By Ryan Busuttil
The UFC returned to Fuel TV on Tuesday night for its third event on the Fox channel. The 6 fight main card featured the Knockout of the Night, Submission of the Night and Fight of the Night (possibly Fight of the Year so far) and a potential second Fight of the Night. Let’s now play fantasy matchmaker and talk about who the main event fighters and rest of the main card winners should be paired with in their next fights.
Chan Sung Jung
The Korean Zombie put on the most impressive performance of his career against Dustin Poirier. Most people had Poirier as the favorite entering the fight on a 5 fight win streak. But Jung looked incredible, consistently going forward and doing his best to finish the fight, which he did in the fourth round. Jung looks like a different fighter since his loss to George Roop in the WEC. He was impressive on his feet and on the ground and made an emphatic statement to the rest of the 145 pound division. It looks like his next fight is already booked for him, a title shot against the winner of Jose Aldo and Erik Koch. Some may argue that he should have to fight Hatsu Hioki first, but Hioki is fighting in June and the UFC probably wants the Featherweight Championship to be defended again this year.
Next Match: Jung fights for the Featherweight Championship in late fall
Poirier was very emotional after his loss to the Korean Zombie. But, he has nothing to be ashamed off. His first UFC loss was in a very competitive fight and he still has a lot of time left in his career. Poirier is a future champion, no doubt in my mind. But for now, he’ll have to get back in the win column before he gets that title shot. With the title picture booked for the rest of the year, Poirier should get another fighter coming off a loss, but still in the top 10.
Next Match: Poirier faces Chad Mendes in the early fall
The Ultimate Fighter winner earned a split decision in his co-main event fight with Jorge Lopez. Sadollah is 3-2 in his last 5 fights. He’s in a crowded Welterweight division and his UFC losses have come to fighters who were in or near the top 10. In other words, he’s not moving up the ladder too quickly. I’d match him up with someone who’s in that same level that he is.
Next Match: Sadollah meets fellow TUF vet Rich Attonito in the fall
“Cowboy” got back to his winning ways, putting on a striking clinic against Jeremy Stephens. A few days ago, Cerrone said that he would call out Nate Diaz if he won. Diaz is waiting for his title shot and handily beat Cerrone last December, so a rematch isn’t in the cards. But, he was open to a match with Anthony Pettis, who has been passed over for a title shot once again. Cerrone wants to do it inDenverand Pettis should be ready to go by then. A win over Pettis can put Cerrone back into the title picture that he was in before his loss to Diaz.
Next Match: Cerrone vs. Pettis at UFC 150 inDenver
With a dominant win over Jeff Hougland, Jobouin is now 3-1 in the UFC. Jobouin had Hougland hurt with a spin kick to the liver, but was unable to finish him. But, he got a 30-26 on one of the judge’s scorecards, which accurately reflected his good night. The Bantamweight division is going to be without its champion, Dominick Cruz, for some time because of his injury. I would pair up Jobouin with a tougher test in his next fight.
Next Match: Jobouin faces Takeya Mizugaki in the fall
If not for Jung and Poirier tearing the house down, Pokrajac would probably have gone home with a Fight of the Night bonus for his war with Fabio Maldonado. I had Maldonado winning 29-28, but all 3 judges saw it for Pokrajac. I think it could’ve gone either way because both guys were throwing bombs and didn’t seem fazed. Pokrajac got his third straight win as he quietly climbs up the Light Heavyweight ladder. At age 33, Pokrajac’s greatest enemy is time. The Light Heavyweight division just had a few matches booked for over the summer. I’d wait for one of the upcoming matches to play out before Pokrajac gets a new opponent.
Next Match: Pokrajac faces the winner of the UFC 146 Kyle Kingsbury vs. Glover Teixeira fight in the fall
On his 29th birthday, Lawlor scored a nice knockout win over veteran Jason MacDonald. Lawlor is 4-3 in the UFC. He’s entertaining and has only gone to decision 3 times in his career. He’s also in a middleweight division that is crowded with contenders. Lawlor has come up short against contenders such as Chris Weidman in the past. I would match up Lawlor with a fellow UFC on Fuel TV 3 winner for his next fight to gage where each of them are.
Next Match: Lawlor vs. Brad Tavares in the early fall
Let the comments begin! Sound off on your match choices below.
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