UFC 152: Five Fights for Vinny Magalhaes to Take Next
Vinny Magalhaes made a successful return to the Octagon after a three year absence. The BJJ ace took on Igor Pokrajac and finished the fight with a beautiful triangle-arm bar transition.
Magalhaes still looked to struggle a bit with the stand-up game but there's no denying his grappling talent. If he can continue to improve his striking game, Magalhaes' grappling is good enough to challenge many of the division's better fighters.
I'd still hesitate to throw Magalhaes to the wolves just yet as he just signed a contract with the UFC and has a marketable name in the MMA community. Although, with a lack of credible challengers at the top of the division the UFC may look to push him up the ladder.
There's a number of possibilities for Magalhaes to go from this point but it will be up to him as to how fast he wants to face upper-level talent.
Brandon Vera is coming off his most impressive performance in recent memory. Even though he lost his fight against Mauricio Rua, the old Vera appeared to be back.
Even though Vera could've earned an UFC title shot by defeating Rua there's no question that Vera is a middle of the pack level fighter at this point. His career has been up and down since the contract dispute and it appears as if Vera realizes the time is now for him to reach his potential.
A fight between Vinny Magalhaes and Vera would be an exciting match up of styles. Vera loves to use his muay Thai while Magalhaes loves the ground game. It'd be a classic striker vs. grappler match up.
Vinny Magalhaes finished his fight at UFC 152 in spectacular fashion. Ryan Jimmo is a fighter who also made an impressive debut of his own, tying the UFC record for fastest KO in UFC history.
Jimmo is widely regarded a "can't miss" prospect and looked to prove the hype is real at UFC 149. Jimmo made his name competing in MFC where he was the promotion's light heavyweight champion. During his tenure with the MFC, Jimmo defeated such notable names like Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Wilson Gouveia, and Marvin Eastman.
If Jimmo can bring that crazy KO power he showed at UFC 149 to a fight with Magalhaes, the Brazilian may want to pull guard as soon as the bell sounds.
Facing Jimmo would be a big step up in competition for Magalhaes but it'd certainly be a great opponent for Magalhaes to use to jump up the rankings.
Later on in the evening Matt Hamill made a successful return of his own. The former Ultimate Fighter star returned from a brief retirement and looked much the same despite not fighting for over a year.
Hamill presents a couple of challenges for Vinny Magalhaes to overcome in a potential showdown. The first is of course Hamill's wrestling. He's a very strong wrestler who has no problems with holding his opponents on the canvas for the duration of a fight.
The other challenge for Magalhaes is Hamill's raw power. His striking isn't the most technical but he does possess KO power. Magalhaes has struggled with his ability to "take a punch" in the past and Hamill has the power to test Magalhaes' determination on the feet.
This fight makes a lot of sense for both guys as they competed on the same show and are returning to the UFC after an extended absence.
Thiago Silva has hit a rough patch in his career. Silva's last win came all the way back 2009 against Keith Jardine. Silva did manhandle Brandon Vera in their contest but it was overturned to a no contest after Silva failed a drug test.
The Brazilian returned earlier this year to face Alexander Gustafsson and was soundly defeated. The loss sent Silva spiriling out of contention and he will now face Stanislav Nedkov in Nov.
If Silva can get past Nedkov, he would make a good opponent for Vinny Magalhaes to face. Silva has the striking power to challenge Magalhaes on the feet and a BJJ black belt of his own. Silva also has displayed improvements in his wrestling game.
Facing Silva gives Magalhaes a middle of the road fighter with a big name. A win for Magalhaes that would help launch him into the upper half of the division.
Winner of Kyle Kingsbury vs. Jimi Manuwa
Kyle Kingsbury and Jimi Manuwa will be facing one another this Saturday night at the UFC on Fuel TV: Struve vs. Miocic event. Kingsbury is the more known name but Manuwa is a blue-chip prospect from Europe.
Kingsbury may very well be fighting for his job as he's lost his last two fights. The loss to Stephan Bonnar was downright ugly as Kingsbury was controlled throughout the contest. Against Glover Teixeira, Kingsbury was simply overwhelmed.
Manuwa meanwhile has yet to taste defeat in 11 professional bouts. Manuwa has also yet to hear the final bell as he's finished every one of his opponents. Manuwa appears to have some serious talent but will be making his UFC debut.
A fight against either man is a more manageable bout to put together for Vinny Magalhaes and the UFC. It gives Magalhaes a tough opponent but also one that isn't too highly ranked.