After every UFC event we here at Pro Fighting Fans love to play matchmaker. In this column we’ll tell you who we think the winners and losers of each fight should face next. So check back with Pro Fighting Fans after a UFC event to see what we think the next step is.
Donald Cerrone (29-7-1NC)
Who he should face next: Thiago Alves (21-10)
Donald Cerrone made a successful welterweight debut, but the one thing we must keep in mind when thinking about who he should face next is just that, it was his debut in a new weight class. Cerrone was a longtime lightweight contender, however he could never seem to win the big and one get that belt around his waist.
So let’s be realistic, he beat Alex Oliveira, a guy who is nowhere near the top ten in either of the weight classes he fights in, lightweight or welterweight. That being said Oliveira was a short notice opponent and that should mean something, plus Cerrone is always to fight anyone. The UFC should give him someone in the top 15 in the welterweight division and Thiago Alves seems like a perfect candidate. The Brazilian returned last year after a long layoff and lost an exciting fight to Carlos Condit. If he and Cerrone met in the octagon it would probably be a standup war, and neither guy has ever backed away from one of those.
Derek Brunson (15-3)
Who he should face next: Uriah Hall (11-6)
Derek Brunson has won five of six fights since joining the UFC, yet he is somehow still flying under the radar in the middleweight division. After a fourth straight win and third straight by stoppage, Brunson is oh so close to the top ten. That should mean that next time out he should get an opponent who is also close to or in the top ten.
Uriah Hall has been up and down in his UFC career. He’s coming off a loss to Robert Whittaker at UFC 193 but one fight before that he got the biggest win of his life, beating Gegard Mousasi by TKO. Sometimes Hall has been accused of lacking a killer instinct, Brunson is someone who would force Hall to bring his best if he wishes to come out on the winning side.
Cody Garbrandt (8-0)
Who he should face next: John Lineker (26-7)
Cody Garbrandt’s original opponent at UFC Fight Night 83 was supposed to be John Lineker. Unfortunately Lineker had to withdraw from the bout due to injury. There isn’t much need for an explanation, this fight should still happen. Garbrandt made it look pretty easy against short notice opponent Augusto Mendes, but he still needs a signature win before he’ll be taken seriously in the UFC’s bantamweight division. A win over Lineker would be a big statement, the UFC needs to make this happen.
Dennis Bermudez (15-5)
Who he should face next: Charles Oliveira (21-5)
After two straight stoppage losses to Ricardo Lamas and Jeremy Stephens, TUF 14 veteran Dennis Bermudez was in desperate need of a win against Tatsuya Kawajiri at UFC Fight Night 83. Bermudez wasn’t able to get a finish but it was still a dominant win and it keeps him around the top ten of the featherweight division.
Charles Oliveira is a UFC veteran and has faced a who’s who of top fighters in both the lightweight and featherweight divisions. Oliveira is coming off an impressive win over Myles Jury and is likely hungry to put together a winning streak. Bermudez tends to rely on his grappling when he’s in the cage against tough opponents, it would be interesting to see how he would handle a submission ace like Oliveira.
Chris Camozzi (23-10)
Who he should face next: Josh Samman (12-3)
In the fall of 2014 Chris Camozzi found himself being cut from the UFC roster after four straight losses. But when the UFC was looking for a replacement opponent for top middleweight Jacare Souza, Camozzi was willing to take a rematch with him on short notice. He lost the second fight with Souza faster than he did the first but because he stepped up the UFC gave him another shot. He’s since won two straight against Tom Watson and Joe Riggs.
Camozzi will likely never be a UFC champion, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be used as a measuring stick for up and coming fighters. Josh Samman is coming off his first UFC loss, to Tamdan McCrory, but he’s been impressive enough so far that job security isn’t an issue just yet. Samman should be put up against another veteran to see if he’s ready for bigger things, and Chris Camozzi is the perfect option.
James Krause (23-7)
Who he should face next: Alex Oliveira (12-4-1)
James Krause has finally put together a winning streak in the UFC after a unanimous decision victory over Canadian Shane Campbell at UFC Fight Night 83. He showed a lot of promise after a debut win over veteran Sam Stout but then stumbled against the likes of Bobby Green and Jorge Masvidal. A fight with Alex Oliveira would give Krause a legitimate chance at a three fight winning streak.
Oliveira did the UFC a huge favour by taking a short notice fight with Donald Cerrone in a weight class he thought he had left behind. It’s likely that “Cowboy” will move back down in weight now and Krause would present a well-rounded challenge for the Brazilian. It also doesn’t hurt that the two are on the same schedule after they both fought last week.
Pro Fighting Fans Editor/Writer