Fights to Make after UFC “Poirier vs. Hooker”

What a fantastic night of fights!

Take a look at both the prelims and main card predictions from tonight, and see for yourself just how well it went down!

After all these great performances, the question looking back at us is “what’s next?”

Well, that’s precisely what I’m here to do, as I will do my best to read the tea leaves given to us by our main card fighters and lay out the next fight that everyone will want to see happen!

Dustin Poirier vs. Tony Ferguson

I don’t think I’m going to have any objections on this one. There simply isn’t another fight that makes sense for the two veterans. We have Khabib and Gaethje set for their title unification match this fall and then Tony and Dustin follow in the rankings at two and three, respectively. Both fighters have been in the game for so long that it’s a wonder we have not already seen this bout. Dustin Poirier proved in his absolute war of a main event against Dan Hooker that he is not fading at all, and still offers all the weapons and sound technique that make him so beloved. Although it may not guarantee a title shot based on the fragile state of the Lightweight title picture, it sets up a clear contender, as well as just being one of those matches that you KNOW will be incredible.

Mike Perry vs. Niko Price

There’s no games when it comes to Mike Perry and that didn’t change in his dominant decision over Mickey Gall. We all know that we aren’t going to get some elite title run or even a long string of top-ranked performances. We also know that he is always going to come in for a brawl and give it his all. He displayed great personal growth in this match, from a clear improved sense of grappling to a reconnection with his relentless aggression from his early Octagon run. There’s few other fighters on this roster as primed for a street brawl, but Niko Price is up there. The power puncher loves to go out and sling in the pocket, no matter who is going to take the fall. It’s been a matchup I’ve been pushing to get for over a year now and I’m not letting off the gas now.

Maurice Greene vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov

As shown by his emotional post-fight speech, Maurice Greene desperately needed this win. He snapped his two-fight losing streak by choking out Gian Villante with a modified arm triangle from the bottom. Greene showed an impressive ability to fight through adversity after what was just almost a knockout. Instead, he uses his own unorthodox jiu-jitsu and long arms to secure the choke over a top contender. After being recently dropped from the rankings, Greene deserves a shot to get back in and the perfect match seems to be Shamil Abdurakhimov. Shamil has not competed since his loss at UFC 242 to Curtis Blaydes and will need to get active again soon to hold his spot in the rankings.

Brendan Allen vs. Ian Heinisch

Allen took what seemed a bit of a decrease in opposition level after Heinisch withdrew from this bout, but after landing a knockdown early in the opening round, his opponent Kyle Daukaus managed fight back expertly in what became a true scrap. I want to see Allen get the original fight against Ian Heinisch back. Allen has been chasing the bout since they were both in the LFA promotion and it presents Allen with a chance at a number next to his name, while also testing his skill level against a well-rounded and dangerous tactician.

Takashi Sato vs. Bryan Barbarena

Takashi Sato impressed early in the first round of his match, knocking out late replacement Jason Witt in under a minute. Sato showed his knockout power and crisp technique, as well as the ability to bounce back from his defeat to Belal Muhammad. Bryan Barbarena is a great match as a durable veteran, but one that can test Sato’s abilities of gas tank and brawling. Not to mention that Barbarena is coming off two losses and has not competed in over a year, therefore desperately looking for a star performance to assert his presence in the division.

Julian Erosa vs. Steven Peterson

Erosa got pulled into this card as a late replacement for Kyle Nelson, but made good on his third Octagon stint by finding the comeback finish inside the third round. He showed off a skill with his specialty D’arce choke, as well as an improved durability, which was historically one of my key concerns with “Juicy J”. With his Octagon record now just 2-4, Erosa still has some improvements to make if he wants to become a staple of the roster and Steven Peterson seems like a great test. Peterson is coming off a highlight reel spinning backlist KO over Martin Bravo, but has an Octagon record of 2-3 and needs to hold his spot. This is a great eliminator match that would be sure to be a barnburner.

 

Looking ahead, we have a weekend off next Saturday without any UFC fights, but it will be followed by UFC 251 and the emergence of Fight Island!

Tune in early next week for the UFC 251 predictions!

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