Make Believe Matchmaker – What’s next for Fight Night 126 winners?

Make Believe Matchmaker – What’s next for Fight Night 126 winners?

Here’s who I’d like to see in upcoming UFC clashes.

Fight Night 126 was a great night of MMA action, and I loved the fact that it was a Sunday Night show. More of those, please. It was nice having Saturday night free to make other plans. I’m all for all non-PPV UFC events taking place on Sunday night. That said, the main card was stacked with six fights and we’re going to take a look at who the winners should perhaps be in line to meet next.

Donald Cerrone

The Cowboy needed a win and he most certainly got one. He was involved in a back and forth fire-fight with Yancy Medeiros. Both fighters landed shots in the first round but at the end of the round, Cerrone caught him with a combination, that put Yancy on skates. After a quick few shots on the ground, it was over.

For Cerrone, the victory broke a three-fight losing skid, and for that, you could see the relief in him post-fight. He wanted to drop to 155 before this fight but has said he is now certainly going back to Lightweight and he’s in search of the world title. A couple of big wins at 155 and he’ll be in the mix.  So who at 155 should he face to start his march towards gold?

James Vick – James won Sunday night as well, and he is always complaining that he doesn’t get big fights. While he’s looked good in his last few fights, he didn’t do himself any favors Sunday night in a performance where he’d kick, run, kick, run and kicks his way to a Unanimous Decision. A fight with Cerrone would be a good barometer of where he stands in the division.

Derrick Lewis

Derrick Lewis waited until the third round to unleash the beast, but when he did, it was beautiful violence as usual. He landed a three-shot combination of punches that sent Marcin Tybura to the nether-regions and again put himself in the winner’s column. His post-fight speech was a thing of beauty as well, and he’s proving to be quite popular with the fans.

The victory for Lewis furthers the belief that his hands are just ridiculously heavy. When he lands clean, fighters fall down. He doesn’t have elite cardio or sharp standup skills, but he has a puncher’s chance and a heart the size of Texas. He continues to climb the rankings having won seven of eight.

Curtis Blaydes – People want him to face NGannou, but I don’t think that’s a great idea. Why put two of your more marketable fighters at heavyweight in the cage together now? Why burn one of them? Let NGannou come back and put together a couple of wins first. I say pit Derrick Lewis against Curtis Blaydes. Blaydes has won four in a row and just beat Mark Hunt. Blaydes’ only loss was to Francis NGannou. Get them in the cage and let’s see what happens.

James Vick

See Cowboy Cerrone

Curtis Millender

To say I was impressed with Millender doesn’t quite get it done. I was VERY impressed with what he was able to do in the Octagon against a very game and experienced Thiago Alves. He looked super comfortable in the cage and had a smooth style that made him look like he’d been there ten times before. I think he has a remarkable upside.

He hurt Alves repeatedly and finished him with an amazing knee. He’s now won his last three fights by stoppage, and a total of seven in a row. He has a look and style in the Octagon that reminds me a bit of Jon Jones. He’s long (6-3 at Welterweight) and throws effortless combos and kicks. I’m not sure what he has for a ground game, but he’s looking like a great addition to the roster.

Randy Brown – I think a fight with Randy Brown would be a solid next fight for Millender. There’s no need to throw him in with a top ten fighter. Let him win a couple of fights and then give him someone in the top ten. Randy Brown is coming off of a victory over Mickey Gall, and this would be an interesting fight I could get behind.

Brandon Davis

What a war Brandon Davis put on with Steven Peterson. It was the Fight of the Night and deservedly so. The fighters pushed each other and both were battered and bloodied when time expired. It was a big, big win for Davis. Davis is 1-1 now in the UFC and ready for another go in the Octagon.

Here’s the thing with Brandon Davis, he uses the nickname Killer B.  Well, there’s another Killa B in the business and he’s earned and had that nickname for many years. Ben Saunders is Killa B and he isn’t too fond of the idea of sharing the moniker with it being Kill-A or Kill-er.  Evan Shoman is doing a piece about the two having an exchange on Twitter about the nickname, so…it only makes sense.

Ben Saunders – Saunders is fighting Alan Jouban soon, but win or lose his next fight should be with Davis with the winner keeping the nickname and the loser finding something original to go by. It would be the first nickname vs. nickname clash in the Octagon. I think they should really play it up and the winner gets to issue the new nickname to the loser. I’d dig it.

Sage Northcutt

Sage Northcutt was the winner Sunday night, but not without a fair share of controversy. Most felt he’d lost a decision to Thibault Gouti but the referees found him victorious. Truth be told, I felt Sage had won the fight but I understand those who felt he hadn’t. I had a long talk about it with our fearless leader, Mike Swick, and I understand his position. He and Marc spoke in-depth about it on their Fight Night recap Podcast.

I believe win or lose, Sage is showing some growth at Team Alpha Male. He still has some holes in his game to fill, but he’s with the right team and they are helping him grow. I think people forget sometimes that he’s only 21 years old. He has time to continue to grow as a fighter and mature. I don’t want to see him rushed, I mean, let him find his footing and build himself up. I know the UFC is paying him a lot of money, but it is an investment that can pay them back over and over if they move him along slowly.

Bobby Green – I think this could be a step up for Sage but a fight he could do well with. It would be a dynamic striking match, and I think Sage does well against Green. That said, Green is a tough, heavy-handed fighter so it could very well be a compelling scrap.