Thursday, April 17, 2014
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UFC on FOX 3 fallout: Let’s play UFC matchmaker edition

The UFC on FOX 3 event has come and gone while surely setting up some nice fights in the future. We have Nate Diaz, Alan Belcher, and Lavar Johnson all scoring upset wins while climbing up the ladder in their respective divisions. Let’s take a look at who they could be fighting next.

  • It’s no secret now that Nate Diaz will be facing the winner of the Ben Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar 2 fight that’ll take place later this year. He’ll be out of action for close to nine months, but he said he needed to rest his body. That’ll be a scrap no matter who he faces.
  • Jim Miller has been right at the top of the mountain only to lose his footing each time and fall back down. He’s a tough fight for anyone, but he’s slowly creeping towards gatekeeper status. I’d match him up with Anthony Pettis since Pettis wanted to fight Nate Diaz for the next title shot. Pettis needs a win over a top ten fighter and needs to prove he can beat guys with solid wrestling since he was held locked down by Clay Guida in his UFC debut.
  • Johny Hendricks deserves a title shot. He has beaten two top five welterweights and only has one loss in his career with the win over Koscheck being four straight. If Georges St. Pierre’s rehab doesn’t go according to plan, Hendricks should get the shot against Carlos Condit. If GSP is able to fight, a fight with the winner of Martin Kampmann vs. Jake Ellenberger makes sense.
  • Josh Koscheck is officially a gatekeeper. He’s still a heck of a fighter, but if he fought the every round the way he fought the third round against Hendricks he would have a lot more success in the UFC. He depends on landing wild haymakers too much and doesn’t utilize his wrestling enough. It could be time for Rory MacDonald to take the leap up in competition here. I don’t like that fight for him personally, but there isn’t another fight out there that makes sense unless Koscheck rematches Diego Sanchez.
  • Alan Belcher deserves a top fighter. The winner of Michael Bisping vs. Tim Boetsch is a perfect slot for him.
  • The Rousimar Palhares hype train comes to a screeching halt at the hands of Alan Belcher. Palhares hasn’t beaten anyone of note in his UFC career as I pointed out last week. There isn’t a fight out there that makes sense for him really. The only person I can think of is Chris Leben.
  • Lavar Johnson hits like a mack truck. The winner of the Stefan Struve vs. Mark Hunt fight that takes place later this month makes plenty of sense.
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