Who’s Next? Playing Match Maker For UFC Nashville Main Card Fighters
So we have all done it after a certain fight. We have all made suggestions on who a certain fighter should fight next after a match. This article isn’t me looking into a crystal ball and predicting who the UFC will matchup up next, but it is me stating that if I was in control of the UFC matchmaking, I would match these fighters next. I will give my matchups for all main card fighters for UFC Nashville.
Cub Swanson: Chan Sung Jung
I know that Swanson is calling for a title shot with the winner of Jose Aldo and Max Holloway, but I simple can’t give a title shot after beating Artem Lobov. I commend Swanson for taking a fight that didn’t benefit him much, but he has to win a true #1 contender match. I want to put him against “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung. How have these guys not faced each other in the UFC or WEC. These are two of the most exciting fighters in the game. Winner gets a title shot. Is there a better matchup than this?
Artem Lobov: Jeremy Stephens
Sure Lobov didn’t deserve a shot at Cub Swanson, but he showed he is much better than his record says. He is Conor McGregor’s training partner, and by that has an undeserved popularity. So you kinda have to keep him in some big name fights. Let’s match him up against Jeremy Stephens. Stephens has called for a fight with McGregor (who da fook is that guy). He doesn’t get that, so try to beat up his friend. Let these two guys throw bombs at each other.
Al Iaquinta: Beneil Dariush
I am so sick of hearing about how Iaquinta is underpaid and that he sells houses. We understand that fighters are greatly underpaid, but you signed the contract. Either fight already or do real estate.There are plenty of lightweights that wish they could be in the UFC fighting in the co-main event. Let someone else get that opportunity if you don’t want it. Give him Dariush if he shuts up about not wanting to fight anymore.
Diego Sanchez: Retirement
Between all the wars and the recent knockouts, I am concerned for his health. Time to hang it up.
Ovince St. Preaux: Tyson Pedro
St. Preaux saved his UFC career by beating Marcos Rogerio de Lima. After the first round it appeared that St. Preaux would lose his fourth fight in a row and possibly get his pink slip. The former main event fighter doesn’t look like an elite talent but in the shallow light heavyweight division, he could quickly get back in the title contention mix. I think they should use his name to possibly propel a prospect. Tyson Pedro is young, undefeated, and has two first round stoppages in the UFC. Let’s see if St. Preaux can get some buzz back to his name, or if Pedro can pick up the biggest win of his career.
Marco Rogerio de Lima: Gabriel Gonzaga
I almost called for the UFC to cut de Lima after he missed weight again and lost to St. Preaux. However the UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions need all the bodies they can get. Also de Lima still has a winning record inside the UFC. I would force de Lima to fight at heavyweight. de Lima has a very limited ground game, and Gonzaga has a very limited striking game. Let them fill a card on a Brazil show and see who can implement their game on the other.
John Dodson: Thomas Almeida
What an awful fight between Dodson and Eddie Wineland! Dodson is just as much to blame for the boring fight as Wineland is. Neither really engaged with the other. Dodson was very defensive in his last fight too and it cost him against John Lineker. Dodson is an elite talent. Let’s put him against another elite talent in Thomas Almeida. I doubt that fight will be boring. Almeida constantly comes forward and is willing to take a risk like a flying knee or a superman punch. Let’s see Dodson’s speed vs Almeida’s aggression.
Eddie Wineland: Rob Font
Wineland simply wanted no part of John Dodson. He was just pumping a jab from distance and never really committed to get into any real exchanges. Wineland is still a powerful striker, who with the right matchup can excite a crowd. I think Rob Font is a solid matchup. Font is also known for his striking. He is 3-1 in the UFC with all three wins coming from KO/TKO. I think Wineland needs an exciting fight after the forgetful performance against Dodson. Font makes a bunch of sense.
Stevie Ray: Marc Diakiese
Am I the only person that is surprised that Ray is 5-1 in the UFC. After beating two decent names in Ross Pearson and Joe Lauzon, it is time to give him a big step up in competition. Marc Diakiese is an undefeated fighter, who is a perfect 3-0 in the UFC. Many people think he is the next big thing in the lightweight division. Let’s see which of these fighters are gonna make a push towards the top 10 rankings. Plus it is fun to match up the Scottish guy vs the English guy.
Joe Lauzon: Gregor Gillespie
I have always liked Lauzon. I don’t know anybody that doesn’t. He has greatly declined though. His gas tank is completely gone, and his chin is really starting to fail him. He will never be a true title contender, but he can still be a name to be used to push other fighters. NCAA division 1 wrestling champion, Gregor Gillespie is the perfect person to get that push. Besides his elite wrestling, he is developing his striking which was apparent in his last fight. I think Gillespie, who is from New York and Lauzon, who is from Massachusetts should fight on the Long Island card. Both guys are somewhat local and makes sense.
Mike Perry: Thiago Alves
Perry got the biggest win of his career with the knock out of Jake Ellenberger but there was still some signs to be worried about. Before the knock out, Perry was losing to Ellenberger. He got hit on the feet a lot. I want to see Perry against a much more technical striker, who has a lot more tools. I think Thiago Alves is the next great test. Alves, who is a former title challenger looked some much better in his last fight against Patrick Cote. Perry could benefit by beating the biggest name in his career, while Alves could attempt to bring back some of the mojo that he once had.
Jake Ellenberger: Retirement
Sure he can still wrestle and has some pop in his fist, but his chin is gone. Time to hang it up before he gets seriously hurt.