UFC Fight Night 108 Results: Matches to Make for the Winners and Losers
UFC Fight Night 108 in Nashville provided quite a bit of action and quite a few interesting results.
Artem Lobov proved many doubters wrong by hanging with one of the featherweight elite for 25 minutes. It was a losing effort, but Lobov's stock undoubtedly rose after the performance.
What's next for Conor McGregor's training partner? What about Cub Swanson, who failed to put away an unranked fighter in a main event spot?
Al Iaquinta knocked Diego Sanchez out in the first round of their co-main event contest. Iaquinta's return from a two-year absence thrust him right back into the hunt at 155 pounds. Sanchez now has to come to grips with his inability to compete with the top lightweights in the world.
Twenty-six fighters in total hit the cage Saturday, but what's next?
Here's your look at the matches the UFC should book for the winners and losers after UFC Fight Night 108.
Preliminary Fight Quick Hits
Hector Sandoval def. Matt Schnell by KO at 4:24 of the first round
- Hector Sandoval vs. Louis Smolka
- Matt Schnell should be cut from the roster.
Bryan Barberena def. Joe Proctor by TKO at 3:30 of the first round
- Bryan Barberena vs. Winner of Peter Sobotta vs. Ben Saunders (May 28)
- Joe Proctor should be cut from the roster.
Alexis Davis def. Cindy Dandois by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Alexis Davis vs. Cat Zingano
- Cindy Dandois vs. Lucie Pudilova
Danielle Taylor def. Jessica Penne by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Danielle Taylor vs. Nina Ansaroff
- Jessica Penne vs. Michelle Waterson
Scott Holtzman def. Michael McBride by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
- Scott Holtzman vs. Stevie Ray
- Michael McBride should be cut from the roster.
Brandon Moreno def. Dustin Ortiz via technical submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:06 of the second round
- Brandon Moreno vs. Winner of Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis (May 13)
- Dustin Ortiz vs. Ryan Benoit
Thales Leites def. Sam Alvey by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Thales Leites vs. Anderson Silva
- Sam Alvey vs. Andrew Sanchez
Jake Ellenberger vs. Mike Perry
Mike Perry def. Jake Ellenberger by KO at 1:05 of the second round
After a controlled first round for both men, Perry finished Ellenberger with a clean elbow off the clinch in the second.
Starting with Ellenberger, it's time for the UFC to cut ties. Ellenberger is 2-7 in his last nine UFC trips with four of those losses coming by way of knockout. He's fought tough competition for sure, but the reward is no longer worth the risk.
Perry has earned an even bigger tilt in spite of just getting back in the winner's circle. A name that jumps off the page is Stephen Thompson.
After a second failed bid to win welterweight gold, Thompson will need to reset. A fight against Perry will start that journey for him but also offer a tough opponent. It's a big chance for Perry and a great matchup for Thompson.
Joe Lauzon vs. Stevie Ray
Stevie Ray def. Joe Lauzon by majority decision (29-27, 28-27, 28-28)
Lauzon looked outstanding in the first round, but he faded quickly after it ended. By the time the final horn sounded, he was completely drained. Lauzon is coming close to the cut line with his performances, but he hasn't lost consecutive fights since 2013. He also hasn't won consecutive fights since 2014.
Perhaps the best use for Lauzon is to place him opposite Will Brooks. The former Bellator champion has underperformed in the UFC. Lauzon will challenge and push him. The loser can be let go from the roster, and the winner gets a big victory.
Ray doesn't have the marquee name or performances to get a huge fight in the division. The win still moves him forward.
Meeting fellow UFC Fight Night 108 competitor Scott Holtzman is probably the best plan. The winner of that fight could earn a main card fight against an upper-echelon lightweight.
John Dodson vs. Eddie Wineland
John Dodson def. Eddie Wineland by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Dodson was simply too fast for Wineland. That is the beginning, middle and end of that fight.
The Kwan Ho Kwak vs. Russell Doane (June 17) loser is one of the better choices for Wineland. The UFC could pit him against another ranked foe, but Wineland has better value coming off a win. Putting him in a favorable fight to rebound from is what should happen. And it's a big fight for either Kwak or Doane.
Aljamain Sterling is the name for Dodson. No other option.
That would be a premier bout in the bantamweight division and potentially set up the victor to be in a title eliminator. And that's a great spot for Dodson or Sterling. Both men have immense talent. Their fight should be electric, and it should happen next.
Ovince Saint Preux vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima
Ovince Saint Preux def. Marcos Rogerio de Lima via submission (Von Flue choke) at 2:11 of the second round
Saint Preux had his back against the wall after stumbling in recent outings, but he came out of Nashville with a renewed slate in the light heavyweight division.
Rogerio de Lima, however, did not. He lost but also was overweight for his second straight fight. The UFC should force him to move up to heavyweight. Meeting the winner of May 13's Chase Sherman vs. Dmitry Poberezhets matchup makes sense for him.
The light heavyweight division is so bad, and OSP has faced most of the contenders at the top. With Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones likely to meet next, it doesn't give OSP a lot of fresh options. The UFC's best bet may be a rematch between OSP and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
OSP knocked Shogun out in just 34 seconds back in 2014, but it's three years later and Shogun is back in the Top Five of the division. It's the best rematch on the books for OSP.
Al Iaquinta vs. Diego Sanchez
Al Iaquinta def. Diego Sanchez by KO at 1:38 of the first round
Sanchez is not going to be a contender anymore, and he's probably not going to be in the better half of UFC lightweights, either. There are still fun fights out there for him, but none should be against anyone of note.
Marco Polo Reyes and James Vick fight on May 13. The loser should take on Sanchez at a later date.
Iaquinta, on the other hand, is not just in the top half of lightweights but likely one of the very best in the world. May 13 also should give us his next opponent.
Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier appears on the UFC 211 fight card. The winner in a showdown with Iaquinta would be a marvelous addition to the lightweight division's slate of fights. Whoever emerges victorious in that fight could also be in a position for a title shot in late 2017 or early 2018.
Cub Swanson vs. Artem Lobov
Cub Swanson def. Artem Lobov by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45)
Lobov far exceeded anyone's expectations. As such, he's a winner following UFC Fight Night 108. So much so that he should still get a quality opponent for his next bout.
Jeremy Stephens is a fighter that makes a lot of sense for Lobov. His standing in the featherweight division gives Lobov another big opportunity, and his style complements Lobov's, which ensures fans another entertaining bout of action.
Swanson may have earned a title shot if he ousted Lobov in impressive fashion. He did not. Also, Yair Rodriguez meets Frankie Edgar at UFC 211. He could be usurped. Regardless, giving Swanson a title shot after beating Lobov seems like a misstep.
The right fight for Swanson is a chance at redemption.
Swanson was beaten by a rising star in Ricardo Lamas back in 2011. Now they are both near the top of the featherweight division, and both need one more win before laying claim to a title shot against either Jose Aldo or Max Holloway.
Run that one back.