The UFC headed to Kansas City, Mo., on Saturday for a initial time with UFC on FOX 24 during Sprint Center. The eventuality aired on FOX following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) headlined a label and shielded his belt nonetheless again with a third-round acquiescence victory opposite another overmatched challenger in Wilson Reis (22-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC).
Prior to a pretension fight, 115-pound contender Rose Namajunas (6-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) apparently solidified a destiny shot during UFC gold, Robert Whittaker (18-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) extended his winning strain during middleweight, and Renato Carneiro (11-0-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) stayed dominant with a startling upset.
After each event, fans consternation whom a winners will be matched adult with next. And with another night of UFC movement in a rearview mirror, it’s time to demeanour forward, put on a span of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC on FOX 24’s winning fighters.
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Should fight: Renan Barao
Why they should fight: What was suspicion to be a gimme quarrel for Jeremy Stephens incited out to be a many jubilant impulse of Carneiro’s career when a Brazilian pulled off a split-decision dissapoint win.
In usually his third UFC appearance, Carneiro was pitted opposite a 25-fight octagon maestro in Stephens, who, before to their encounter, had mislaid usually to critical names via his decade with a organization.
Carneiro threw both notice and a contingency out a window when a enclosure doorway shut, though, and he degraded “Lil’ Heathen” to keep his undefeated record total by 12 career fights.
Stephens was formerly regarded as a high-ranked member of a UFC featherweight division, and Carneiro’s win immediately puts his name in a overlay as someone who needs to be taken severely by his peers. His subsequent quarrel will be telling, though, given it will establish either Stephens was a building retard to bigger things or a elementary peep in a pan.
A quarrel with former UFC champion Barao (34-4 MMA, 9-3 UFC) would tell a story of accurately where Carneiro stands. That competence seem like a large burst during this point, though it contingency be remarkable Barao suffered a unanimous-decision detriment to Stephens during UFC Fight Night 88 in May 2016, so it’s some-more than reasonable.
Should fight: Luke Rockhold
Why they should fight: Whittaker valid again he can broach on a large theatre as he pushed his winning strain to 7 with a many poignant feat of his career, this tim opposite former Strikeforce champion and long-lived contender Ronaldo Souza.
Whittaker has been zero brief of marvellous given relocating behind to a middleweight multiplication in Nov 2014, and his second-round TKO victory over “Jacare” legitimized a 26-year-old on a whole new level.
“The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes” leader seems to have scarcely total intensity during this point, and if a tip of a 185-pound multiplication weren’t such a mess, Whittaker would have a lot of subsidy for a pretension shot earlier than later.
Unfortunately, like each other middleweight contender, Whittaker is stranded in a reserve while a universe waits for champ Michael Bisping’s quarrel with Georges St-Pierre after this year. Once that quarrel is complete, Yoel Romero is watchful in a wings, and during this point, “The Solider of God” has finished it transparent he has no goal of fighting anyone else before his pretension shot.
That leaves no other choice than for Whittaker to stay busy, and during this point, there’s frequency anyone ranked above him in a weight category – save for Rockhold (15-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC). The former UFC and Strikeforce champ hasn’t competed given a title-losing knockout detriment to Bisping during UFC 199 in Jun 2016. He was ostensible to quarrel Souza in UFC Fight Night 101’s superstar in Nov though pulled out due to damage and hasn’t competed since.
Whittaker is a rising star of a middleweight multiplication during this point, and if Rockhold wants to rebound behind and make a large impression, interlude “The Reaper” would be one approach to do it. He’s clearly wakeful of that, that is because Rockhold called for a matchup during UFC 213 in July.
Should fight: Winner of Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Jessica Andrade during UFC 211
Why they should fight: Namajunas came by victoriously in one of a many critical fights of her career when she halted a hype of Michelle Waterson with a second-round acquiescence win in a essential strawweight contender fight.
After losing to Carla Esparza in a initial 115-pound pretension hitch in Dec 2014, “Thug” has attempted to work her approach behind to a pretension shot. She fell usually brief in a split-decision loss to Karolina Kowalkiewicz during UFC 201 in July, though a feat over “The Karate Hottie” might have usually finished it for her.
Namajunas is one of a few top-ranked fighters in her multiplication who hasn’t challenged dominant titleholder Jedrzejczyk (13-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC). The champion puts her pretension on a line opposite Andrade (16-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) during subsequent month’s UFC 211 eventuality in Dallas, and if a champ retains a belt, Namajunas has a good possibility during a subsequent pretension shot.
Should Jedrzejczyk finally be dethroned of her belt, it’s probable she could accept an evident rematch with Andrade. That would be hapless for Namajunas, who during that indicate would have to recur her conditions and try other options.
Should fight: Cody Garbrandt or Joseph Benavidez
Why they should fight: Watch a video above to see because Johnson should quarrel Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) or Benavidez (25-4 MMA, 12-2 UFC) subsequent for his 11th pretension defense.
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