UFC Matchmaker- Fantasy Edition

With a short break before the next UFC event I thought I would take a run at being the UFC match maker and attempt to build some interesting matchups. Obviously injuries and fighters already booked into future engagements would take precedence over the actual execution of these bouts, but let’s have a little fun nonetheless.


Roy Nelson vs Alistair Overeem

Big Country has been linked to a potential fight with Daniel Cormier, but I think this fight makes a lot more sense for the former TUF champ. If Roy can blast his way through a Name fighter like Alistair it would almost certainly put him in line to contend for the title. Conversely, if Overeem can solve the Roy Nelson power punching riddle and even be the first to pick up a legitimate stoppage of the big man then he would regain a lot of the momentum he lost in his last fight and get right back in the mix for the title.

Travis Browne vs Frank Mir

Frank Mir is all but a gatekeeper now. A very talented gatekeeper, but he won’t be hanging with the big boys anytime soon. Travis Browne needs a win over a big name opponent to get himself in the title conversation and Frank Mir would be an excellent check point to see where the Hawaiian knockout artist ranks against the upper level of the division.

Light Heavyweight 

Phil Davis vs Ryan Bader

Both of these guys are stuck in a tough spot in the division. Davis was beaten soundly by Rashad Evans, who then came up very short against the champ and Bader was put away by pre-title Jon Jones in definitive fashion. If either one of these men are going to start convincing the UFC brass they are worthy of another push then they need to start beating next level competition and that is what this fight would represent. The winner moves up the ranks and the loser is forced to continue toil against lower ranked opposition.

Gegard Mousasi vs Forrest Griffin

Mousasi wasn’t impressive in his debut, but he was fighting hurt against a high risk/ low reward opponent. When he returns from injury he will need to continue to carve out his path to title contention and since LHW is and will be looking for new faces to challenge the champ I’ll keep him from dropping to 185. Griffin’s times is coming to an end, but a battle with Mousasi would be an excellent test for the former Strikeforce champ and provide Forrest with a fresh faced big name opponent to slug it out with.

Ovince St-Preux vs Gian Villante

This might not have been the most exciting fight, but the manner in which it finished requires a do over. The winner will gain momentum and move up the ranks while gaining a little name recognition.

Middleweight Division 

Michael Bisping vs Yushin Okami

Bisping is still a talented fighter and a shot at the title in his home country would bring in huge numbers and the UFC knows it. His recent loss to Vitor was far more significant then his win over Alan Belcher and he will need at least another win before he can be slotted into a title eliminator. Okami’s poor performance against Anderson will prevent him from ever challenging the Brazilian for the title again, but he, like Bisping is still quite relevant in the ranks. A battle between these two would give the winner a significant boost without knocking down another fighters on the rise.

Welterweight Division  

Tarec Saffiedine vs Martin Kampmann

Saffiedine was/is the Strikeforce champ but winning the title on the final show makes him a hard sell as a legit contender for the best 170 pound fighter on the planet. Saffiedine needs at least 2 big name wins inside the Octagon before his name can even be mentioned along side St-Pierre a win over Kampmann would go a long way to raise his stock. Stylistically this is a great fight and a veteran like the Hitman would certainly benefit from knocking off the Strikeforce Champ.

Lightweight Division  

Josh Thomson vs Evan Dunham/ Rafael Dos Anjos Winner 

Suddenly the Lightweight division is looking a little light at the top. Thomson looked great knocking off Nate, but his opponent choices are limited with him having already faced Gilbert and Pat Healy and other top ranked guys Jim Miller and Donald Cerrone coming off defeats. For the winner of Dunham/ dos Anjos Thomson is a big name opponent that would catapult them into the upper echelon if they could shut down the former Strikeforce champion. If Thomson emerged from this fantasy fracas with the W then he could be on the verge of a title shot of his own and not against Gilbert Melendez which would be a welcome change.

Jorge Masvidal vs Pat Healy

This fight was booked for the final Strikeforce card but was shutdown by an injury to Masvidal. This might actually serve as a step backwards for Bam Bam after his win over Miller, but it would provide him with another opportunity to showcase his skills against a worthy opponent and gain some more fan recognition. For Masvidal he is talented and looked better against Means then he did in his two previous performances, but he still needs to bring out that killer instinct inside and a scrap with Healy would do just that.

Featherweight Division  

Chad Mendes vs Clay Guida

Mendes has probably done enough to earn another shot at the title, but I would like to see him do a little more. The last thing I want to see happen is ‘Money’ derail another rising contender so let’s set him up against Mr. Guida. Clay is a well known fighter with a big name, but isn’t nearly as popular as he once was. These two were already temporarily locked into a fight, but injuries ended that oppurtunity. If Mendes ices Clay then it really doesn’t change the face of the division much and if Guida can pull this one out it could go along way to repairing his damaged image.

Conor McGregor vs Dennis Bermudez

Not a lot of people would be interested in guaranteeing the derailment of a young prospect by pairing two up together, but some must fall for others to rise. Both guys are exciting and would be an excellent curtain raiser for the main card of the upcoming Boston card. If Conor can get by a power wrestler like Bermudez he will answer a lot of questions and if Bermudez picks up the win here it is time for him to challenge a top 10 opponent.

Bantamweight Division  

Yuri Alcantara vs Takeya Mizugaki 

Two solid veteran fighters both trying to work themselves into relevancy in a division with two champions. The winner of this fight would get a major step up in their next bout and could add a fresh face to mix in with the Pickets, Eastons, Assuncaos, and Jorgensens of the division.

Flyweight Division

Louis Gaudinot vs Phil Harris

Gaudinot is an exciting fighter and could be a future title challenger with a few more wins. Harris picked up the biggest win of his career in his last fight and could continue his surge up the ranks with another win.

Women’s Bantamweight Division

Amanda Nunes vs Sara McMann

McMann looked impressive in her debut, but her performance was far from unexpected. If she expects to contend against the other Olympian in the division she will need to knock off a couple of the top girls in the division. Nunes is a tough competitor and could present some trouble for McMann. Either way if Sara emerges with the win she will have had to earn it and for Nunes adding an Olympic champ to her resume would be a huge boost to her future prospects.

Just a few ideas for future events, obviously some of these guys and gals are booked in with opponents and the outcomes of those bouts will change their positioning and future possibilities. Either way it is always fun to see if any of these fights were to materialize down the road. Personally, if I had to pick one bout that I would really like to see setup it would have to be the Bermudez/ McGregor scrap. I would never take credit should if materialize, but I as a fan it would be a sure fire FOTN candidate and a lot of fun.

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