UFC 143 Results: 10 Exciting Fights the UFC Needs to Book ASAP
UFC 143 is done and now every fan knows that Carlos Condit has a date with Georges St-Pierre down the road. The fight isn't the most entertaining, especially not with the way that Condit fought, but it is relevant to the welterweight division.
That isn't to say that there aren't fun fights that couldn't be made from the winners and losers from UFC 143. There are plenty of matches that could be made which even the most hardened critic would enjoy.
Joe Silva does a great job of matching people in the UFC, but here are 10 fights he needs to make soon if he wants to keep fight fans happy.
Matthew Riddle vs. Matt Brown
In a battle of the Matts, only one would prove worthy of being UFC-caliber.
Crossroads fights are usually entertaining as the men involved realize that it is likely their last shot in the Octagon if they lose.
Brown may be a limited veteran, but he has probably absorbed enough knowledge in his wins and losses to push the young Riddle to the limit and make a fun scrap of it in the process. Whoever lost would get cut and the winner would get another chance to prove that they are more than mid-level talent.
They both fought on UFC 143 so it should be an easy fight to make.
Edwin Figueroa vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Figueroa might need some time off thanks to those groin strikes. They looked brutal as all shots to the protected area do and no one would blame Figueroa for wanting to take some R and R.
When he gets back he should face someone who will not only push him, but will respect the rules as well. No one does it better than the limited but exciting Takeya Mizugaki. Mizugaki has only lost to top contenders and champions, though he knows how to keep himself in the fight and keep going.
Figueroa proved in his fight with Michael McDonald he knows how to engage, but Mizugaki is proven to be a tough customer.
After watching the punishment Figueroa took, both legal and not, it's safe to say the fight would go the distance with both men bringing it for three rounds non-stop.
The only trick is that Mizugaki needs to get past Chris Cariaso at UFC 144.
Dustin Poirier vs. Chan Sung Jung
In an interview with Ariel Helwani, Poirier called out Chan Sung Jung after his win. Joe Silva is usually willing to accommodate fighters whenever they want a certain match.
This is one of those time when he should do it.
Jung, also known as the "Korean Zombie", could probably get fans to watch him hit a heavy bag and go crazy. He is just the kind of fighter who has enough innovation while also being limited to keep fans guessing about what will happen next.
He has won the trifecta of fight of the night, submission of the night and knockout of the night all in different outings. The submission and the fights are both considered by some to be the best of years in which they took place.
Poirier may not have that same resume, but the young fighter is on a five-fight win streak with most of the victories coming after his move to the featherweight division. He even won submission of the night at UFC 143, though it isn't the first time he has put on a thrilling fight.
Putting both men in the cage together makes sense and, as long as Jung is willing, is something that would be easy to make.
Ed Herman vs. Rousimar Palhares
Ed Herman may be one of the most interesting cases to step into the Octagon. There are times he steps into the cage and gets beaten badly and then there are times when he looks dominant.
In his UFC 143 fight he had some mixed results getting in a slugfest with Clifford Starks and then winning by choke in the second round. The opening for the submission was a bit of luck, though Herman was also able to capitalize on it.
Now he is 3-0 in his last few fights and the question of who to match him with has to come up.
Herman may not have a problem standing and trading, but 12 of his 20 wins come by submission.
So, who better to put him in than fellow middleweight fighter Rousimar Palhares?
Palhares is also 3-0 in his last fights and with both men being known for making opponents tap and losing to top flight competition, it makes the match a possible contender for submission of the night.
Renan Barao vs. Dominick Cruz
This may be the least exciting fight on this list even if it by no means a boring one. Renan Barao was able to dominate Scott Jorgensen in their fight and leave no question to who the top contender at bantamweight is.
At UFC 143, Barao proved to be as dangerous on his feet as he was with submissions on the ground. He was able to keep the shorter Jorgensen at bay with vicious knees and punches. How he would handle Cruz's striking and weird angles would be tricky, though something worth knowing.
Even if the fight isn't as exciting as the other matchups mentioned, it could still be a great one as bantamweights bring it and both Cruz and Barao come at their opponents with bad intentions.
The fight should go the distance, though that doesn't mean it couldn't be a great one.
Scott Jorgensen vs. Leonard Garcia
Pretty much anyone versus Leonard Garcia is going to make a great match. The man blocks attacks with his face and throws punches like not doing so would kill him.
He may not have the greatest technique, or use much technique at all, but he has been involved in a lot of fights that won fight of the night.
Jorgensen is a wrestler, but has shown a willingness to keep fights standing. Whether that is because he is somewhat shorter and can't work himself into their guards or he is just that confident, he has a penchant for trading punches.
Any fighter who does that with Garcia is guaranteed a bonus by the end of the night in one form or another.
Josh Koscheck vs. Johnny Hendricks
Josh Koscheck sometimes has great fights, but they are rarely with other wrestlers. Hendricks just might be the exception to that.
Both Koscheck and Hendricks are great at wrestling, but neither man needs to rely on their grappling to get them through fights.
Hendricks has knocked out seven of his opponents even though his background is as an amateur wrestler. Koscheck is no slouch when it comes to trading leather either as he has won knockout of the night twice in his UFC career and shown himself to be better every time out.
Both men look to finish opponents in any part of their game and neither would be likely to slow down the pace if they met.
Roy Nelson vs. Matt Mitrione
The fight between these two might actually be less interesting than the interviews that would happen before it.
Both Roy Nelson and Matt Mitrione are characters, and neither takes each other seriously outside of the cage. When they step inside they change and become the fighters that fans either love or hate.
Mitrione has grown as a fighter and started getting respect and adoration from some fans, but he hasn't successfully faced someone with Nelson's level of experience. Mitrione also would have to prove that he could handle Nelson's grappling while Nelson could opt to keep the fight standing.
Either way, both men never try to "just get the win" when they compete and with both holding the same attitude they would give the fans something to cheer for.
Fabricio Werdum vs. Cain Velasquez
Fabricio Werdum was once a top fighter in the UFC before he was knocked out by then unheralded Junior Dos Santos.
Cain Velasquez was the UFC heavyweight champion before he was also KO'ed by Junior Dos Santos.
Both men need a top fight to get them considered for contendership and a match between the two of them would be perfect. Both are known for their grappling with Werdum being a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist and Velasquez being a former standout wrestler.
Both men are also brilliant strikers with Velasquez knocking out eight of nine victims and Werdum beating Nelson badly with knees on Saturday.
Velasquez and Werdum could choose if they wanted to keep the fight standing or go to the ground and either way fans would benefit.
Nick Diaz vs. Thiago Alves
Many thought the fight between Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit was going to be great. It ended up being intriguing, but not something fans would probably pay over $50 to see again.
Thiago Alves shouldn't cause those problems unless lightning strikes twice. Until his submission victory over Papy Abedi he was a Muay Thai striker who used his size to help him take out opponents. Watching Nick Diaz try to take out an opponent who is much larger then him would be entertaining and something that the former Strikeforce champion wouldn't flinch away from.
The only trick to making this fight happen is to get Diaz to come out of retirement. In an article on Sherdog.com Diaz stated that he was out of the fight game.
While it is conceivable that he means it, Diaz is a highly emotional being, but if the UFC can convince him to get back into the cage then this fight will sell.
Matthew Hemphill writes for the MMA and professional wrestling portion of Bleacher Report. He also hosts a blog elbaexiled.blogspot.com that focuses on books, music, comic books, video games, film and generally anything that could be related to the realms of nerdom.