clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Mania Matchmaker: Possible pairings for the winners at UFC on FX 2 and Strikeforce: 'Tate vs. Rousey'

New, comments
Mania Matchmaker
Mania Matchmaker

This past weekend was full of mixed martial arts (MMA) madness as UFC on FX 2: "Alves vs. Kampmann" and Strikeforce: "Tate vs. Rousey" kept fans glued to the tube on March 2 and 3, 2012, respectively.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) unleashed the 125-pounders, as the first leg of the Flyweight tournament completed in epic fashion. The fans in Sydney, Australia were also treated to an exciting Welterweight showdown between Thiago Alves and Martin Kampmann, a fight that ended in somewhat surprising fashion.

The following evening, Columbus, Ohio played host to another full and thrilling fight card as Strikeforce rolled through town with its "Tate vs. Rousey" event.

The result was a new Women's Bantamweight Champion and a full head of steam for women's MMA.

Out with the old, in with the new, folks, we're moving forward. After the jump, we'll take a look at some potential match-ups for the big winners from this past weekend:

If you read my "What's Next" post from earlier (and if you didn't, get on that!), you already know that I think Martin Kampmann should either face Stephen Thompson or Dong Hyun Kim.

You also probably already know that it's a virtual lock that Ronda Rousey will defend her belt for the first time against former champion Sarah Kaufman.

We've addressed that. Let's discuss who the other main card winners may have in store in the way of future opponents.

Let's start off on the UFC side of things and talk about the flyweights.

Joseph Benavidez defeated Yasuhiro Urushitani with a fantastic early second round knockout. Benavidez looked amazing in the fight, and I think it's clear that he belongs at 125 pounds.

For a moment, it looked as though he'd be fighting Demetrious Johnson, who had his hand raised as the winner over Ian McCall. Later, it was announced the score had been reported erroneously, meaning Johnson and McCall will have to do it all over again.

There's no word yet on when that will take place, but fans will be glad to get to witness a sequel to what ended up being a very fun fight.

Personally, I think Benavidez beats either one of them. He looks very much like a guy who could win the flyweight belt and keep it for a while.

We'll have to wait and see.

Also on the main card was a middleweight mash up between former Ultimate Fighter (TUF) competitor Court McGee and Constantinos Philippou.

Philippou was looking to extend his win streak to three after scoring a great first round knockout win over Jared Hamman at UFC 140 on Dec. 10, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The Serra-Longo Fight Team product looked great during his three round unanimous decision victory over McGee. He seems to just keep getting better with each fight, which is the goal anyway, right?

So what's up next for Philippou?

How about Tim Boetsch? "The Barbarian" is on a three-fight win streak of his own, notably winning his last fight in a tremendous comeback effort with a knockout win over Yushin Okami at UFC 144 on Feb. 25, 2012 in Saitama, Japan.

They've both been making noise in the 185-pound division. They've both got a good deal of momentum. It makes for an exciting fight.

Set it up, Joe Silva.

At Strikeforce: "Tate vs. Rousey," lightweight contenders K.J. Noons and Josh Thomson took part in a three round decision affair that had the Ohio crowd standing and booing at multiple points of the fight.

It wasn't exciting -- not by a long shot -- but Thomson did what he had to do to neutralize Noons' boxing and secure the win.

What's next?

If you ask him, I'm sure he'd tell you he wants and deserves a rubber match against current Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez. Truthfully, he might get it, just because of an utter lack of other options on the Strikeforce end.

But, should he?

I don't think so. It's not a fight that interests me. Sure, Thomson beat "El Nino" back in 2008, but that was a long time ago. Melendez is a much better fighter these days, as was exhibited when he beat Thomson at Strikeforce: "Evolution" on Dec. 19, 2009 in San Jose, Calif.

If Strikeforce doesn't give Thomson the title shot, it may be an option to pair him up against Jorge Masvidal. I actually think this fight makes more sense, but, as previously stated, Strikeforce doesn't have a whole lot of options for other contenders to take on Melendez.

(Aside: Can someone remind me why is Melendez still on the Strikeforce roster? I'm sure there was an awesome reason, I just forgot what it was. Thanks.)

In summary, I think Thomson should fight Masvidal. He'll probably get Melendez.

The main card also featured a welterweight bout between Paul Daley and Kazuo Misaki. The fight saw "Semtex" continue his slide down into the bowels of mediocrity and was witness to Misaki introducing himself in a big way to stateside fans.

Though Misaki's win was not a knockout or submission, he did massively outstrike (41 power strikes to Daley's nine) a fighter who has a strong reputation for his hands and feet.

So who should he get in his next fight?

Roger Bowling was victorious in his welterweight debut on the same card, when he scored a second round TKO win over Brandon Saling.

Throw them in there together. They're both fresh faces and both are coming off wins. It makes sense to me. Get it done.

Lumumba Sayers looked really good in his submission win over veteran Scott Smith. It was only his third fight on the Strikeforce roster, and he's still fairly new to the promotion.

He already fought Derek Brunson and lost, so we'll probably not see that match up again real soon.

Robbie Lawler got himself back in the game recently with a win over Adlan Amagov at Strikeforce: "Rockhold vs. Jardine" on Jan. 7, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Lawler vs. Sayers is no headliner fight, but it doesn't need to be. They both need an opponent and have something to prove.

If Lawler can beat him, it puts him one step further to getting back to where he used to be (if that's possible). If Sayers can get the win, it's one more "name" to put on his resume and makes him look that much more like a legitimate contender.

Do it.

Lastly, former Middleweight Champion Ronaldo Souza righted his ship with an arm triangle choke submission win over Bristol Marunde in the third round of their fight.

So who should be on deck to fight "Jacare" next?

It's another situation like that of Josh Thomson. Should Souza get a title fight against Luke Rockhold? Absolutely not. It was one win and while it was a nice victory, it wasn't anything that had people on their feet screaming for him to get another crack at the belt.

The problem is that, just like in Strikeforce's lightweight division, the middleweight division is also absent of many exciting match-ups for current champion Luke Rockhold.

There is a chance that Rockhold will take on Tim Kennedy for his next title defense. If this happens, it'll change the landscape a bit.

Here's where I weigh in.

If "Jacare" doesn't get a title rematch aganinst Rockhold, I say have him fight Derek Brunson, like he was originally supposed to before Brunson had to withdraw from their fight.

It's really the only other fight out there that makes a lot of sense.

That's my list of potential future matches for this past weekend's winners. But don't let me hog all the fun playing matchmaker. In the comment section below, feel free to leave your list of possible pairings.

Do it now!