All the best, most interesting, and above all else coolest fights to make following last night’s UFC card in Kansas City, Missouri.
UFC on FOX 24 was a great card top to bottom. And while, on occasion, great cards on paper don’t become great fight nights in reality, this one delivered. Of the 13 fights, 6 ended by submission or TKO, and one of the decisions made some fans’ shortlist for fight of the year. Add in that a few divisions got royally shaken up, and there’s a whole lot of post-event action to reflect on.
Which is why I’m here to give Sean Shelby & Co. a hand, to jump-start the engine of matchmaking greatness. To that effect, I’ll be picking fights using the classic Silva/Shelby method of winners vs. winners, losers vs. losers, and similarly tenured opposition. If you’d like to join me in making your picks for the next fight card, start a comment below with “I don’t bash my opponents. Never missed weight. Never done any drugs. Not at home beating my wife, crashing my car, do cocaine and all that stuff.” This week’s winner is BE commentor Norm DePlume. Now, let’s get to the fights.
Greetings, BloodyElbow fam, my name is Jared, better known as Norm DePlume…and like the Prince of Darkness, I am a gentleman. This UFC on Fox that just transpired surpasses any free event I can think of, bypassing even the awesomeness of Cody “No Love” decapitating Thomas “Too Much Love, Perhaps,” Almeida. Here are my esteemed fights to make.
Jared – Demetrious Johnson didn’t just effectively and convincingly clean out the flyweight division, scraped the bottom of the stash, and hit up a few roaches along the way (Benavidez). His badass callout of Cody Garbrandt at 135 is a bold potential endeavor, but DJ has earned the right to be the architect of his own success at this point. DJ vs No Love.
Zane – Part of me says the Ray Borg may have to be the next guy to get the shot, but I’d really like to see him get another win and maybe even another year if he can. In the mean time, if Sergio Pettis can beat Henry Cejudo, Pettis has a longer win streak, more experience, and a bigger name. I don’t think he puts up a better fight, but at this point that doesn’t really matter. Sergio Pettis off a win over Cejudo or Ray Borg if necessary (but really just get to some superfights).
Jared – Wilson Reis would have an interesting battle of attrition with Horiguchi…but wait…oh yea that’s right. OK then, Reis vs Zach Makovsky fits the bill…shit. Sorry Wilson, looks like you’re going to have to lean your nose over the fence like Home Improvement, and have a losers’ bracket bout vs Henry Cejudo (intriguing), or Jussier Formiga (fought three fights ago, therefore less intriguing but possibly makes more sense?). Reis vs Cejudo.
Zane – That fight was the equivalent of a public pants-ing. Reis got handled every way possible, and then beat like never before when the BJJ black belt was forced to tap out to an armbar. It may be a real question of just how interested he is in bouncing back after that kind of loss. If he is ready for a comeback though, there will be fights waiting for him. If Ian McCall wasn’t having all the health trouble he was, that’d make a great fight, as would the loser of Pettis/Cejudo. If he had to have a fight right this minute, I’d say Tim Elliott would be his best bet, but I’m pushing for the Pettis/Cejudo loser instead.
Jared – Thug Rose is getting the title shot. It is super slimy, white knight-y, softly misogynistic, and all that poopy stuff to get up in arms about attractive female prizefighters potentially disfiguring one another. I’m guilty of this concerning Namajunas’ dismantling of the truly gorgeous Michelle “Karate Hottie” Watterson. Not sure where I’m going with this, but the Rose of my heart (damn you, Pat Barry, you fucking goofenstein) is in for a violent night against Joanna Champion, and I don’t mean that in any way that favors her. Namajunas vs Joanna J., sadly
Zane – Nobody else in the top 10 at womens’ strawweight has Namajunas’ claim to a title shot right now. Namajunas seems to want it, the UFC wants it, and once Jedrzejczyk vs. Andrade is over the champion will need a new challenger (unless we get rematch weirdness). So book Namajunas vs. the Jedrzejczyk/Andrade winner. And if something weird happens and she needs a fight while she waits then there’s always the potential title shot derailing fight against the Gadelha/Kowalkiewicz winner.
Jared – I truly wonder if Michelle Waterson is any relation to Bill Watterson, because I really, really love Calvin and Hobbes. I even have Hobbes tattooed on my torso. Is everyone familiar with those unlicensed stickers and t-shirts that feature a poorly-drawn Calvin pissing on Ford, Chevy and other assorted truck companies’ logos? That is somehow very descriptive of the beating Thug Rose just dished out to Karate Hottie. Waterson vs Tecia Torres.
Zane – Waterson could get the loser of Gadelha vs. Kowalkiewicz, but I feel like that person is more likely fated to take on the loser of the JJ/JA title fight coming up. At that point, the only top ranked strawweight not coming off a win right now is Joanne Claderwood. If Calderwood could stay on her feet, it’d make for a fantastic creative striking match. If not, it’d be a strong bounce-back for Waterson. If not that, she could take on Randa Markos off her upset win over Carla Esparza.
Jared – Robert Whittaker fended off some scary funk rolling from the artistically dangerous Jacare, and not only lived to tell the tale, but he beat the man to a pulp with excellently-timed Maori fists of fury. I loved/hated every minute of it! If the middleweight logjam continues like someone spilled jellybeans at the Cannibus Cup, then screw it, let’s have the villainous and dangerous Yoel Romero land a fresh opponent in the neutral and dangerous Whittaker. The title shot map appears to be drawn in crayon by blind people with learning disabilities, so let’s just throw some kickass fights together, because that’s what we all like to watch, right?!? Whittaker vs Romero.
Zane – If Kelvin Gastelum hadn’t just failed a drug test (and most likely gotten himself suspended for 9 months), then he would be absolutely the most sensible fight for Whittaker right now. Yoel Romero would be an amazing fight, but it’s hard to see Romero doing anything other than waiting for Bisping/GSP to happen (or fall apart). If all that is the case, then I’m going to say Whittaker should face Johny Hendricks, if Hendricks beats Boetsch. Mousasi and Rockhold are also both fine options, but I want to see them fight each other.
Jared – My heart bleeds the darkest blood (Shai Hulud reference) for Crocodile Souza. Jacare vs Camozzi, as long as Liam Neeson makes Taken sequels.
Zane – It’s a bad loss, but Robert Whittaker was a bad matchup. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that Souza is anywhere near done as a top competitor. Given Chris Weidman’s recent loss, this is the ideal time to make a Jacare/Weidman fight, but Weidman has also been on enough of a skid that he may want a bigger step back (or more time off) before fighting again. If that’s the case, then book Jacare against Johny Hendricks if Hendricks can pick up a win over Tim Boetsch.
Jared – Renato Moicano was cautious yet damaging and effective in patiently picking his shots against a dangerous and sometimes reckless Lil’ Heathen. I’m going to go ahead and use this opportunity and platform to talk about how I strongly dislike when aging prizefighters hold onto specifically youthful nicknames, like the Fireball Kid, Kid Dynamite, the Young Assassin…motherfucking LIL HEATHEN. It seriously sounds like it should be the name of my 4th grade nephews soapbox derby racer. This is why Jeremy Stephens lost, I’m almost positive. The proof is in the results. Then again I don’t actually have a nephew, but what I wrote stays. Moicano vs also-victorious Aljamain Sterling. Jeremy Stephens vs Eddie Wineland
Zane – Moicano just got the biggest win of his career hands down and rocketed his way up the rankings. The only question is, what comes next? Does he fight another rising talent in Brian Ortega? Does he fight someone more at his level of experience in Arnold Allen? My feeling is that he should fight Dennis Bermudez. I realize Bermudez is coming off a loss to the Korean Zombie, but he’s a multifaceted action fighter who has strong wrestling, lots of aggression, and is a lot more prone to make a fight crazy than Stephens is. It’d be a good test against another longtime elite featherweight who has a very different approach in the cage. If Moicano can win that, it really cements his ability to be a top 10 fighter right now. A fight against Myles Jury is another strong option.
Zane – Man, what a letdown for the UFC’s top-5 ranked featherweight. Moicano beat Stephens by sticking to a simple plan of circling, leg kicks, and a long jab. And Stephens had no answer. IT wasn’t as severe as his loss to Max Holloway, but Renato Moicano isn’t Max Holloway. Buy you know who else is coming off a tough loss in the top 15? Dooho Choi. Dooho vs. Stephens would be fire and a winnable fight for both men.
Jared – Alex Volkov fought like Struve should always fight, and it looks like Volkov presumably lifts the weights Struve presumably skips out on, therefore not filling out and having the bang bang Colossus stature Volkov possesses. At this point in his career, Big Country is a cannonball-shaped barbarian with a rattail (one word or two?) with a mythical fist of destruction. Volkov pulled out the W, and I would like to see the improbable but somehow likely slow-mo uppercut knockout Struve pulls off against Volkov. I don’t want to sell Alex short, though, for he really chained together some sharp and nasty striking attacks during the last stanzas of the 1st and 3rd rounds, and I think a heavyweight with a lesser chin (i.e. anyone besides Hunto, really), goes down, if not out. BOOYAH. Volkov vs Struve. Big Country vs Shane McMahon…err…I mean, I don’t know man….Mark Hunt?
Zane – Justin Ledet’s suspension is going to be over quick and that’d be a fantastic, fun bout. If Volkov has to fight someone higher ranked, however, then a fight against Stefan Struve when he returns from injury makes way too much sense. 6’7” vs. 7’0” in a towering striking match. I’ll pick Ledet first because I think he’ll be ready sooner, but Struve feels like a logical next fight. Volkov vs. Ledet is what I really want to see.
OTHER BOUTS: Nelson vs. Omielanczuk, Duquesnoy vs. Morales, Williams vs. Soukhamthath, Magomedov vs. Duffy, Green vs. Miller, Elliott vs. Borg, Smolka vs. Benoit, Sterling vs. Alcantara, Mendes vs. Tanaka, Clark vs. Phillips, Collier vs. Wilson, Smith vs. Tavares, Sanchez vs. Marshman, Cummings vs. Alves, Coy vs. Wallhead, Vieira vs. Reneau, Evans-Smith vs. Aldana