Fights to Make After UFC Fight Night: Imavov vs Cannonier

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Nassourdine Imavov vs Brendan Allen – Okay, so… The Cannonier fight was designed to give Imavov the chance to pick up that elusive ‘major’ win, but the nature of the finish and the referee’s interjection has put a dampener on all that. It’s a shame, because Imavov was looking great, taking the lead, and seemed to be on course to put himself into title contention, but... fate (and, sadly, Jason Herzog) had other ideas. As it stands, I don’t personally feel Imavov is ‘on the cusp’, thanks in large part to a log jam at the top of the division involving Sean Strickland, Israel Adesanya, and the winner of Whittaker-Chimaev, all who have stronger claims to a title shot. I think the cold, hard reality is that Imavov-Allen should be the next port of call for Nassourdine, the winner of this high level fight joining that queue as fourth favourite for a shot at the gold. That was the situation Cannonier found himself in and is a brutal reality that faces fighters in other divisions, too.

Jared Cannonier vs Anthony Hernandez – Caio Borralho and Michel Pereira certainly have a claim to a fight with Cannonier as well as these three all seek to establish themselves as legitimate contenders, but taking into account Caio and Michel’s activity levels, I think they can climb the ladder just as fast without this fight. Anthony Hernandez, on the other hand, isn’t quite so active, but his rise has been organic and enjoyable. Getting Cannonier to take this fight will probably be the hard part, though he might see it as low-hanging fruit before demanding a rematch with Imavov – who knows?

Dominick Reyes vs Bogdan Guskov – Part of me would quite like to see Reyes face Anthony Smith, but I honestly think Lionheart will be looking for a higher ranked opponent after fending off Vitor Petrino last time out. That said, give him Bogdan Guskov, a fighter that resembles Smith and could act as a gatekeeper to Smith! Reyes looked devastating with his striking last night against a really experienced kickboxer in Dustin Jacoby, and while Jacoby fluffed his lines by rushing in, Reyes still showed great power and accurate striking as he bounced back with a badly needed win. Can he keep the ball rolling against the Uzbek?

Dustin Jacoby vs Ovince St Preux – Dustin Jacoby has lost 4 of his last 5, and the once-ranked light heavyweight finds himself in a tough spot. I think the fact he is a popular kickboxer with high level experience will save him, but only if he bounces back with a win next time out. That is the absolute priority, hence I’m in favour of matching him with OSP. OSP has won 2 of his last 3 and keeps a low schedule at the age of 41, so perhaps this will be end of the year/early 2025. I cannot reiterate how high the stakes will be for Dustin here, while OSP could theoretically retire with a win or a loss.

Raul Rosas Jr vs Marcus McGhee – The UFC are going to want to put Raul Rosas in a pretty prominent position on the UFC: Noche card in my opinion, but with that comes the responsibility of a tough opponent. Marcus McGhee is 3-0 in the UFC and has looked a very powerful athlete. That said, like Raul, he’s feasted on low-ranked opposition, and Raul looked pretty impressive last night, his cardio seemed improved, his grappling was on point, and he got the finish over a durable dude in Ricky Turcios. I do not think this fight will be beyond Raul, nor do I think it’s a lay-up. Should be a decent battle.

Ricky Turcios vs Dan Argueta – Ricky Turcios certainly caught the crowd’s attentions by making his feelings perfectly clear at the start of the Rosas fight! Turcios didn’t do too bad, but was ultimately out-grappled if not necessarily out-paced, and couldn’t match Raul’s physicality. That would need to be addressed against Dan Argueta, another high-paced and relentless opponent who has had a tougher run than Rosas, and probably deserves a fight like this. That’s not to say I assume Argueta would win, it’s actually a pretty decent match up.

Brunno Ferreira vs Gerald Meerschaert – There’s no questioning Brunno Ferreira’s finishing ability, and that will be a clear path to victory against GM3 – but Meerschaert remains relevant with 5 wins from his last 8 outings, including a submission win over Dustin Stoltzfus. GM3 has the ability to repel some opponents, but heavy hitters have been a weakness in the past… can he correct that enough in order to give Brunno a big test? One thing’s for sure, brawling is not an option…

Dustin Stoltzfus vs Michal Oleksiejczuk – Credit for Dustin Stoltzfus for taking it to Brunno last night, he looked good – until he got caught! Give him frustrated kickboxer Michal Oleksiejczuk next, two guys who badly need some momentum, but perhaps aren’t struggling enough to get cut. This should be another fun fight.

Zach Reese vs Cesar Almeida – Both fighters are 1-1 in the UFC, and both pack some serious striking capability. Zach Reese certainly showed out in a 20 second demolition of the hapless Julian Marquez, but doing that against a high level kickboxer like Cesar Almeida would be easier said than done – the question is, does he go for the apparent path of least resistance by engaging a multi-levelled affair, and does he have the ability to do that after we saw him brutalized by Cody Brundage in his previous fight? Another Fight Night banger.

Julian Marquez vs Dylan Budka – There was a time when Julian Marquez had a little bit of a buzz around him, but that’s all but evaporated now after 3 straight defeats and no wins since 2021. I think if Marquez does get cut here, that inactivity will be a big factor – but if they want to give him one last chance, it will have to be against someone like Budka. This could even be a bit of a sleeper, as both guys are powerful athletes with a tendency to be finished.

Puna Soriano vs Alex Morono – Puna Soriano dropped to welterweight and picked up a much-needed win after losing 4 of his previous 5 at middleweight. Puna’s wrestling looked good, and his submission defence was on point, but even the commentators were surprised Baeza seemed to eat so many shots from the Hawaiian without flinching too much. Alex Morono will give Puna a completely different look, a wily veteran with decent striking and surprisingly good grappling, it’s a shame Alex looked so jaded last time out against Niko Price, but with enough time off, I think he and Soriano could match up pretty nicely.

Miguel Baeza – CUT! Yes, sadly, it’s time. 4 defeats in a row is something few fighters are given the opportunity to recover from, and I’m not really seeing any reason why the UFC would give Baeza that chance.

L’udovit Klein vs Carlos Diego Ferreira – CDF hasn’t been active lately, but his last 2 fights were impressive wins over Michael Johnson and Mateusz Rebecki, claiming finishes in both, as well as Performance of the Night bonuses. That’s enough for me to consider him one of the best challenges outside the top 15 at lightweight, and I’d love to see him face Klein next, preferably in a prominent position on a key card. Klein is looking super sharp lately, and is 5-0-1 in his last 6, but is he better than Carlos Diego Ferreira? If he is, he needs a top 15 opponent next out.

Thiago Moises vs Lando Vannata – For as talented and well-rounded as Thiago Moises is, he just doesn’t have the striking or wrestling game to dominate at a high level. That’s too bad, but he makes a fine gatekeeper, as does Lando Vannata. Personally, I think rather than testing a slew of up-and-comers though, the UFC would do well to match them together in a very fun fight and give somebody the opportunity to bounce back.

Carlos Prates vs Jake Matthews – I enjoy Jake Matthews fights, for as inconsistent as he is, he’s also very talented. The UFC uber-vet is still a good age, too, and perhaps surprisingly is younger than Carlos Prates. Prates, though, has all the momentum with 3 straight under the DWCS/UFC banners, and a 9-fight win streak since his last defeat in ONE Championship way back in 2019. His lethal finishing ability was on full display last night with a breathtaking (literally) knee that shut down Chuck Buffalo and showed he’s going places. Matthews is a heck of a test, though…

Charles Radtke vs Ramiz Brahimaj – The UFC seem to be pretty high on Charles Radtke, but Carlos Prates always seemed a bridge too far, and so it proved. Still, Radtke showed he’s not incapable at this level, and is another powerful athlete. Ramiz Brahimaj struggled against a similarly strongly-built opponent in Themba Gorimbo last time out, but it’s worth noting he was out of action for over 2 years before that. I think this fight presents appropriate questions for both fighters.

Brad Katona vs Daniel Marcos – Daniel Marcos has had a bit of a frustrating time with visa issues, opponents pulling out of scheduled fights, and the Aori Qileng No Contest. He bounced back against John Castaneda last night, and will no doubt be looking to build some momentum. Who better than against Brad Katona, a two-time TUF winner who has beaten experienced opposition since his UFC return but struggled with a younger athlete in Garrett Armfield. Will it be the same story against the undefeated Peruvian Daniel Marcos? Perhaps… but this would be a very significant win for Marcos if he can indeed frustrate the Canadian.

Jesse Butler vs Bekzat Almakhan – Jesse Butler is 0-2 and looked like easy prey for Brad Katona last night. After being starched by Jim Miller in his UFC debut, Butler’s future in the UFC is looking shaky at best. This time last year, this would have looked like a mismatch, but after having his MMA record shredded back to 11-2 and losing his UFC debut to Umar Nurmagomedov, we haven’t seen the level Bekzat ca compete at yet. If Butler has a purpose in the UFC still, this is probably it.

Montana De La Rosa vs Julija Stoliarenko – Armbar specialist Julija Stoliarenko is 2-5 in her last 7, so like De La Rosa and Andrea Lee heading into last night’s fight, her future in the UFC is not looking secure. Montana loves to grapple and struggles if she can’t lead the dance in terms of takedowns, but is that really the right strategy against Julija…? I also like the narrative that with a win, MDLR could lay claim to being the hatchet woman of the Flyweight division if the UFC do indeed cut Andrea Lee, followed by Stoliarenko here.

Andrea Lee – CUT! This was almost certainly a loser leaves town fight, and as Lee’s 5th straight defeat, and yet another fight where KGB has shown little threat, that’s probably time on her career unfortunately.

Daniel Marcos vs Brad Katona (see above)

John Castaneda vs Cody Stamann – John Castaneda saw a 2-fight win streak snapped as he struggled to get his wrestling game going against Daniel Marcos. That will be easier said than done against Cody Stamann, too, despite a rough run of form for the Sparta, Michigan native that has seen him win just 2 of his last 7. I still think Stamann is due another UFC outing, but he cannot afford a defeat here. Time to earn your stripes again, Cody!

Denise Gomes vs Luana Pinheiro – 2 Brazilian fighters that have fallen victim to a resurgent Angela Hill in the past year, Gomes and Pinheiro would make an unlikely rankings battle with Pinheiro occupying #12 at strawweight despite dropping 2 straight fights and lacking a truly memorable win. Her split decision victory over the fast-fading Michelle Waterson-Gomez got her there, but Gomes has bested a pair of 10-0 opponents as well as fellow Brazilian Bruna Brasil to emerge with a 3-1 mark across her last 4 fights. Personally, I feel Gomes has every chance here, though perhaps the UFC matchmakers will consider it a little too soon?

Eduarda Moura vs Ivana Petrovic (125) – Two successive weight misses for Eduarda Moura have really taken the shine off her exciting emergence at DWCS, leaving with a sloppy 1-1 mark in the UFC and zero claim to being a true strawweight contender. Move her up, give her Norwegian Ivana Petrovic, and see if she can deal with the jump to flyweight. If she can, she might rekindle a little of the hype around her as a former 10-0 prospect.

Taylor Lapilus vs Raoni Barcelos – Taylor Lapilus won well against Cody Stamann, not an easy out for anyone at bantamweight, and I’d like to see him try to go on a run against UFC veterans for now. Give him Brazilian Raoni Barcelos, who bounced back last time out against Mexican Cristian Quinonez, and who is tough enough and skilled enough to really test Lapilus. At 37, this is still a challenge Lapilus should be overcoming, but never discount a wily and dangerous Brazilian veteran in the lower weight classes…

Cody Stamann vs John Castaneda (see above)

Puja Tomar vs Melissa Martinez – The forgotten lady, Melissa Martinez, was once a 7-0 prospect entering the UFC with just a little bit of hype off the back of a solid run in Combate Global. A disappointing loss in her UFC debut to Elise Reed way back in 2022 and a withdrawal from a fight against Isamin Lucindo have left her a long way from the limelight. Can she finally get back in there and pick up a ‘W’ against India’s Puja Tomar? Or does Tomar put together an unlikely run?

Rayanne Amanda vs Marnic Mann – Not much to say, both athletes are 0-2 in the UFC, may the best fighter win.

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A day late (and a dollar short?) this week on account of being away. Still managed to catch the fights though, which was great!

Hope you all enjoyed the show, shame to miss out on the PBP threads on here which are always a ton of fun. Catch you all next weekend for the next one!
 
It will be Turcios vs Argueta 2
 
Good to hear from you buddy!

Great picks as always. I completely agree with Cannonier/Hernandez, and glad someone else thought of it.

I do understand the Allen/Imavov match up, both guys are right there, but need that one stand-out win to warrant a title shot. My only worry is that if that stand out win where against each other, it might not catch that much attention. Hence why I believe both guys need the potential to prove themselves against bigger names in the division, I say rebook Allen/Vettori, and let Imavov fight whittaker regardless of the outcome of his next fight.

Here are the rest of my picks:
- Nassourdine Imavov vs. Robert Whittaker (regardless of outcome of Whittaker/Chimaev)
- Jared Cannonier vs. Anthony Hernandez
- Dominick Reyes vs. Anthony Smith
- Dustin Jacoby vs. Zhang Mingyang
-Raul Rosas Jr. vs. Vinicius Salvador
- Ricky Turcios vs. Jean Matsumoto
- Brunno Ferreira vs. Jacob Malkoun
- Dustin Stoltzfus vs. Dylan Budka
- Zach Reese vs. Tresean Gore
- Julian Marquez CUT
- Punahele Soriano vs. Ramiz Brahimaj
- Miguel Baeza CUT
- L'udovit Klein vs. Matt Frevola
- Thiago Moises vs. Chase Hooper
- Carlos Prates vs. Jake Matthews
- Charles Radtke vs. Phil Rowe
- Brad Katona vs. Alatengheili
- Jesse Butler CUT
- Montana De La Rosa vs. Veronica Hardy
- Andrea Lee vs. Priscila Cachoeira
- Daniel Marcos vs. Jonathan Martinez
- John Castaneda vs. Daniel Santos
- Denise Gomes vs. Ariane Carnelossi
- Eduarda Moura vs. Juliana Miller (125)
- Taylor Lapilus vs. Davey Grant
- Cody Stamann vs. Rinya Nakamura
- Puja Tomar vs. Marnic Mann
- Rayanne Amanda vs. Kim So-Yul
 
Good to hear from you buddy!

Great picks as always. I completely agree with Cannonier/Hernandez, and glad someone else thought of it.

I do understand the Allen/Imavov match up, both guys are right there, but need that one stand-out win to warrant a title shot. My only worry is that if that stand out win where against each other, it might not catch that much attention. Hence why I believe both guys need the potential to prove themselves against bigger names in the division, I say rebook Allen/Vettori, and let Imavov fight whittaker regardless of the outcome of his next fight.

Here are the rest of my picks:
- Nassourdine Imavov vs. Robert Whittaker (regardless of outcome of Whittaker/Chimaev)
- Jared Cannonier vs. Anthony Hernandez
- Dominick Reyes vs. Anthony Smith
- Dustin Jacoby vs. Zhang Mingyang
-Raul Rosas Jr. vs. Vinicius Salvador
- Ricky Turcios vs. Jean Matsumoto
- Brunno Ferreira vs. Jacob Malkoun
- Dustin Stoltzfus vs. Dylan Budka
- Zach Reese vs. Tresean Gore
- Julian Marquez CUT
- Punahele Soriano vs. Ramiz Brahimaj
- Miguel Baeza CUT
- L'udovit Klein vs. Matt Frevola
- Thiago Moises vs. Chase Hooper
- Carlos Prates vs. Jake Matthews
- Charles Radtke vs. Phil Rowe
- Brad Katona vs. Alatengheili
- Jesse Butler CUT
- Montana De La Rosa vs. Veronica Hardy
- Andrea Lee vs. Priscila Cachoeira
- Daniel Marcos vs. Jonathan Martinez
- John Castaneda vs. Daniel Santos
- Denise Gomes vs. Ariane Carnelossi
- Eduarda Moura vs. Juliana Miller (125)
- Taylor Lapilus vs. Davey Grant
- Cody Stamann vs. Rinya Nakamura
- Puja Tomar vs. Marnic Mann
- Rayanne Amanda vs. Kim So-Yul

Sure, I could definitely go for Imavov vs Whittaker, and Allen-Vettori is a beauty too!

Let's have a look, love Marcos vs Martinez, damn, no idea who I'd pick though... I like Martinez more, but that's a damn tough fight. Moises vs Hooper, yep, that would be an ideal test for Hooper, and Moises really is in that spot after a few losses lately. Stamann vs Rinya... poor Cody! I love the fight, but it shows where Stamann is at this point, and I totally agree.

Reese vs Gore is probably my favourite though, Gore in danger of becoming a forgotten fighter after so long out with back-to-back injuries... no sense giving him anything easy, but he kinda has a sneaky chance there.
 
Crazy when fans call for someone to get cut. Let them fight out their contact. Take year off and work on the craft
 
Crazy when fans call for someone to get cut. Let them fight out their contact. Take year off and work on the craft

Cuts suck, but I can only speak for myself when I say when someone is 'CUT!' in these posts, it's more of a prediction of what I think the UFC might do than a call for them to lose their job - unless they are dangerously overmatched simply by being in the UFC, in which case I will shamelessly and happily ask for them to be cut from the roster.
 
Bruno vs GM3 is a fun one to test Bruno's grappling. Love the lapilus vs raoni barcelos, that would be such a fun one in Paris!
 
Cuts suck, but I can only speak for myself when I say when someone is 'CUT!' in these posts, it's more of a prediction of what I think the UFC might do than a call for them to lose their job - unless they are dangerously overmatched simply by being in the UFC, in which case I will shamelessly and happily ask for them to be cut from the roster.
Prediction angle makes more sense. Is rather a shit guy fight out his contract and be a stepping stone for new signies than get prematurely cut, unless they cheated or is a menace
 

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