December 21, 2015

UFC on FOX 17 Fight Fixin’ - Winners Edition

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.

Rafael dos Anjos

In the main event of UFC on FOX 17, Rafael dos Anjos knocked out Donald Cerrone in the first round to successfully defend the UFC Lightweight Championship for the first time. RDA has looked incredible in his last five fights – all wins – but taking out Cerrone in such devastating fashion is perhaps the best win of his entire streak. It was really an incredible performance, and one that should silence the critics who said his win over Anthony Pettis was a fluke.

There is some chatter that Conor McGregor could move to lightweight to challenge RDA, but I don’t agree with it. There are still deserving contenders in the lightweight division who deserve the title shot more, including Tony Ferguson, who is on an eight-fight win streak. I think RDA vs. Ferguson would be an incredible fight between fantastic lightweight fighters, although I’m wondering if it makes more sense to put it on FOX instead of pay-per-view. But either way, this is the fight that needs to happen next.

Fight to make: Rafael dos Anjos vs. Tony Ferguson

Alistair Overeem

In the co-main event, Alistair Overeem knocked out Junior dos Santos in devastating fashion in perhaps the most impressive performance of his long and storied career. JDS appeared to be slow and plodding the whole fight, and although Overeem didn’t look great himself before the knockout happened, the fact he became the first man to straight-KO JDS really was incredible, and likely earns Overeem a top-five ranking in the heavyweight division.

Overeem is a free agent, but if the UFC re-signs him, he should get the next title shot against the winner of UFC 196’s Fabricio Werdum vs. Cain Velasquez. Overeem is currently on a three-fight win streak and has won four of his last five fights overall. He did get knocked out by Ben Rothwell in late 2014, but other than that, Overeem has looked really good inside the Octagon, and he deserves the next title shot, provided he does re-sign with the UFC. Crazy enough, if he does get the title shot, it would be his first UFC main event since he knocked out Brock Lesnar at UFC 141 four years ago.

Fight to make: Alistair Overeem vs. the winner of Fabricio Werdum vs. Cain Velasquez

Nate Diaz

In a lightweight bout, Nate Diaz turned back the clock with a unanimous decision victory over Michael Johnson. Diaz’ boxing was extremely effective in his first fight in over a year, as he collected his first victory since knocking out Gray Maynard two years ago. Considering he was the biggest underdog on the entire card, it was absolutely a fantastic performance by Diaz, and one that should launch him back into relevancy at 155 lbs.

Many are saying Diaz should fight Conor McGregor in a “moneyweight” bout, but I just don’t understand it. First off, McGregor is the featherweight champ, and second off, this was Diaz’ first victory in two years and he should have to earn a few more wins to even be considered as McGregor’s opponent. Instead, let’s see Diaz fight someone in his own weight class. I’m thinking the winner of the upcoming bout between Joseph Duffy and Dustin Poirier at UFC 195 makes sense. Diaz against either of these fighters would be a tremendous fight, and either would make sense on a main pay-per-view card.

Fight to make: Nate Diaz vs. the winner of Joseph Duffy vs. Dustin Poirier

Karolina Kowalkiewicz

In a strawweight bout, UFC newcomer Karolina Kowalkiewicz showed why she had so much hype coming into her Octagon debut, as she took home a unanimous decision win over top-ranked Randa Markos. The Pole showed off her excellent striking attack in the fight, and her takedown defence was solid enough to keep the fight on the feet for the most part, as she earned the nod on the scorecards, and presumably, earned herself a top-10 ranking in the strawweight division

This was a big win for the Pole, and for her next fight she deserves another top opponent. I’m thinking Joanne Calderwood makes a lot of sense. The Scot is coming off of a unanimous decision win over Cortney Casey that got her back in the win column after her shocking upset loss to Maryna Moroz, and considering how popular Calderwood is, it makes sense to put her in a top contender’s bout opposite Kowalkiewicz, with the winner possibly getting a title shot. Book this fight for a Europe card in 2016.

Fight to make: Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Joanne Calderwood

Charles Oliveira

In a catchweight bout which served as the headliner of the preliminary card, Charles Oliveira earned a first-round submission win over Myles Jury in one of the Brazilian’s most impressive performances to date. Jury appeared to be in tremendous physical condition for his featherweight debut, but after Oliveira missed weight, the fight was changed to a catchweight bout, and not many people knew what to expect from Oliveira. But “Do Bronx” showed that, weight miss or not, he’s still one of the most dangerous grapplers in MMA, as he easily won the fight via submission.

Unfortunately for Oliveira, this wasn’t the first time he’s missed weight – it’s actually the fourth time he’s missed weight at 145 lbs, so it’s almost a certainly the UFC will force him to move back up to lightweight, and rightly so. For as good as a fighter as Oliveira is, it’s pretty clear featherweight is not his weight class. So he should move back to 155 lbs and fight another talented grappler in Beneil Dariush when he does so. Both men are wizards on the ground, and this has all the makings of a very exciting fight, so I hope the UFC does indeed match these two up and put the bout on the main card of a Brazilian Fight Night event.

Fight to make: Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dariush


UFC on FOX 17: Dos Anjos vs. Cerrone 2 takes place on December 19, 2015 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.

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