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 Stockholm
Alexander Gustafsson: Winner of Daniel Cormier vs Jon Jones
This is the easiest matchup to make for the entire card. After Cormier and Jones get a chance to settle the dispute it only leaves Gustafsson and his training partner, Jimi Manuwa ready for the next shot. Considering Gustafsson has a win over Manuwa on his record and that he is coming off a win over a higher ranked fighter that Manuwa just beat and he is the guy that deserves the shot. Gustafsson has faced both Cormier and Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title in the past, losing two very close decisions. He is the only fighter yet to be even competitive with Jones yet. Let’s let the Swedish fighter have one last shot at the title.
Glover Texeira: Volkan Oezdemir
Not to take anything away from Alexander Gustafsson, but Texeira looked like he got old fast. He was way too slow for Gustafsson. Being that the UFC Light Heavy division is so shallow and needs new contenders, the UFC is forced to use Texeira to propel new talent. After pulling off back to back upsets over top 10 ranked guys in the UFC, Volkan Oezdemir has put himself on the fast track to a title fight. Let Oezdemir get the chance to pick up a win over a big name, and see if he is a true title contender
Volkan Oezdemir: Glover Texeira
Misha Cirkunov: Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Wow did the hype train for Misha Cirkunov come to an end after a short right hand! Like we have already said, the UFC needs young talent in the Light Heavyweight division. At 4-1 in the UFC, Cirkunov is still considered to be a future title challenger. He needs a rebound. What a better rebound would be to beat a “big name” in Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, who doesn’t seem to have anything left in the tank. Let Cirkunov add a nice name to his resume when he gets back in the win column.
Peter Sobotta: Omari Akhmedov
Sobotta looks like a completely different fighter than the one that recently got knocked out by Kyle Noke. Sobotta absolutely destroyed Ben Saunder, who is never an easy out. Sobotta is now 4-1 in his second stint in the UFC. His striking is so much crisper than it once was. His striking defense has also been so improved. He saw everything that Saunders was throwing at him while landing his power left hand. Omari Akhmedov also fought on the card and was able to control Abdul Razak Alhassan. Let’s match these two up and see who can extend their winning streak.
Ben Saunders: Roan Carneiro
I have always liked Ben Saunders. He is a long fighter, that enjoys using his height in the clinch. He also can be very active guard while being on the bottom. However, Saunders has been around long enough to safely call him a journeyman or gatekeeper. So I would match him up against somebody else who is similar. Let’s match him up with Roan Carneiro.
Omari Akhmedov: Peter Sobotta
Abdul Razak Alhassan: Bojan Velickovic
Even thought Alhassan lost his first professional fight, not everything was bad. Alhassan showed that he has the gas tank to go with the knockout power. The disturbing part was that even though Alhassan has a Judo background, he needs to greatly improve his takedown defense. Akhmedov was able to defeat Alhassan because he was able to get takedowns several times. I think we should match Alhassan against somebody that would stand with him, so he can pick up wins while working on his wrestling defense in between fights. Bojan Velickovic picked up a KO win over Niko Musoke on the same card. Let’s match these two guys against each other.
Nordine Taleb: Abubakar Nurmagomedov
Taleb can be so aggravating at times. He is such a great technical striker. He was bigger than his opponent Oliver Enkamp, and hurt him several times. I think Taleb coasted at times, and that is why Enkamp was able to make it to the decision. If Taleb was more aggressive, I think he would have put Enkamp out.
I don’t see a champion level fighter in Taleb. I think it would be better if the UFC used him to propel other fighters. Now I don’t even know if it is possible, but I think the UFC should bring in Abubakar Nurmagomedov from the WSOF. Abubakar is the cousin of Khabib Nurmagomedov. He is a Russian national champion in combat sambo. Like his cousin, he has relentless takedowns with suffocating top control. He is 14-1 on a 6 fight winning streak. Let him get a shot at the big show.
Oliver Enkamp: Derrick Krantz
So many people stated that they were impressed by Enkamp against Taleb. I am not one of them. I didn’t see much from Enkamp. He stayed out of striking range and simple would just throw a spinning back kick that would just hit the air. I believe Taleb had several opportunities to take Enkamp out, and never seized the moment. I think Enkamp should take a drastic step down in competition. I would bring in LFA welterweight champion, Derrick Krantz. He just picked up a big win over Ben Neumann, and is a very exciting fighter. He has a nice submission game, with nice power in his hands. He is also an action fighter, who constantly is bringing the fight to his opponents.
Jack Hermansson: Hector Lombard
Unlike Enkamp, I see a lot of potential in Hermansson. He is a volume striker that has nice takedowns. Once he took his opponent, Alex Nicholson to the ground, he swarmed the fighter with brutal ground and pound. At 2-1 in the UFC, I think Hermansson should get a bump in competition. and fight a fighter with a big name. I think Hector Lombard is the perfect matchup. Lombard has big power, and nice throws and trips. However, his hand speed as greatly slowed, and his chin is starting to take its toll. At 39, Lombard doesn’t have much left to give to the sport. Let’s use his name to boost a younger fighter now.
Alex Nicholson: Release From the UFC
This was the last fight on Nicholson’s contract with the UFC. After going 1-3 in the UFC, and getting in trouble for making racist comments, I think the UFC should move on from the Spartan.
Rest of the Fighters:
- Pedro Munhoz: Eddie Wineland
- Damian Stasiak: Frankie Saenz
- Trevor Smith: Paulo Henrique Costa vs Oluwale Bamgbose winner
- Chris Camozzi: Release From the UFC
- Joaquim Silva: Loser of Marc Diakiese vs Drakkar Close
- Reza Madadi: Winner of Vinc Pichel vs Damien Brown
- Bojan Velickovic: See Above
- Nice Musoke: Release From the UFC
- Darren Till: Erick Silva vs Yancy Mederios Winner
- Jessin Ayari: Emil Meek
- Damir Hadzovic: Dong Hyun Kim vs Thibault Gouti Winner
- Marcin Held: Bring In Freddy Assuncao (UFC Debut)