UFC Fight Night 30 Results: Matches to Make for the Entire Fight Card
Lyoto Machida has found a new home in the middleweight division.
At UFC Fight Night 30, the former light heavyweight champion knocked out Mark Munoz to quickly become a contender following a move to the 185-pound class. In scoring a knockout on Saturday, Machida joined current titleholder Chris Weidman as one of only two fighters to finish Munoz in the middleweight division.
Already, Machida may now be within a win or two of a shot at the middleweight championship.
In addition to the fight that could keep Machida on track toward earning another UFC belt, here are the most likely matchups for all the UFC Fight Night 30 competitors.
Andy Ogle vs. Rob Whiteford
Although he landed more than opponent Cole Miller on Saturday, Alex Ogle came up short on the scorecards in his home country of England. The British featherweight finished strong, landing 37 strikes in the final round, but he couldn't keep up with Miller on the ground in the first two stanzas.
Rob Whiteford, a UFC newcomer from Scotland, also came up short in the United Kingdom at UFC Fight Night 30. Accepting his bout with Jimy Hettes on short notice, Whiteford looked promising while striking early on, but he eventually fell victim to his opponent's grappling in a submission loss.
Since they both fought on Saturday, Ogle and Whiteford should be ready to return to action at around the same time. Besides the intrigue of an English-Scottish MMA rivalry, Ogle and Whiteford could put together an entertaining stand-up fight if paired.
Cole Miller vs. Jimy Hettes
Cole Miller returned to the win column on Saturday, putting on an impressive grappling display against Alex Ogle in enemy territory. Although Miller gave up the third round on the scorecards, he did enough through the first two frames to earn a decision win in all three judges' minds.
Jimy Hettes also looked great on the ground at UFC Fight Night 30. Once he was able to take Whiteford to the ground, Hettes controlled the action and eventually locked up a triangle choke in the second round.
With both men bouncing back from a loss, Miller and Hettes are in similar spots in the featherweight division. A bout between them would also potentially turn into a highly entertaining grappling match.
Jessica Andrade vs. Julie Kedzie-Alexandra Albu Winner
Jessica Andrade picked up her first UFC win on Saturday and may have saved her UFC career in the process.
With an influx of female TUF contestants coming, a fighter who started her career with two straight losses probably won't be needed in the women's bantamweight division. That's why Andrade's dominant win at UFC Fight Night 30 could lead to the release or retirement of 36-year-old opponent Rosi Sexton.
Next up for Andrade is likely a bout with another competitor coming off of their first UFC win. That could mean a matchup with the winner of a UFC Fight Night 33 contest between Julie Kedzie and Alexandra Albu.
Andrew Craig vs. Michael Kuiper
After a win over UFC veteran Chris Leben, Andrew Craig suffered a big setback with a loss to Luke Barnatt at UFC Fight Night 30. He was cracking Barnatt with big shots throughout the first round, but one punch to the chin completely changed the fight and ultimately led to a Craig submission loss.
Michael Kuiper also suffered an upset loss on Saturday. Though favored over Bradley Scott, Kuiper could not stay upright and ended up suffering a submission loss of his own in the first round.
Both having lost to previously unproven TUF veterans, Craig and Kuiper find themselves in bad spots. At 27 and 24 years old, respectively, Craig and Kuiper are still promising middleweights. Nonetheless, they've both lost two out of three and are in need of wins, so a matchup between the middleweights would ensure one gets back into the win column.
Luke Barnatt vs. Chris Camozzi-Lorenz Larkin Winner
In front of a home crowd in England, Luke Barnatt showed he's a TUF veteran capable of competing at the UFC level over the long haul.
A win over Collin Hart in April earned Barnatt a few more fights inside the Octagon. However, Barnatt's submission win over Andrew Craig at UFC Fight Night 30 made the Englishman a fighter to watch in the middleweight division.
Following his victory, Barnatt requested a bout with Chris Camozzi at the post-fight press conference. If Camozzi picks up a win over Lorenz Larkin at UFC Fight Night 31, that's a matchup that could happen early in 2014.
Al Iaquinta vs. Joe Lauzon-Mac Danzig Winner
Al Iaquinta appears to be developing into a future lightweight contender.
On Saturday, Iaquinta defeated another bright prospect in Piotr Hallman, who was coming off of a submission win over talented Brazilian Francisco Trinaldo. While a win over Hallman doesn't put Iaquinta in position to fight the elite of the 155-pound division, he does deserve a step up in competition.
Though he's only two fights removed from the loss, Iaquinta seems to have made strides since his bout with Michael Chiesa. While he may not be ready to beat fighters at that level, Iaquinta would at least benefit from the experience of a fight with the winner of a UFC on Fox 9 matchup between Joe Lauzon and Mac Danzig.
Phil Harris vs. Jose Maria-Dustin Ortiz Loser
Phil Harris missed out on his chance to crack the flyweight Top 10 on Saturday.
Coming off of a win over Ulysses Gomez, Harris was rewarded with a bout against a surging John Lineker. However, Harris was quickly overwhelmed by the punching power of Lineker at UFC Fight Night 30 and suffered a knockout loss in the opening round.
Obviously, Harris will now see a step down in competition. A bout with the loser of a UFC Fight Night 32 matchup between Jose Maria and Dustin Ortiz seems most likely.
John Lineker vs. Ian McCall
John Lineker should be near the front of the line for a shot at the flyweight championship.
Instead, he's probably going to have to make weight a few times. Having missed weight in three of his five UFC appearances, Lineker has lost the trust of the UFC brass. It'll take some proving before the UFC risks ruining a championship bout by awarding Lineker a title shot.
Teaming with Mike Dolce should eliminate Lineker's issues with weight cutting. A bout with a currently injured Ian McCall would give Lineker some time to make necessary changes alongside Dolce while also moving him up the ladder after four straight wins.
Nico Musoke vs. Bradley Scott
Nico Musoke made a big splash in his UFC debut, submitting grizzled veteran Alessio Sakara and earning Submission of the Night honors. While Sakara has now lost four in a row and is likely to be released, a win over the Italian is still a solid accomplishment for a UFC newcomer.
Bradley Scott also earned his first UFC win on Saturday, submitting Michael Kuiper at UFC Fight Night 30. Instead of fighting for his job, the TUF runner-up can now focus on moving upward in the middleweight division.
With both fighters coming off of their first UFC victories on the same fight card, Musoke and Scott are now prime candidates to fight one another in their next outings.
Jon Tuck vs. Piotr Hallman
After strong showings in their UFC debuts, Jon Tuck and Piotr Hallman took a step backward at UFC Fight Night 30.
Tuck was countered over and over by Norman Parke and ended up falling short on the scorecards. Unable to deal with the well-rounded style of Al Iaquinta, Hallman also lost in a decision on Saturday.
Both under 30 years old, Tuck and Hallman remain solid prospects in the lightweight division. A bout between the two in 2014 would ensure one fighter gets back into the win column.
Norman Parke vs. Michael Chiesa-Colton Smith Winner
Norman Parke is quietly turning into one of the most promising TUF winners on the UFC roster.
At UFC Fight Night 30, Parke picked up his third straight win by beating Jon Tuck via decision. A step up in competition is coming Parke's way, but he'll first need a matchup that will draw more attention than his previous three inside the Octagon.
Meeting the winner of a UFC Fight Night 31 bout between Michael Chiesa and Colton Smith would bring some eyes to Parke with the intrigue of a battle between two TUF winners. If he beats either of those men convincingly, Parke would be ready for a more highly ranked 155-pounder.
Ryan Jimmo vs. Robert Drysdale-Cody Donovan Loser
Ryan Jimmo has now alternated wins and losses through his first four UFC appearances.
Following a loss to Jimi Manuwa on Saturday, Jimmo is likely see a step down in competition and a chance to earn another rebound win. The severity of the apparent leg injury Jimmo suffered at UFC Fight Night 30 remains unknown, though, so it could be a while until the Canadian returns.
If he isn't out too long, a bout with the loser of a UFC 167 matchup between Robert Drysdale and Cody Donovan would be logical for Jimmo.
Jimi Manuwa vs. Thiago Silva
Facing a grinder in Ryan Jimmo, Jimi Manuwa didn't have a ton of chances to unleash his scary striking at UFC Fight Night 30.
With some help from a Jimmo leg injury, the Englishman did do enough to remain undefeated, though.
Having passed the test of a bout with an opponent who had little interest in standing with him, Manuwa should now meet an adversary willing to stand and trade more often. A matchup with Thiago Silva could provide fireworks.
Melvin Guillard vs. Ross Pearson
Melvin Guillard and Ross Pearson were on their way toward Fight of the Night honors before an illegal knee opened a cut on the Englishman's head, resulting in an early end to an entertaining matchup.
Following the unsatisfying no-contest ending, both men expressed their willingness to meet again during their post-fight interviews with commentator Joe Rogan on the Fox Sports 2 broadcast of UFC Fight Night 30.
UFC officials agreed a rematch would be the best course of action. At the post-fight press conference, Garry Cook announced Guillard and Pearson would meet again in London, England on March 8.
Mark Munoz vs. Francis Carmont
Welcoming an elite light heavyweight to the middleweight division, Mark Munoz had his hands full at UFC Fight Night 30.
Not long into the first round, Munoz suffered his second head-kick knockout loss inside the Octagon. Before he even had a chance to test his opponent's takedown defense, Munoz was on his back and looking up at a victorious Lyoto Machida.
Out of the middleweight title picture for now, Munoz can be used to test an up-and-coming contender in his next outing. Munoz's high-level wrestling would prove a tough test for Francis Carmont, who has beaten his first six UFC opponents while relying heavily on working from the top position.
Lyoto Machida vs. Vitor Belfort-Dan Henderson Winner
Lyoto Machida is already a contender in the middleweight division.
Facing an elite 185-pounder in Mark Munoz, Machida scored a first-round knockout on Saturday. Following that victory at UFC Fight Night 30, Machida may only be one or two wins away from fighting for the middleweight championship.
With Michael Bisping injured and Anderson Silva set to meet champion Chris Weidman at UFC 168, only Vitor Belfort and Ronaldo Souza stand between Machida and a shot at the 185-pound belt. Since Machida and Souza are friends, it would appear a bout between former light heavyweight champions is brewing should Belfort beat Dan Henderson at UFC Fight Night 32.