UFC Fight Night 110 Results: Matches to Make for the Winners and Losers
UFC Fight Night 110 hit Auckland, New Zealand, on Saturday evening, and the main card delivered a lot of fun.
In the main event, hometown hero Mark Hunt got the fourth-round TKO against Derrick Lewis. The victory put an end to Lewis' potential title run, and Hunt regained a bit of footing in the division.
Speaking of regaining footing: Middleweight contender Derek Brunson reasserted himself in the division by demolishing Dan Kelly with a first-round knockout that silenced the crowd. Brunson ended a feel-good story on Saturday but potentially began his own.
Other intriguing matchups happened throughout the course of the evening, and following all the action, the attention turns to what the UFC does next with all the winners and losers.
Well, let's offer an assist. Here are the matches to make following UFC's latest trip to New Zealand.
Preliminary Fights Quick Hits
JJ Aldrich def. Chan-Mi Jeon by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- JJ Aldrich vs. Alex Chambers
- Chan-Mi Jeon vs. Poliana Botelho
Zak Ottow def. Kiichi Kunimoto by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Zak Ottow vs. Warlley Alves
- Kiichi Kunimoto vs. Mike Pyle
John Moraga def. Ashkan Mokhtarian by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-27, 30-27)
- John Moraga vs. Tim Elliott
- Ashkan Mokhtarian vs. Jenel Lausa
Luke Jumeau def. Dominique Steele by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Luke Jumeau vs. Claudio Silva
- Dominique Steele should be cut from the roster
Vinc Pichel def. Damien Brown by KO at 3:37 of the first round
- Vinc Pichel vs. Alan Patrick
- Damien Brown vs. Ross Pearson
Alexander Volkanovski vs. Mizuto Hirota
Alexander Volkanovski def. Mizuto Hirota by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Alexander Volkanovski put together a clean sweep of the longtime vet in Auckland. Mizuto Hirota didn't take a single round on a judge's scorecard. The victory made it 12 in a row for Volkanovski, and 2-0 in the UFC. He should get a big jump in competition.
Myles Jury is the name that jumps off the page for Volkanovski.
Jury has a bit of name recognition and is coming off a win. The winner of this proposed fight would then net a surefire top-15 opponent in their next outing. It's the best plan to ensure one of them gets that ranked foe and to not completely damage the loser.
As for Hirota, he is clearly past his prime and a gatekeeper for those hoping to make a claim at the top 15. That's why Mirsad Bektic is the right choice.
Bektic is a good fighter and one of the better prospects in the division. After losing a stunner against Darren Elkins, Bektic could get back on track against Hirota. Or Hirota stymies his comeuppance and proves he's not as good as everyone thinks.
Tim Elliott vs. Ben Nguyen
Ben Nguyen def. Tim Elliott via submission (rear-naked choke) at 0:49 of the first round
Wow. Talk about a shock.
Ben Nguyen was seen as a solid flyweight, but not many viewed him as a clear upper-echelon 125-pounder. That all changed with a stellar showing against the ever-tough Tim Elliott.
The loss should be a pretty crushing one for Elliott, who was coming off a 25-minute battle with Demetrious Johnson and subsequent rebound victory against Louis Smolka. Another win could have put him back in the hunt. Instead, it's a big step back.
Elliott should get fellow UFC Fight Night 110 competitor John Moraga. Sure, Moraga won his fight. However, Moraga is still toward the bottom of the top 15, and it's a fun fight.
Nguyen will earn a big fight at flyweight, and a win could see him as one of the top challengers given Johnson's dominance. The name that makes the most sense in the current climate is Jussier Formiga. It's a big, big test for Nguyen, who has earned his shot among the elite.
Ion Cutelaba vs. Henrique da Silva
Ion Cutelaba def. Henrique da Silva by KO at 0:22 of the first round
Right away let's agree that Henrique da Silva should be cut from the roster. A 2-3 overall UFC record with three straight losses—that's worthy of a pink slip.
Now, onward to Ion Cutelaba.
That's certainly one way to get back in the win column. A swift, scary victory. In the shallow waters of 205, Cutelaba now seems like an exciting fighter to watch. That's good news for him given an inconsistent UFC record.
Which is why the UFC should throw him to the wolves. Trial by fire against Glover Teixeira.
It may seem like a big leap, but it's not. Teixeira is obviously slowing down, but he still enjoys a good scrap. It's a matchup that suits Cutelaba in a way that will give the UFC a clear picture of just where his ceiling is at. Is Cutelaba a sleeper who could rise to great heights? Or is he simply an exciting fighter who will struggle to find consistent success?
Teixeira will answer that.
Ross Pearson vs. Dan Hooker
Dan Hooker def. Ross Pearson by KO at 3:02 of the second round
Ross Pearson ate a vicious knee that sent his mouthpiece flying, and now he enters the wrong side of the highlight reel for the foreseeable future.
Pearson should take on fellow UFC Fight Night 110 loser Damien Brown. He needs lower-level opposition in a rebound fight.
Dan Hooker cannot lay claim to a marquee bout just yet. His KO was glorious, but it's still only one win in the deep waters of lightweight. An unlikely name, but the right one, for Hooker's next opponent is Francisco Trinaldo.
Trinaldo is coming off a loss to be sure, but he was still on a seven-fight win streak prior to that. He was close to the top 15. A loss to rising star Kevin Lee doesn't take too much away from Trinaldo's position. Hooker will be tested, and a win over Trinaldo will give him the boost to reach for those ranked opponents.
Derek Brunson vs. Dan Kelly
Derek Brunson def. Dan Kelly by KO at 1:16 of the first round
Poor Dan Kelly.
The inspirational story of Kelly's rise to middleweight contention is now dead. Very dead. And Derek Brunson is responsible.
If Kelly returns, who should be next? Why not Anderson Silva? It's a matchup of two aging fighters who fans like to watch. It's another big fight for Kelly, and it's a favorable matchup for Silva. It makes sense for no other reason than that.
Brunson could get any number of contenders in the middleweight division, but who he called out after the fight in his post-fight interview seems like a good enough opponent. Antonio Carlos Junior.
If Brunson wants "Shoeface," then give him "Shoeface." Given the muddled state of the division why rush Brunson back into big contender fights where the winner is stuck in limbo? A fight against Carlos Junior allows Brunson to grow and take his time. It's actually what's best for Brunson and the division.
Derrick Lewis vs. Mark Hunt
Mark Hunt def. Derrick Lewis by TKO at 3:51 of the fourth round
"The Super Samoan" got rid of one of the most dangerous and active heavyweights in a systematic performance. Mark Hunt took his time and eventually turned up the heat as Derrick Lewis wore down. Eventually it was just too much for "The Black Beast."
After the fight, in his in-cage post-fight interview, Lewis said that he would "probably" retire. Well, let's book his next fight just in case that doesn't turn out to be true.
What about...Todd Duffee? Sure. Let's go with Duffee. He's someone who never lived up to the hype and enjoys a slugfest in spite of his technical deficiencies. That's a perfect fight for Lewis' return. And should Duffee win, perhaps he'll begin to turn the story arc of his career around.
Projecting Hunt's next fight is difficult. He's not in title contention just yet, but he may only be a win away given the fan support he gets at every show. His next opponent should be someone in title contention, and perhaps it should be whoever gets left out of the next title fight.
In my projection for Stipe Miocic I gave Francis Ngannou the next shot. That would mean the winner of UFC 213's Fabricio Werdum vs. Alistair Overeem would make the most sense for Hunt's next fight as a title eliminator.
Cain Velasquez or a rematch against Junior dos Santos are also possibilities on the table if Hunt refuses to fight Werdum or Overeem. Regardless, there's plenty of fun top-line fights for Hunt. It's just a question of what road the UFC decides to go down.