Post-UFC Fight Night 91 Matchmaking Predictions

Rani YahyaThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) went to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for the first time in promotinal history with UFC Fight Night 91: McDonald vs Lineker. The card produced a solid night of action that resulted in nine of 12 underdogs coming through big. The new non-Zuffa era of the UFC saw it’s ups and downs with it’s first show but it wrapped up on a high note with bantamweight John Lineker viciously knocking out contender Michael McDonald. The action is now behind us, so let’s take a look at a few potential match-ups featuring some of the competitors from the evening… John Lineker vs Raphael Assuncao Lineker scored the biggest win of his professional mixed martial arts career on Wednesday night when he knocked out former UFC bantamweight title challenger Michael “May Day” McDonald in the very first round of action. The Californian made the mistake of standing and trading with Lineker and paid the price. Adding another highlight to his reel, the Brazilian is now 3-0 in the UFC’s bantamweight division and for his next outing inside the Octagon, I would like to see him take on fellow Brazilian Raphael Assuncao. It would be a “winner vs loser” match-up but it is one that makes a lot of sense, as Assuncao is ranked higher than Lineker. I think this potential 185-pound bout would be a good fit for the FOX Sports 1 preliminary card to November’s UFC 205 in New York City, which I expect to be as stacked of a card as UFC 200 was. Rani Yahya vs Aljamain Sterling Rani Yahya defeated undefeated promotional newcomer Matthew Lopez via third round arm triangle choke and he is now on a three fight winning streak inside the Octagon. For his next bout, I would like to see him take on top ranked bantamweight Aljamain Sterling, in what would be a “winner vs loser” match-up in the division, as Sterling is coming off a split decision loss to Bryan Caraway. I think this would be a great fight and a real test for both 135-pounders. Grappling exchanges between Yahya and Sterling would be fascinating to watch, as they are amongst the most entertaining Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners to watch in the UFC’s bantamweight division. This is another match-up I think would be a nice fit for the preliminary card to November’s UFC 195 in Sterling’s backyard of New York City, likely as the featured bout of the Fight Pass prelims. Scott Holtzman vs Sage Northcutt Scott Holtzman bounced back into the win column following the first loss of his professional mixed martial arts career with a unanimous decision over Cody Pfister. Now 2-1 inside the Octagon, I would like to see him take on 3-1 UFC fighter Sage Northcutt. One thing the pair share in common in a victory over Pfister, as Northcutt was able to secure a second round guillotine choke submission over Pfister in his second Octagon appearance. I think Holtzman vs Northcutt would make for an excellent match-up in the UFC’s lightweight division and would be a fight I would certainly be interested in seeing. I think this bout would make for another solid addition to the aforementioned UFC 195 in New York Citys scheduled for this November. Tim Boetsch vs Sam Alvey Tim Boetsch and Sam Alvey were each successful in their respected bouts at UFC Fight Night 91 in Sioux Falls this past weekend. Both fighters snapped their two-fight losing streaks and returned to the win column, with Boetsch defeating Josh Samman via second round TKO on the evening’s main card and Alvey defeating promotional newcomer Eric Spicely via first round front-choke submission. Though Alvey called out “Holy War Angel” Oluwale Bamgbose in his post-fight speech, I don’t think that fight makes much sense, as Bamgbose is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira. I think Boetsch vs Alvey is a pairing that makes a ton of sense; there’s also the factor that Boetsch was recently knocked out cold by Alvey’s training partner and mentor Dan Henderson. This is a fight would be a good fit on the main card for September’s UFC Fight Night in Hidalgo, TX.

Written by Gabe Killian

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