UFC Fight Night 43: 3 Fights for Soa Palelei to Take Next

Riley KontekFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2014

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 24:  UFC Fighters Jared Rosholt of USA (L) James Te Huna (C) and Soa Palelei of Australia (R) join Maori cultural performers Edz Eramiha (R) and Iwi Matthews (L) with UFC Managing Director Tom Wright (in suit) after a traditional maori welcome for UFC fighters at Te Wero Bridge on June 24, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand.  Fighters were welcomed to Auckland ahead of the UFC fight night on June 28 at Vector Arena.  (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

The co-main event of UFC Fight Night 43 in New Zealand saw a pair of the big boys collide, as Oceania's own Soa Palelei took on Jared Rosholt. It was a battle that was expected to be a grueling match, and it lived up to the expectations.

The bout was a grinding affair. Rosholt was able to use superior wrestling and sneaky striking to completely outhustle Palelei to a clear unanimous decision. Some fans may not have been the most pleased with the bout, but it was a great tactical win for the American.

This bout broke a big winning streak for Palelei, who the UFC was building up. It was a tough matchup, as he depends on superior wrestling in his bouts.

So, what's next for "The Hulk?" Let's take a look at three guys he could face next.


Daniel Omielanczuk

Daniel Omielanczuk started off his UFC debut like Soa Palelei started off his return bout to the company in that both earned late stoppages despite gassing out. Plus, both men are coming off losses, which makes a bout against each other seem logical.

Omielanczuk is a decent-sized heavyweight, weighing in last at 245 pounds. He is also coming off a loss to Rosholt, which he now shares in common with "The Hulk."

Both the Pole and Aussie are ground fighters as well, which makes this matchup a no-brainer. Both men can knock you out and could put on a nice little (or big) show.


Viktor Pesta

Viktor Pesta is just 0-1 with the UFC, but it was a close decision loss to heavy favorite Ruslan Magomedov. He needs to get back on his horse and attempt a run back into the win column opposite a decent opponent. That's where Palelei may come in.

Pesta, like Palelei, likes to wrestle and throw bombs from top position. He also has the grappling chops to secure submissions as well, though it would be tough against a jiu-jitsu black belt like Palelei.

This would be a tactical chess match mixed in with some power. It would be a grueling affair that could be highly entertaining as well.


Jack May-Shawn Jordan loser

Jack May and Shawn Jordan have a fight against each other in Bangor, Maine, in the upcoming months. When their dispute is settled, the man who comes out the loser could be in line for Palelei.

Both May and Jordan are power strikers with different all-around styles. While May is more the kickboxer with an incredible 6'8" frame, Jordan is a shorter, stockier spark plug with good wrestling due to his collegiate football background.

Palelei would match up well with either man. Whoever comes out on the bottom is definitely an option for "The Hulk" next.