Matchmaking Predictions for UFC 197’s Winning Fighters

robert-whittaker-mma-ufcThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was live this past Saturday night (April 23, 2016) with UFC 197: Jones vs St Preux and featured a solid night of action. Now with the fun night of scraps in our rear-view, let’s take a look at some potential match-ups featuring a few of the winning competitors from the evening… Sergio Pettis vs Justin Scoggins I think this would be an incredible match-up in the UFC’s flyweight division, as it would be pitting arguably two of the most entertaining fighters at 125-pounds inside the Octagon against each other. Pettis and Scoggins are each coming off unanimous decision wins, with Pettis besting Chris Kelades and Scoggins upsetting heavy betting favorite Ray Borg. I think Pettis vs Scoggins is the type of fight that would be a solid contender for the evening’s ‘Fight of the Night’ honors, regardless of the card it is booked on. Speaking of which, I think this potential flyweight showdown would be a great fit to kick off the main card for July’s UFC Fight Night 91 in South Dakota. James Vick vs Kevin Lee Vick and Lee were each successful this past weeknd at UFC 197, with Vick taking a unanimous decision over promotional newcomer GLaico Franca and Lee edging out a unanimous decision of his own against The Ultimate Fighter 7 winner Efrain Escudero. I think Vick vs Lee would be an intersting match-up in the UFC’s lightweight divison and is the type of fight where I feel like anything could happen. This potential 155-pound scrap definitely peaks my interest and I would love to see it booked for a future fight card, and I think it would be a perfect fit for the main card to the aforementioned UFC Fight Night 91 in South Dakota this July. Edson Barboza vs Michael Chiesa This would be a classic “striker vs grappler” match-up in the UFC’s lightweight division that pits devastating striker Barboza against relentless grappler Chiesa. Barboza is coming off the biggest win of his professional mixed martial arts career this past weekend, being a unanimous decision over former 155-pound champion Anthony Pettis, with Chiesa scoring a second round rear naked choke submission of Beneil Dariush just a week before. Considering most ranked fighters in the lightweight division are either booked or injured, I think this is the match-up for both fighters that makes the most sense and I think it would serve as a solid co-main event to July’s TUF 23 Finale: Jedrejczyk vs Gadelha. Robert Whittaker vs Michael Bisping Whittaker earned it. This fight was scheduled to take place before Bisping was pulled and put in the Anderson Silva fight in London. Bisping got the unanimos decision victory in that fight and is now left without an opponent, hoping for a title shot. I think he has plenty of time to take another fight before the middleweight title will be defended following June’s Rockhold vs Weidman II fight, so I think would fighters would agree to the match-up. I think Whittaker sees this fight as a big opportunity and I don’t think Bisping views Whittaker as a real threat. If both fighters are healthy, I think this middleweight contest should be booked for July’s UFC Fight Night 90: dos Anjos vs Alvarez.

Written by Gabe Killian

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