UFC Fight Night 120 Results: Matches to Make for the Winners and Losers
UFC Fight Night 120 hit Norfolk, Virginia, on Saturday, and Dustin Poirier took a big step to achieving his goal of a title fight for 2018.
Poirier beat former champion Anthony Pettis in the third round. It was a competitive fight, with a tight body triangle by Poirier causing an injury that ended the action. Now Poirier looks toward more big lightweight tilts in the new year.
In the co-main event, Matt Brown iced Diego Sanchez with a blistering elbow. Both men are at the tail end of their careers with no clear sign of what's to come.
It's time to answer the question of what comes next for each man and woman on the fight card. Here are the matches to make following UFC Fight Night 120.
Preliminary Fights Quick Hits
Karl Roberson def. Darren Stewart via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:41 of the first round
- Darren Stewart vs. loser of Eric Spicely vs. Gerald Meerschaert (December 1)
- Karl Roberson vs. Ramazan Emeev
Jake Collier def. Marcel Fortuna by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Marcel Fortuna vs. James Bochnovic
- Jake Collier vs. Jordan Johnson
Sean Strickland def. Court McGee by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Court McGee vs. Nico Musoke
- Sean Strickland vs. Vicente Luque
Nina Ansaroff def. Angela Hill by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Angela Hill vs. Maryna Moroz
- Nina Ansaroff vs. Claudia Gadelha
Sage Northcutt def. Michel Quinones by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Michel Quinones vs. Joseph Duffy
- Sage Northcutt vs. Marcin Held
Tatiana Suarez def. Viviane Pereira by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
- Viviane Pereira vs. Heather Jo Clark
- Tatiana Suarez vs. loser of Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson (December 2)
Marlon Moraes def. John Dodson by split decision (30-27, 27-30, 30-27)
- John Dodson vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade
- Marlon Moraes vs. Jimmie Rivera
Clay Guida vs. Joe Lauzon
Clay Guida def. Joe Lauzon by TKO at 1:07 of the first round
In a battle of grizzled vets, Clay Guida made easy work of Joe Lauzon.
This could be the end of the line for Lauzon. He is 3-5 since 2015 with a highly controversial win against Marcin Held aiding that record. More worrisome, Lauzon's chin has taken a lot of punishment over the years. Still, he's a UFC mainstay.
If Lauzon gets one more crack inside the Octagon, it should be against a low-level lightweight. Michael McBride seems like a good choice.
Guida, on the other hand, looks revitalized since moving back up to 155. He's 2-0 since the move back up with two credible wins. He should get a test of someone on the brink of the Top 15. Gilbert Burns could play that part. Burns has a lot of talent, but his inconsistencies have kept him from realizing his potential.
That's a solid undercard matchup for 2018.
Raphael Assuncao vs. Matthew Lopez
Raphael Assuncao def. Matthew Lopez by KO at 1:50 of the third round
Raphael Assuncao made a case for a title bid after ousting a very tough Matthew Lopez.
Marlon Vera is coming off a loss to John Lineker, and he'd make for a good rebound opponent for Lopez. He'll need a couple more wins before challenging the upper echelon once again.
In a perfect world, Assuncao is the next contender for TJ Dillashaw. They are 1-1 in two previous encounters, and Assuncao made his claim as the top contender with his showing. And it's aided by Dominick Cruz's recent injury that removed him from contention.
However, the current landscape reads as Dillashaw taking on Demetrious Johnson in a battle of champions. That would leave Assuncao on the outside looking in one more time.
If the TJ-DJ bout falls apart, Assuncao is the choice. If it moves forward, a title eliminator with Cody Garbrandt is probably the right call.
Cezar Ferreira vs. Nate Marquardt
Cezar Ferreira def. Nate Marquardt by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
It's always difficult to cut a veteran, but Nate Marquardt's time has come. Since returning to the UFC in 2013, he is 3-8 with four losses coming by way of knockout. It's time to move forward.
What's next for Ferreira?
In his post-fight interview in the cage, Ferreira was adamant about getting a match with Paulo Costa.
Following UFC 217, I wrote that the UFC could put Costa on a slow trek or place him against Chris Weidman. At that time, I was all-in on testing Costa against an elite middleweight to see what he has for the top of the middleweight food chain. But Ferreira sold me with his plea.
The middleweight division, at the top, is a jumbled mess. Costa isn't near a title shot, and Ferreira put a little bit of gas on this fire. Book it as a co-main event for a Brazilian Fight Night card.
Junior Albini vs. Andrei Arlovski
Andrei Arlovski def. Junior Albini by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Just when you think Andrei Arlovski is completely done, he comes through with a key victory.
Arlovski didn't look like a worldbeater, but he looked good. He was throwing combinations and mixing up his game. He took it to the youngster.
Junior Albini has to get a hard reset now. Cyril Asker and James Mulheron fight on November 25 in China. The loser makes for a fitting opponent.
Like it or not, Arlovski is back into the thick of it at heavyweight with just one win. He'll get another ranked opponent. How about Derrick Lewis? That should catch some attention, and the match probably wouldn't last too long.
Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez
Matt Brown def. Diego Sanchez by KO at 3:44 of the first round
Similar to Joe Lauzon and Nate Marquardt, Diego Sanchez suffered a big loss Saturday. Matt Brown decimated the former Ultimate Fighter champion with an elbow. Sanchez is 4-7 since 2012.
The UFC is not likely to cut Sanchez, but it should probably lean on him to retire. It's getting depressing now. Everyone's time comes. If he wants one more fight, book it against Bobby Nash.
The post-fight interview with Brown seemed as if he was going to call it a career after stating his intentions beforehand. He didn't commit to that, but there is no better way for him to go out.
If Brown is to have one more go, Daichi Abe is a suitable opponent for a showcase fight.
Dustin Poirier vs. Anthony Pettis
Dustin Poirier def. Anthony Pettis by TKO (injury) at 2:08 of the third round
It was an excellent fight, but an injury on the mat put an end to Anthony Pettis' night. Dustin Poirier had the momentum going in his favor after a huge elbow that split Pettis open, and the result isn't marred by the abrupt end.
Michael Chiesa is a great opponent for Pettis. It'd be a great fight for the fans too. It should be eyed for 2018.
Poirier, in the post-fight interview, stated he will fight the winner of Justin Gaethje vs. Eddie Alvarez. He told the matchmakers that their work was done. That sounds good in theory, but the title picture will not set those plans in stone.
Conor McGregor's potential return as well as Tony Ferguson, Nate Diaz and George St-Pierre will also have a lot to say about the matchmaking. There are too many variables especially if Gaethje wins.
If Gaethje wins, he's likely next in line for a title shot. That would put the Poirier bout in the trash. However, if Alvarez wins, running that fight back makes all the sense in the world. UFC 218 on December 2 in Detroit will go along way to determining Poirier's next fight, but it won't be definitive.