pettis vs Eddie Alvarez bout are the two potential match-ups for the Stockton, CA native that make the most sense, and you could sign me up for either of those, but personally, I would really like to see Diaz vs Poirier. I think Poirier has earned a big fight like this and they both have history with Conor McGregor, so I could see the UFC using that to build this up. I think this potential lightweight scrap would be a great addition to the main card for June’s UFC 197 in Los Angeles. The event will be headlined by a middleweight title fight between defending champion Luke Rockhold and former champion and now challenger, Chris Weidman. The co-main event will be a bantamweight title fight between defending champion Dominick Cruz and challenger Urijah Faber. Holly Holm vs Cat Zingano I think Holm vs Shevchenko would be a really fun fight too, but I believe Holm vs Zingano is the fight that makes the most sense and the one I would expect the UFC to put together. I think Holm vs ZIngano is a nice recipe for fireworks and could prove to be a truly entertaining contest. They are both talented strikers, but Holm would have the advantage there, and Zingano would undoubtedly have the advantage on the mat, should the fight hit the canvas. I think this would make for an excellent contest and would like to see the UFC book it for a future fight card. I think it would make for another excellent addition to the main card of the aforementioned UFC 199 in Los Angeles this June, which will have a pair of title fights at the top of the bill. Diego Sanchez vs Joe Lauzon This fight was scheduled to take place at UFC 180 in Mexico City last year, but both fighters were forced to withdraw from the contest due to injuries. I think this is now a good time to pit them against each other inside the Octagon. It is a fight that makes plenty of sense, despite the fact that it would be a rare “winner vs loser” match-up, with Sanchez coming off a unanimous decision win over Jim MIller in his latest outing and Lauzon dropping a unanimous decision to Evan Dunham back in December. You can add this potential lightweight scrap to the list of fights I’d want to see on the bill for the aforementioned UFC 199 in Los Angeles this June. I think it would be the perfect FOX Sports 1 preliminary card headliner to send the show into the main card on a high note.

Written by Gabe Killian

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