Fights to Make After UFC on Fuel 1

With UFC on Fuel: Ellenberger vs. Sanchez in the books, it’s time to look forward at what’s next for the competitors on the card. In a bit of fantasy matchmaking, I’ve written who I think some of tonight’s fighters should fight next, and why said scraps should happen.

Tim Means vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov

Both are very experienced fighters, both recently made their successful debuts inside the octagon, so let’s match them up together and get a better idea of the pecking order moving forward.

Jonathan Brookins vs. Mark Hominick / Eddie Yagin

The Ultimate Fighter 12 winner rebounded from his first loss at featherweight with a quick knockout of Vagner Rocha. While he has a long way to go, a match-up against the winner of Hominick vs. Yagin could be a good start for him, as whoever wins the upcoming UFC 145 bout, will be rebounding from a loss as well.

T.J. Dillashaw vs. Ivan Menjivar

Both bantamweights picked up impressive wins. Barring injury, both could be looking at a quick turnaround, and given the timeline, this match makes perfect sense. Dillashaw needs to test himself against an experienced fighter, and Menjivar needs to test his great jiu-jitsu against a wrestler with the chops of Dillashaw.

Dave Herman vs. Matt Mitrione

Two heavyweights with heavy hands coming off losses? I’d like to see Herman maybe work on that whole stamina issue before this fight is made, but I see no reason why this fight shouldn’t happen. Fireworks.

Stipe Miocic vs. Stefan Struve

Miocic needs a step up in competition, but not a giant leap. Struve matches the criteria, and with the two competing on the same card, the timing couldn’t be better. Perhaps the two could throw down this summer with the loser staying in the mid-tier of the division, and the winner moving up.

Ronny Markes vs. Tim Boetsch / Yushin Okami

Although it would be a step up in competition, Markes needs to face a larger middleweight to see where he really stands. He used his size to stifle the wrestling of Aaron Simpson, and I’d like to see how he fairs against the larger 185ers. With Boetsch and Okami fighting in just over a week, I’d like to see the winner fight Markes while the top of the division sorts itself out.

Diego Sanchez vs. Jon Fitch

Both fighters had neared the top of the welterweight division before a better fighter knocked them back down. To work their way back up, this rematch is necessary. The two met before at UFC 76 in 2007 with Fitch getting the nod via Split Decision, and the timing for the rematch is perfect. Both men have name recognition and can easily open up a PPV card or take the co-main spot on an FX or Fuel TV card.

Jake Ellenberger vs. Johny Hendricks / Josh Koscheck

While Ellenberger could campaign for a rematch with interim champ Carlos Condit, it appears as though Carlos will be deciding to wait to unify the titles against Georges St. Pierre. It makes sense that the winner of Hendricks/Koscheck would be right at the top of the pack with Ellenberger, so let’s have the two top contenders fight to see who gets the next shot at whoever the welterweight champion will be at the end of 2012.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

2 COMMENTS
  • MCM says:

    Ima disagree with you starting with the HW’s.

    Herman vs Mitrione, while fun, is a lose lose situation. Both are still good prospects in the division and it doesn’t make sense to have either of them on 2 fight skid. I’d rather see Herman in against someone like Broughton. It’s a winnable fight that would still keep him in the middle of the pack at HW.
    I’d rather see Mitrione fight Miocic. They’re both accomplished athletes in other sports, hit hard, and are at roughly the same place in their careers. A loss by either one just appears to carry less of a sting.
    Struve has earned a higher ranked fighter. Sure he’s not ready for the top 10, but he’s done enough in the division to warrant a fight with a name fighter. I’d like to see him and Gonzaga go at it. Not only is it a good test for Struve, but it also signals where Gonzaga is and weather he’s really back or not.
    I like how Stann was affable to a fight with Markes. I think Brian got pushed up the ladder too quickly and a fight with a guy like Ronny is right where both of them should be.
    Sanchez has lost 3 of his last 5 (4 if you ask anyone that saw him fight Martin). Fitch has lost 1 in his last 6. As entertaining as Diego his, he hasn’t worked himself up to Fitches level yet. Besides, I really think he’s better off at LW and a fight with Nate Diaz would be a barn burner.
    Ellenberger needs to go on a Condit campaign. He needs to run his mouth about how he beat him up the first fight, how he showed the difference between running and evading, and how he KO’d Shields instead of losing to him. IF he does that, people will easily forget about Diaz and be clamoring for a Condit/Ellenberger rematch.

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  • Ima disagree now starting with the featherweights:
    Jonathan Brookins taking on The machine or someone capable of beating him….are you serious? Last night Brookins had a decent back and forth with a sorry striker and then pounded him out with decent ground positioning….Hominick would light him up like a christmas tree. Remember hominick outboxed Jose Aldo at some points in their fight and even out lasted him….Brookins should get manny gamburyian or someone on that level, not a title challenger.

    Struve has earned the right to see where he’s at….how about a Kongo, winner of Barry vs. johnson? Miocic is awesome but he hasnt earned a fight with someone like struve or even mitrione for that matter. Maybe which ever of the previously mentioned fighters(Kongo, Johnson, Barry) isnt tied up would be a good match for him….or if they really believe in him…there’s this fat guy called big country who just lost a fight….

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