Who’s Next? Playing Matchmaker with All of the UFC 220 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; it is me stating that if I was in control of the UFC matchmaking how I would match these fighters next. I will give my matchups for all the fighters of the UFC 220 card.

 

Stipe Miocic: Daniel Cormier

I wouldn’t call Stipe Miocic the greatest heavyweight of All-Time. I would still give that distinction to Fedor Emelianenko, that said Miocic is knocking on the door. His resume of wins over Roy Nelson, Mark Hunt,Andrei Arlovski, Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem, Junior dos Santos, and Francis Ngannou are as good as it gets. Miocic is a wrestle/boxer that has big power in his hands. With Cain Velasquez hurt, there really isn’t much for him to face next. If you want, he could rematch Fabricio Werdum or face Alexander Volkov. However, I think it would be much better off if he faced Daniel Cormier in a  superfight.

You have to remember this is a fantasy article. I am not arguing what will happen, but what should happen. I understand that Cormier has stated that he doesn’t want to fight at heavyweight and expects his teammate Cain Velasquez to return. Who cares? There isn’t anybody for Cormier to face. He was undefeated at heavyweight and won the StrikeForce heavyweight Grand Prix.

Also check out this clip. Dana White has been tickling Cormier’s ear with this idea.

Like Derek Bowe has said, if for some reason, Jon Jones gets a light sentence, he would make a lot of sense.

Francis Ngannou: Winner of Derrick Lewis vs Marcin Tybura Fight

Like Jens Pulver said when he beat BJ Penn at UFC 35, “Sometimes hype just isn’t enough”. I wasn’t just on the Francis Ngannou hype train, I was the conductor. Ngannou’s highlight reel knockouts blocked my vision of possible grapping holes. Ngannou needs to learn how to conserve some energy (I doubt he will ever be a cardio machine based on his muscle mass) and improve his non-existent takedown defense. Ngannou needs some time and more experience in the cage before he gets another title shot. I would have him fight the winner of Derrick Lewis vs Marcin Tybura. How fun would it be if Lewis won?

 

Daniel Cormier: Stipe Miocic

See above. However, if you really want him to defend the Light Heavyweight title next, Alexander Gustafsson is the only option.

 

Volkan Oezdemir: Winner of Ovince St. Preux vs Ilir Latifi

Volkan Oezdemir was in over his head. That is what happens when you get a title shot against an All-Time great like Daniel Cormier. Oezdemir did the right thing by looking for the knockout as soon as the fight began. That was his only hope. Once Cormier weathered the storm, Oezdemir was helpless. The Swiss fighter should try to bounce back by beating the winner of Ovince St Preux (OSP) and Ilir Latifi. I know many will point out that Ozedemir fought OSP less than a year ago. The issue is that it was a close decision and many believe OSP should have got the decision. Latifi is a hard hitter that can mix in takedowns. Both would be challenges for Oezdemir.

 

Calvin Kattar: Doo Ho Choi

Calvin Kattar has been fighting professional for going on eleven years. He took three years off so he could teach and train other fighter. I am so glad that he decided to come back. He is 18-2 and riding a 10 fight winning streak including a perfect 2-0 in the UFC. He was impressive in his short notice UFC debut against Andre Fili. Kattar topped that with a brilliant performance against Shane Burgos. I was so impressive how Kattar handled Burgos pressure.He was forced to fight off his back foot, and established a beautiful jab. Kattar looks to be a contender in the near future. I want him to take a step up in competition. Doo Ho Choi’s mandatory military duty is coming up. Until then, match him up against Kattar. That fight would be a barnburner

 

Shane Burgos: Loser of Dennis Bermudez vs Andre Fili

Shane Burgos is an impressive prospect, but staying undefeated at this level is almost impossible. He is a pressure fighter, that like to counter punch while keeping his hands down. The fight against Calvin Kattar was back and forth with both fighters having their moments. Burgos best work was in the second round, where he was able to batter Kattar’s body. The issue was that he wasn’t respecting Kattar’s jab, and was too busy looking to land his own power shots. This was his downfall.

The young Burgos should take a step back in competition, but a very small step. I would match him against the loser of Dennis Bermudez vs Andre Fili. Both fighters would test Burgos in areas, but still be a winnable fight.

 

Gian Villante: Khalil Rountree

That fight was terrible. Most of the blame is on Francimar Barroso. We know what Villante is. He hits hard, is very hittable, and has a terrible gas tank. Khalil Rountree is very similar though he has a worst ground game. I would have them fight each other.

 

Francimar Barroso: Cut From the UFC

Explain to me again why Villante vs Barroso was on the Pay Per View portion of the card. Barroso has played the game of running away from his opponent and having low output. It doesn’t work and painful to watch. Time to let the Brazilian fighter go.

 

Rob Font: Aljamain Sterling

Rob Font picked up the biggest win of his career on Saturday. The New England fighter is a good technical striker, who sometimes can look for ways out of a fight when it gets hard. Saturday was not on of those nights. He needs to face another highly ranked fighter. Aljamain Sterling needs a matchup. I think it would be a fin matchup with both fighters having an advantage in some areas.

 

Thomas Almeida: Eddie Wineland

Thomas Almeida was once looked as the future king of the bantamweight division. Suddenly after dropping three out of his last four fights, he is an afterthought.  He is still young and very exciting. I want to see him in a standup war. Eddie Wineland usually is willing to oblige.

Prelims:

  • Kyle Bochniak: Cole Miller
  • Brandon Davis: Bring In Tyler Diamond from Global Knockouts
  • Abdul Razak Alhassan: Winner of Ben Saunders vs Alan Jouban
  • Sabah Homasi: Cut From the UFC
  • Dustin Ortiz: Joseph Benavidez
  • Alejandro Pantoja: John Moraga
  • Julio Arce: Winner of Teruto Ishihara vs Jose Quinones 
  • Dan Ige: Bring in Thahn Le from LFA and Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series
  • Enrique Barzola: Ryan Hall
  • Matt Bessette: Bring In Kevin Aguilar From LFA
  • Islam Makhachev: Charles Oliveira
  • Gleison Tibau: Joe Lauzon

 

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