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 Fight Night 79, Benson Henderson outworked Jorge Masvidal en route to a split decision victory. Masvidal put up an excellent fight but was outpointed by Henderson over the course of 25 minutes. The former lightweight champ needed to get the win, as this was the last fight on his UFC contract, and while the judges were split on the verdict, they ultimately got the decision right. Now Henderson is riding a two-fight win streak since moving to welterweight, and he'll be due for a big payday in free agency.
Assuming Henderson re-signs with the UFC – though there is a possibility he goes to Bellator or ONE Championship -- I think a fight against Matt Brown makes sense. Brown is one of the top-ranked welterweights in the UFC, and with both men closing in on the top five of the division, it only makes sense for them to go to war for 25 minutes and determine who steps closer to the welterweight title and who doesn’t. This would be perfectly-suited as the main event of an upcoming Fight Night card, or possibly even a FOX show.
Fight to make: Benson Henderson vs. Matt Brown
Dong Hyun Kim
Top-15-ranked Stephen Thompson was due to fight Neil Magny at UFC 195, but Magny was removed from that card for a fight against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Fight Night 78, a fight he took a lot of damage in. Since Magny won't be ready in January to fight Thompson, I propose Kim fights Thompson instead. Kim did not take any damage against Waters, and he should be able to go in six weeks to fight Thompson in what would be a terrific matchup at UFC 195 between two of the best welterweights on the UFC roster.
Fight to make: Dong Hyun Kim vs. Stephen Thompson
In a welterweight bout, Alberto Mina squeaked out a close split decision over Yoshihiro Akiyama to improve to 2-0 in the UFC. After a competitive first round, Mina dropped Akiyama and nearly finished him in the second, but Akiyama survived and was able to take the third to make it close on the cards. Ultimately the judges made the correct call in awarding Mina the victory, and the undefeated fighter continues to move up the welterweight ladder.
An exciting matchup Mina could take next is against Tom Breese, who is also 2-0 in the UFC, and coming off of a nice knockout win over Cathal Pendred. Both men are fun to watch, and a bout between these two would definitely have the potential to be a "Fight of the Night" candidate. I say match these two up, and put it on the main card of the UFC's next card in London, which is scheduled for early 2016.
Fight to make: Alberto Mina vs. Tom Breese
Doo Ho Choi
Doo Ho Choi brutally knocked out Sam Sicilia in devastating fashion in the first round. Choi is only 24, and with his power and accuracy is one of the best strikers in a division full of them. He's 2-0 in the UFC with two first-round knockouts, and after this impressive win over Sicilia he deserves a big step up in competition.
Choi called out veteran Tatsuya Kawajiri after the win over Sicilia, and while I like the callout, sources have confirmed to MMARatings.net that Kawajiri is fighting UFC newcomer Jason Knight as a short-notice replacement for the injured Mirsad Bektic. That means Choi has to fight someone else, and I'm thinking Darren Elkins makes sense. Elkins has the grinding style that could potentially give Choi fits, but his chin has been checked in the past, and Choi certainly could crack it. If we want to find out if Choi is ready for the top 10, he has to fight a guy like Elkins and beat him, so I say match these two up and put it on the main card of the UFC's next card in Asia.
Fight to make: Doo Ho Choi vs. Darren Elkins
In the middleweight fight that headlined the prelims, Dongi Yang knocked out Jake Collier in the second round in his return to the UFC. Yang went 1-3 the first time he was in the UFC and only got another shot because of his heritage, but he made the most of it with a very impressive finish over a tough out in Collier, and including his wins outside of the Octagon, he is now 3-0 over his last three matches.
Even with the finish, though, Yang remains a mid-tier middleweight, and should be matched up with someone of a similar ranking. I'm thinking a fight against Kevin Casey would be good. Casey is 1-1 with 1 No Contest in the UFC and is coming off of a nice win over Ildemar Alcantara in his last outing. He has a similar build to Yang and I think the two of them match up well in what would be a preliminary card matchup for an upcoming pay-per-view.
Fight to make: Dongi Yang vs. Kevin Casey
UFC Fight Night 79: Henderson vs. Masvidal (formerly UFC Fight Night 79: Henderson vs. Alves) took place on November 28, 2015 at Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul, South Korea.