Dustin Poirier vs. winner of Hatsu Hioki – Clay Guida
Poirier was getting caught on his feet, but his ground game came through – picking him up his third submission win in his last four. Even with a recent, close loss to “The Korean Zombie,” Dustin is a top featherweight. The same can be said about Hioki and Guida, which is why they are the next reasonable opponent for Poirer. The match-up would bide the UFC some time to clarify rankings as other featherweight matches and title fights take place.
Pat Barry vs. winner of Todd Duffe – Phil De Fries
It’s true, Pat Barry will never be anything more than a great striker, “per his words.” That’s not a problem, as long as he continues to knock people out like he did Saturday night. He may never challenge for a title and that’s fine, because the UFC always needs exciting fights and knockouts on a card. Duffe and De Fries are two other fighters that have a love for knockouts with 15 of them in their combined 16 wins. Obviously, a match up between Barry and either of them is a no-brainer.
Colton Smith vs. James Head
Why would a fighter coming off a loss get a fight with the last winner of the Ultimate Fighter? Well, because Smith needs to ease into competition if he is ever going to make a name for himself in the UFC. At this point he is purely a wrestler since he was unable to submit Ricci, despite riding his back for nearly thee rounds. Head may have been knocked out by Pyle in his fight tonight, but he would be a good fight for Smith as he tries to find his legs in the octagon.
Matt Mitrione vs. Stipe Miocic
Mitrione thought he could beat Nelson, but he fell pray to the power in Big Country’s hands. Miocic suffered the same fate when he went up against Stefan Struve. Both fighters still have a lot of upside, despite only competing in MMA for a couple of years. They need to rebuild their confidence after suffering their first knockout losses. Whoever wins between the two will be on their way back towards the top.
Roy Nelson vs. Cheick Kongo
Nelson had a great win, but it was not over the opponent he was supposed to fight. No offense, but a win like that over Shane Carwin would have had a lot more clout when he called out the top of the division. Nelson has the same problem that Cheick Kongo does when calling out the top fighters in Heavyweight, they have already lost to most current top heavyweights. A match between Nelson and Kongo would be interesting, since they both sit at the same spot in their careers. Both are at the wrong end of thirty, and both want a big name fight. So, why not match up the two, and whoever wins gets another shot at the top of the division.