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 194, Conor McGregor knocked out Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds with punches to earn the quickest KO in UFC title fight history and unify the UFC featherweight title in the process. McGregor is now 7-0 in the UFC with six knockouts, and the impressive win over Aldo pushes him to the very top of the pound-for-pound rankings, and sets him up for a huge fight his next time out.
Many believe Aldo should get a rematch, but I don’t agree with it at all. He got knocked out cold, and there’s this guy named Frankie Edgar who is knocking on the door for a title shot after his impressive win over Chad Mendes at the TUF 22 Finale. Edgar, who has won five straight fights, deserves the title shot more than Aldo, and he should be McGregor’s next opponent. The two will likely fight in the main event of UFC 200 next summer, but if the UFC wants to book them sooner I would be fine with it. Either way, McGregor vs. Edgar is the fight to make, and I expect the PPV to be huge.
Fight to make: Conor McGregor vs. Frankie Edgar
Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero
For his next fight, Rockhold needs to take on Yoel Romero, who defeated Ronaldo Souza by split decision right before Rockhold beat Weidman. Romero is riding a seven-fight win streak in the UFC and deserves to fight for the title, and Rockhold’s first title defence needs to come against him. Rockhold vs. Romero could either headline or co-headline a PPV card sometime in 2016.
Fight to make: Luke Rockhold vs. Yoel Romero
In a welterweight bout, Demian Maia was able to outgrapple fellow BJJ ace Gunnar Nelson for three rounds in surprisingly dominant fashion as he took home a wide unanimous decision, with two judges scoring the fight 30-25 and one scoring it 30-26. Many were expecting a back-and-forth chess match on the mat, but Maia was able to use his size to consistently maintain dominant position, and the underrated Brazilian picked up his fourth straight win at 170 lbs.
After the bout, Maia called for a title shot against the winner of the Carlos Condit vs. Robbie Lawler fight, but with Maia behind both Tyron Woodley and Johny Hendricks in the title shot queue, it doesn’t make sense for him to get a title shot. But why not give him the loser of the title fight instead? Maia vs. either Condit or Lawler would be a tremendous bout, and if Maia wants to get a title shot, he has to beat a guy of Lawler or Condit’s caliber, so it makes sense to book it next. Put it on the main card of a PPV next year.
Fight to make: Demian Maia vs. the loser of Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit
a featherweight fight, Max Holloway continued his winning ways at 145 lbs, as the Hawaiian picked up a clear-cut unanimous decision win over a durable Jeremy Stephens. Holloway has now won eight fights in a row since his loss to Conor McGregor in 2013, and at only 24 years of age is clearly one of the best featherweights in the world.
Holloway could get a title shot, but Edgar is more deserving, so let’s give Holloway a fight against the next-best fighter available: Jose Aldo. Many believe Aldo should get a rematch with McGregor, but in my opinion he has to win another fight after McGregor KO’d him. A win over Holloway would be huge, and if Aldo wins, of course he is deserving of another title fight against the Edgar vs. McGregor winner. And if Holloway wins, then he’d be the next in line. It makes the most sense, and it would be a great fight. Why not make it a headliner in Brazil, or even in Hawaii?
Fight to make: Max Holloway vs. Jose Aldo
In the preliminary card headliner, unheralded Frankie Saenz put up a tougher fight than expected against Urijah Faber, but at the end of three rounds “The California Kid” did just enough to take home a competitive unanimous decision. It wasn’t Faber’s best performance, but it gets him back in the win column after his loss to Frankie Edgar at 145 lbs, and at 135 lbs he is currently riding a three-fight win streak.
Despite a slight decline in his skills, Faber remains a marketable fighter and a big name, and despite losing three UFC title fights, he’s likely to get another one against the winner of the upcoming bout between UFC Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw and former champ Dominick Cruz. If it’s Faber vs. Dillashaw, then you have a grudge fight between two former teammates, and if it’s Cruz you have the trilogy fight against two longtime rivals. Either way, expect Faber to get a title shot next, and expect it to main event a PPV.
Fight to make: Urijah Faber vs. the winner of TJ Dillashaw vs. Dominick Cruz
UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor took place on December 12, 2015 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.