UFC Fight Night aftermath: Where do we go from here?
UFC redeemed itself in Abu Dhabi with an action-packed card. With another event in the books, there are many questions as to what road lies ahead for tonight’s main card competitors. Let’s start with the main event where Roy Nelson (20-9) delivered a devastating knock out to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (34-9-1) in the first round.
Roy Nelson vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira: “Big Country” showed that he still has heavy hands at the age of 37. This win is a good way to start a run for the title. I would like to see Nelson square off against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. “Minotauro” will go down as one of the greatest heavyweight fighters from the Pride FC era. He has been slowing down over the past few years, and with tonight’s loss, retirement is imminent.
Clay Guida vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri: Guida always has entertaining fights (minus the Gray Maynard fight) thanks to his high paced and non stop aggression. I would like to see him fight striking specialist Dennis Siver, who also won his last fight. This fight would make sense to push someone to a higher contender rank. Kawajiri was riding a six-fight winning streak until tonight’s decision loss. Kawajiri versus Dennis Bermudez or Darren Elkins would both be interesting match ups.
Ryan Laflare vs. John Howard: Laflare remains perfect albeit a controversial “groin shot” that slowed down Howard. Laflare has won four straight fights in the UFC and is now 11-0 overall. Laflare should be in top contention with another two wins against higher ranked fighters. I think Ryan Laflare vs. Gunnar Nelson (12-0-1) would solidify a top contender in this deep welterweight division. Howard’s four-fight win streak came to an end, not sure how the UFC will use him next, perhaps a match up vs. Demian Maia. This would be interesting because a third straight loss for Maia or another loss to Howard would be a high probability of a roster cut.
Ramsey Nijem vs. Beneil Dariush: An upset special (according to the betting odds) from Nijem coming away with the TKO victory in the first. Nijem is starting a nice win streak and so is Michael Johnson. A fight between the two would be possible. Dariush took a big set back with his first loss of his mma career. I am not sure if he gets another “winnable / tune-up” match up or perhaps a match up against Gray Maynard.
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