By Adam Martin
Fight Fixin’ is a fantasy matchmaking article that comes out after every major event and features possible matchups for main card winners and/or losers from the previous event.
In the main event of UFC 169, Renan Barao steamrolled Urijah Faber in the first round, knocking him down to the floor and then hitting him until the referee stopped the fight due to a lack of intelligent defence by "The California Kid." It was a bad loss for Faber, and it pretty much eliminates any hope of him competing for the UFC bantamweight title until Barao moves out of the weight class, which the Brazilian says isn’t happening anytime soon.
I think Faber has reached a dead end at 135 and needs to move up to 145, where he has a better opportunity to fight for a belt, especially if Jose Aldo vacates the title and moves up to 155. If that’s does happen, then I think you have to put Faber in a big-money fight for his return, and the loser of Frankie Edgar vs. BJ Penn makes absolutely the most sense. So I’d like to see the UFC consider booking this one.
Fight to make: Faber vs. loser of Frankie Edgar vs. BJ Penn
In the co-main event, Ricardo Lamas showed overall toughness and heart to make it the full five rounds with Jose Aldo despite getting his leg kicked to bits by the Brazilian. But in the end, he didn’t do enough, and lost his chance to capture the UFC Featherweight Championship.
Another fighter who recently lost his chance to capture the UFC featherweight crown was "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung, who lost to Aldo at UFC 163. Before Jung was shifted over to fight Aldo, he was due to fight Lamas at UFC 162 in what would have been a fantastic fight. I still think that matchup makes a lot of sense, and I’d like for the UFC to go that direction for both guys in their next outings.
Fight to make: Lamas vs. Chan Sung Jung
But hold up.
Despite Mir being on a major losing skid, there’s still one big fight out there for him – a trilogy match against Brock Lesnar. This is a winnable fight for both men, and if the UFC wants to find someone to fill the gap left by GSP, they will need Lesnar to return. And if he does, the fight with Mir makes all the sense in the world.
Fight to make: Mir vs. Brock Lesnar III
In a flyweight bout, John Lineker struggled against Ali Bagautinov’s wrestling and ended up losing a relatively uneventful decision. Lineker struggled badly to make weight on weigh-in day, and considering he has missed the flyweight limit three times before, it’s very possible the UFC will force him to move up to bantamweight.
If he does go to 135, I think a good introduction to him at that weight is Yves Jabouin, a veteran who is coming off a KO loss to Eddie Wineland. Jabouin is a small guy and he is a good striker just like Lineker, so if the Brazilian does indeed move up to bantamweight, this is the fight I want to see.
Fight to make: Lineker vs. Yves Jabouin
opening fight of the night, Jamie Varner and Abel Trujillo put on an amazing back-and-forth slugfest for 1.5 rounds that ended with a Trujillo right hand that led to Varner getting knocked out cold for the first time of his career.
It was an amazing fight, and one that proves Varner is the ultimate gatekeeper in the lightweight division. One fighter who is up-and-coming is Bobby Green who, ironically, was supposed to fight Trujillo before pulling out with an injury. I think that when he returns -- and when Varner gets better after his KO loss -- this is a terrific fight to make, and I absolutely hope the UFC goes in this direction.
Fight to make: Varner vs. Bobby Green
UFC 169: Barao vs. Faber II took place on February 1, 2014 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.