UFC on Fuel 9 Results: Matches to Make for the Entire Fight Card
Gegard Mousasi wasn't going to impress anyone no matter the outcome of his fight against UFC newcomer Ilir Latifi in the UFC on Fuel TV 9 main event.
For that reason, Mousasi fought a smart fight by keeping Latifi on the end of his jab for three rounds. It wasn't the most fan-friendly main event in recent memory, but Mousasi did what he had to do to remain within striking distance of the elite UFC light heavyweights.
After the event, Mousasi revealed he had suffered a knee injury in training that will require surgery. Without an exact timetable for his return, the options for his next opponent are up in the air.
Nonetheless, let's take a look at who could be next for Mousasi and the rest of the UFC on Fuel TV 9 competitors.
Papy Abedi vs. Neil Magny
Following losses in his first two UFC appearances, Papy Abedi's spot on the roster was likely on the line heading into UFC on Fuel TV 9.
Although it took a controversial split decision that almost no MMA media agreed with, Abedi did enough to stick around. Unfortunately for Abedi's opponent and fellow Swedish fighter, Besam Yousef, that questionable call may result in his release from the UFC.
Though Abedi is safe from being cut for now, he still has a lot of work to do to start gaining recognition in the welterweight division. He'll have to work his way up the 170-pound ladder from the bottom, and that could mean a bout with The Ultimate Fighter participant Neil Magny.
Michael Kuiper vs. Stanislav Nedkov
Michael Kuiper got off to a strong start in his UFC on Fuel TV 9 bout with Tom Lawlor, but a guillotine choke early in the second round led to the Dutch fighter's second loss in three UFC appearances.
While Kuiper is having some trouble gaining momentum on MMA's biggest stage, he should get at least one more shot inside the Octagon.
A bout with Stanislav Nedkov, who hasn't won since August 2011, would give Kuiper a good chance to get back on track in 2013.
Chris Spang vs. Ben Alloway
Chris Spang and Ben Alloway both had trouble putting together any offence in their respective bouts against Adlan Amagov and Ryan LaFlare on Saturday, but the losing welterweights should each get another chance to ply their craft inside the Octagon.
Alloway had been coming off a knockout win over Manuel Rodriguez, while Spang is only one fight removed from a Strikeforce victory over fellow UFC competitor Nah-Shon Burrell.
Moving forward, a bout between Spang and Alloway makes sense and gives one fighter the ability to get back into the win column.
Adlan Amagov vs. Ryan LaFlare
Adlan Amagov and Ryan LaFlare both impressed in their UFC debuts at UFC on Fuel TV 9.
While Amagov used a diverse kicking arsenal to shut down Chris Spang, LaFlare smothered Ben Alloway on the ground.
Obviously, Amagov and LaFlare still have a lot of work to do before they can be considered welterweight contenders. However, the 170-pounders looked promising on Saturday and could take another step forward by squaring off against each other.
Tor Troeng vs. Tom Lawlor
Following a slow start, Tom Lawlor picked up a come-from-behind submission win by catching Michael Kuiper in a guillotine choke early in the second round at UFC on Fuel TV 9.
Later, Tor Troeng picked up his first UFC victory by submitting fellow TUF contestant Adam Cella, who is probably now looking at a return to regional competition.
Troeng was one of the more highly touted fighters entering The Ultimate Fighter 17 and has a promising future in the UFC middleweight division.
A bout with a veteran like Lawlor would be a good test of Troeng's skills, and the matchup would also give Lawlor a good shot at winning back-to-back fights for the first time since July 2009.
Reza Madadi vs. Ramsey Nijem-Myles Jury Winner
Reza Madadi picked up an important win in his home country of Sweden, submitting Michael Johnson in the third round.
Following a slugfest with Cristiano Marcello, Madadi has now had two straight entertaining fights against TUF contestants. At 34 years old, Madadi is unlikely to become a serious title contender in the lightweight division, so let's have him continue to test the UFC's reality show participants for the time being.
A bout against the winner of an upcoming UFC on Fox 7 bout between TUF alumni Ramsey Nijem and Myles Jury would make sense for Madadi.
Robert Peralta vs. Maximo Blanco-Sam Sicilia Loser
Undefeated inside the Octagon heading into UFC on Fuel TV 9, Robert Peralta did not have his best outing. While he kept his fight close, Peralta fell short on the scorecards against Akira Corassani.
Although the 27-year-old looked to be a fighter on the rise, Peralta will now likely have to meet an opponent who is coming off a loss.
A bout between Peralta and the loser of the TUF 17 finale bout between Maximo Blanco and Sam Sicilia would work well.
Akira Corassani vs. Maximo Blanco-Sam Sicilia Winner
After squeaking by Andy Ogle with a split decision win in his UFC debut, Akira Corassani looked much more impressive in beating Robert Peralta unanimously on the scorecards.
Though he's now coming off what could be considered the biggest win of his career, Corassani is still closer to the bottom than the top of the 145-pound division.
The Swedish-born Corassani will have to work his way up the rankings slowly. A fight against the winner of the TUF 17 finale matchup between Maximo Blanco and Sam Sicilia would give Corassani a chance to do just that.
Pablo Garza vs. Marcus Brimage
Coming off respective wins over Mark Hominick and Jimy Hettes, Pablo Garza and Marcus Brimage entered UFC on Fuel TV 9 in the best position of their careers.
Things did not go nearly as well for the featherweight pair on Saturday, though.
Garza suffered a first-round submission loss to Diego Brandao, while Brimage was put away quickly by UFC newcomer Conor McGregor.
The UFC should now look to give Garza and Brimage a chance to bounce back quickly by matching them up against each other in the fall.
Diego Brandao vs. Conor McGregor
The 25-year-old Diego Brandao and 24-year-old Conor McGregor have high ceilings in the UFC's featherweight division, and they showed that at UFC on Fuel TV 9.
Brandao made quick work of a tough opponent in Pablo Garza, and McGregor put away a surging Marcus Brimage in the first round of his UFC debut.
Let's move them along quickly by matching them against each other to see who is more prepared for a big step up in competition.
Mike Easton vs. Bryan Caraway
Against a fellow Top-10 featherweight contender in Brad Pickett, Mike Easton performed respectably. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough to prevent his second straight loss.
Now in need of a win to avoid his release from the UFC, Easton should take a step down in competition.
While Bryan Caraway is still a worthy opponent for Easton, he's more one-dimensional than the fighters "The Hulk" has been facing.
Brad Pickett vs. Urijah Faber-Scott Jorgensen Winner
Brad Pickett has slowly solidified himself as an elite bantamweight.
A win over Mike Easton at UFC on Fuel TV 9 has made him deserving of another shot against an elite 135-pound competitor.
With a main event between Urijah Faber and Scott Jorgensen in the works, Pickett should compete against the winner with a title shot potentially on the line.
Matt Mitrione vs. Todd Duffee
Matt Mitrione has staved off the end of his UFC career for at least a few more fights.
The former NFL player knocked out Phil De Fries in just 19 seconds on Saturday. De Fries did not land a single punch in the fight and is probably going to be looking for a new job after suffering a first-round knockout loss for the third time in his past four fights.
For Mitrione, a bout with a fellow athletic heavyweight like Todd Duffee could be fun.
Ryan Couture vs. Michael Johnson
Ryan Couture's UFC debut didn't go as planned, but he was given a tough task in facing Ross Pearson. Couture hung tough with Pearson until being stopped in the second round.
Fellow lightweight Michael Johnson also came up short in his bout with Reza Madadi. Johnson's takedown defense failed him for a second straight fight and led to a third-round submission loss.
Though they're far from being lightweight contenders, Couture and Johnson are still notable names in the 155-pound division. A bout between the two would keep the fighters in the headlines as they try to turn things around.
Ross Pearson vs. Anthony Njokuani-Roger Bowling Winner
Ross Pearson appears to have made the right decision to return to the lightweight division, winning his first two fights since moving back to 155 pounds.
On Saturday, Pearson stopped Ryan Couture with strikes in the second round.
As one of the more dangerous strikers in the lightweight division, Pearson should now meet a fellow knockout artist. A bout with the winner of a UFC on Fox 7 fight between Anthony Njokuani and Roger Bowling would guarantee offense.
Ilir Latifi vs. Gian Villante-Ovince St. Preux Loser
Ilir Latifi had few answers for Gegard Mousasi's more technical striking in the UFC on Fuel TV 9 main event. Ultimately, the Swedish light heavyweight lost in a lopsided decision.
Nonetheless, the fight got Latifi's foot in the door and should earn him a second shot inside the Octagon.
A bout with another UFC newcomer coming off a loss would make the most sense. Let's have Latifi meet the loser of the UFC 159 bout between Gian Villante and Ovince St. Preux.
Gegard Mousasi vs. Wanderlei Silva
Gegard Mousasi didn't drop any jaws with his win over Ilir Latifi on Saturday, but he got the job done and maintained his position as a fringe contender in light heavyweight division.
Rescheduling the fight between Mousasi and Alexander Gustafsson would be nice. However, it's now unrealistic with Mousasi needing knee surgery and Gustafsson likely looking to get back inside the cage as soon as possible.
Prior to UFC on Fuel TV 9, a rivalry of sorts developed when Wanderlei Silva fooled Mousasi with an April Fool's Day joke about replacing Gustafsson. The UFC should capitalize on that animosity and schedule a fight between the Pride FC veterans.