Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to action for UFC Fight Night 121: “Werdum vs Tybura,” which went down last Saturday night (Nov. 18, 2017) inside Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia.
In the headlining act, Fabricio Werdum defeated Marcin Tybura after five rounds of action, giving him back-to-back wins for the first time in a long time (recap). In the co-main event of the evening, Octagon newcomer Jesse Rose-Clark defeated Bec Rawlings via unanimous decision in what was her Octagon debut (recap).
Winner: Fabricio Werdum
Who He should Face Next: Cain Velasquez
Werdum desperately wants another crack at the title, but after securing his second straight win, he’ll likely have to either wait it out or win another bout to secure his ticket to the big dance. Especially since the winner of Alistair Overeem vs. Francis Ngannou at UFC 218 is supposed to get next crack at Stipe Miocic’s belt. That said, while nothing has been heard from Cain, it should be close to time for him to make his comeback. Cain hasn’t competed since July of 2016 when he defeated Travis Browne. Werdum and Cain were set to tango at UFC 207 last December, but another injury bounced Velasquez from the event. As for Fabricio, while two straight wins is impressive, scoring them against Walt Harris and Marcin Tybura aren’t the names to get you to a title fight. Just ask Cub Swanson.
Winner: Jesse Rose-Clark
Who She Should Fight Next: Joanne Calderwood
Joanne was set to face off against Bec Rawlings at his event, but an injury forced her out, paving the way for Jesse to step in on short notice and make her Octagon debut in front of her home fans. I mean, Jesse is now in the thick of it, and after taking out the always game Rawlings as a late replacement, she may as well and face the woman Bec was set to challenge. Calderwood has seen better days, as she has now dropped two in a row. As for Clark, another win over a seasoned foe with a decent name will put her on the fast track to the top 15 and expedite her career as was the case with Cynthia Calvillo.
Winner: Belal Muhammed
Who He Should Fight Next: Rick Story
Belal has picked up two good wins by taking out Jordan Mein, and now Time Means. The scrappy fighter called for a fight against Colby Covington, but let’s keep it real, he’s not going to get that fight anytime soon, if ever. But, if he wants to work his way up, why not take on someone like “Horror.” Story has long been one of the toughest draws inside the Octagon, despite losing his last fight against Donald Cerrone. Still, Rick has the experience and skills to put one over on Belal, but a win for Muhammed over Story would give him a big boost. Both men like to stand and bang, so a boring fight, it will not be.
Winner: Elias Theodorou
Who He Should Fight Next: Lyoto Machida
Why not? “The Dragon” hasn’t exactly looked like the world beater of yesteryear as of late, dropping three in a row, including his most recent knockout loss to Derek Brunson. I initially would've like to see Machida take on Rashad Evans -- another struggling fighter -- but “Suga” has revealed his plans to move back up to Light Heavyweight. That said, a fight against Theodorou would be a good gauge to let us know just where Machida is at the moment. Elias isn’t exactly a world-beater, but he isn’t a slouch either. The bout is good for both and will let them know where they stand, by possibly revealing to one its time to retire, or telling the other he’s ready to take the next step up.
Winner: Alex Volkanovski
Who He Should Fight Next: Jake Mathews
Winner: Jake Matthews
Who He Should Fight Next: Alex Volkanovski
Mathews avoided a dreaded three-fight losing streak by edging out Bojan Velickovic via split decision. Mathews has had a hot and cold career thus far inside the Octagon, but hopefully the win can get him going on a good streak. Up next, I’d like to see him face off against Alex Volanovski. Alex defeated Shane Young via unanimous decision at the event, and since both aren’t exactly at the point of their respective careers to be facing top 15 opponents, a matchup between Alex and Jake makes sense, given the fact that their schedules align perfectly.
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