Playing matchmaker for the under card of UFC Phoenix

This past weekend, the UFC held its first event live on ESPN. It was headlined by Cain Velasquez and Francis Ngannou. Within the first 30 seconds of the first Ngannou landed an uppercut that sent Cain to the canvas. On the way down Cain landed funny on his knee and eventually lost the fight via tko. Paul Felder had a great performance in the co main event of the night. Defeating James Vick in a three round war.

Paul Felder- Well deserving of a top 5 fight in the lightweight division, it would be refreshing to see Felder take on the winner of Barboza-Gaethje. With rumors circulating that Donald Cerrone is next in line to fight McGregor, Dustin Porier also seems to have a fight brewing with Tony Ferguson. That would only be leaving Iaquinta and Lee in the top 5. While it is possible Felder fights any one of these men, a fight with either Barboza or Gaethje would certainly be a fan favorite.

Next fight: Paul Felder vs. Winner of Barboza-Gaethje

Vicente Luque- Luque put on performance of the night along with his opponent Bryan Barberena. In a three round war Luque hit Bryan with his best shots, but Barberena would too tough and would not go down. Finally late in the third Luque scored a TKO victory with under 10 seconds left in the fight. Although his was a fight between two not ranked guys, the magnitude of the fight out weighs that. Surly the UFC will be giving Luque someone in the top 15. What better opponent then Geoff Neal. Neal has proven in his previous fights that he has a very similar fight style as Barberena. Neal is also riding a 5 fight win streak sitting at number 14 in the welterweight division. Luque is now on a 4 fight winning streak, finishing 14 out of his 15 wins.

Next fight: Vicente Luque vs. Geoff Neal

Aljamin Sterling- Aljo worked out a decision win over Jimmy Rivera this past weekend. Putting him back in the mix at 135. After the fight, he called for a rematch with Marlon Moraes, or a fight with Cody Garbrandt. Moraes has earned himself a chance to fight for the belt in his next fight. Therefore a realistic fight for Sterling would be for him to fight the winner of Pedro Munhoz- Cody Garbrandt. Another fun match up to think about is Dominick Cruz. Depending on if he retired or when he will come back, Aljo would be a great test for his comeback fight.

Next fight: Aljamin Sterling vs. Winner of Garbrandt-Munhoz

Manny Bermudez- Missing weight Manny forfeited 20% of his purse to Lopez off the rip. Bermudez managed to secure a Guillotine choke in the first round against Lopez. Bermudez now has a 14-0 pro MMA record, and a 3-0 record in the UFC. His future is bright weather he chooses to fight at featherweight or bantamweight. He called out master striker Sean O’Malley in his post fight press conference. While O’Malley would be a great test for Bermudez, it is not the best options for him. Ranked at number 14, Ricky Simon is coming off a decision win over Rani Yahya a few weeks ago. If Bermudez is able to make 135, Ricky Simon is stylistically the best fight to make for Manny.

Next fight: Manny Bermudez vs. Ricky Simon

Written by: Michael Lynch (bbq pit live)

Pure Evil MMA

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