Who’s Next: Playing Matchmaker For UFC Glasgow Fighters

Jul 16, 2017; Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom; Santiago Ponzinibbio (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Gunnar Nelson (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at SSE Hydro. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

By Keith Shillan

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 the fighters of UFC Glasgow.


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Santiago Ponzinibbio: Winner of Robbie Lawler vs Donald Cerrone

I want to remind everyone that I am not predicting what the UFC will do, but what I would do. I think it is possible that if Robbie Lawler beats Donald Cerrone, he could get a title shot. That said if I was in charge I would push for Georges St. Pierre to face the winner of Tyron Woodley and Demian Maia.

The welterweight division is in limbo. With Stephen Thomson and Jorge Masvidal both coming off of losses, they need some new blood. Ponzinibbio is coming off a devastating knockout on one of the division’s best in Gunner Nelson. I think the UFC should fast track him to a title shot.  He has won five fights in a row. Imagine the stylistic dream of Ponzinibbio’s power versus Lawler’s pure aggression or Cerrone’s technical wizardry. Sign me up!


Gunnar Nelson: Neil Magny

I can’t believe how many people have jumped off of the Gunnar Nelson bandwagon. Guys get knocked out. That happens in MMA. I think Nelson has made some vast improvements in his striking which was displayed in his fights against Alan Jouban and Albert Tumenov. Add in his world class grappling skills, and we could still be looking at a very strong contender for the title. I think the UFC should match him against Neil Magny next. Magny is a main stay in the rankings and the perfect stylistic matchup for Nelson to rebound with a win.


Cynthia Calvillo: Carla Esparza

Calvillo picks up the biggest win of her career by beating Joanne Calderwood, and suddenly her stock plummets? Sure, she didn’t run through the Scotish fighter that many expected but it was still a good performance. Give it 5 more seconds and she chokes Calderwood unconscious. Calvillo’s ability to take a fighter’s back is some of the best I have ever seen. I think she should be matched with former strawweight champion, Carla Esparza. My reasoning is I would like to see Calvillo go against someone that she might not have a huge advantage in grappling and someone that would be difficult to take down. I would also like to see if Esparza would take her down. I am probably in the minority but I think a matchup between these two heavy grapplers would be fun.


Joanne Calderwood: A Contestant on TUF 26

The plan for the 26th season of the Ultimate Fighter show is to crown a champion of the newly formed women’s flyweight division. Calderwood can’t make 115 anymore.  She is the perfect fit for the new division. Add her to the show. She is a good talent with a nice her Dutch kickboxing style.


Paul Felder: Will Brooks

Felder picked up the biggest win of his career on Sunday. However, please slow down the talk of him as a top 15 fighter. He hasn’t beaten anybody near the top 15 rankings yet. At 33 years of age, we should see him declining instead of improving soon. Felder has won four out of his last five fights, so he should get a step up in competition. I think Felder should face the former Bellator champion, Will Brooks. Brooks has struggled since joining the UFC. If Brooks can’t beat someone like Felder than he is a busted addition to the roster. If Felder can’t beat Brooks than he was never a true contender.


Stevie Ray: Adriano Martins

I never understood the hype behind Ray. Am I supposed to be excited about narrow decision victories over Ross Pearson Joe Lauzon? When I watch Ray, I don’t see anything promising. Match him against Adriano Martins. Martins is 4-2 in the UFC and unlike Ray has some actual big wins in the organization.


Jack Marshman: Paulo Borrachinha

Somehow Marshman looked better in a knockout loss to Thiago Santos than he did to a win over Ryan Janes. Marshman came in as one of the biggest favorites on the card and in the first round looked like it. However, the Welsh fighter struggled with Janes pressure and even dropped the third round. If Janes was more athletic and moved his head at all, Marshman might have lost. I think him handling pressure from a fighter is key. Match him up with Paulo Borrachinha, who will bring constant pressure. Both guys are just entering their primes. I think Borrachinha is the better prospect of the two. Let’s see if I am right.


Ryan Janes: Ian Heinisch (Bring In From LFA):

Janes is not a very good fighter, but he is fun. He has tons of heart, a granite chin, and just walks through punches. This makes him pure entertainment. I always like to add a prospect to this article. I think LFA’s Ian Heinisch is a nice prospect that should be added to the UFC roster. Let him face Janes in his UFC debut.


Khalil Rountree: CB Dollaway

Rountree has the power in his striking to put many in the division out. His issue is he has a weak ground game. He showed some improved takedown defense in his win over Daniel Jolley. I think CB Dollaway is the perfect test. Rountree will be looking to keep the fight standing to protect his weak ground game, while Dollaway will be looking to take the fight to the ground to protect his weak chin. Perfect matchup.


Paul Craig: Cut From the UFC

As much as I hate cutting a man with two first names, Craig has looked awful in his last two fights. Let him hit up the regional scene for a little bit and attempt to build up on his skills.


Justin Willis: Richard Odoms (Bring In from LFA):

Though Willis looks physically bad, he didn’t perform too bad. He had a decent straight left hand. He threw in a nice double leg takedown. He also had decent cardio. I don’t see a contender but he was better than I expected. As you already know I love the LFA. Give the newly crowned heavyweight champion a shot. Sure he is 40, but he is pretty athletic, well rounded and has a nice backstory.


James Mulheron: Mark Godbeer

There is no way anybody is reading this. Just give him a warm body.


Rest of the Card:

  • Danny Roberts: Erick Silva
  • Bobby Nash: Cut From the UFC
  • Alexandre Pantoja: Dustin Ortiz vs Hector Sandoval Winner
  • Neil Serry: Enjoy Retirement
  • Galore Bofando: Abdul Razak Alhassan
  • Charlie Ward: Cut From the UFC
  • Danny Henry: Josh Burkman vs Drew Dober Winner
  • Daniel Teymur: “Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim
  • Brett Johns: Marlon Vera vs Brian Kelleher Winner
  • Albert Morales: Rani Yayha vs Enrique Briones Winner
  • Leslie Smith: Bethe Correia
  • Amanda Lemos: Contestant on TUF 26








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