Fights To Make Following UFC Fight Night 73
By Ryan Frederick, WrestlingObserver.com
Glover Teixeira snapped a two-fight losing streak in the main event of UFC Fight Night 73 from Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday night, scoring a big third-round submission win over Ovince Saint Preux. It was a chance to for a fresh contender to be made in the light heavyweight division, but Teixeira let it be known he is still a threat at 205 pounds, looking solid in the process.
It was a night with some solid finishes, solid action, upset winners and a big controversial decision. With UFC Fight Night 73 now in the past, it is time to look into the future and play the role of Joe Silva and Sean Shelby and come up with some fights to make next for some of the competitors from Saturday night’s event.
Glover Teixeira vs. Anthony Johnson-Jimi Manuwa winner
Glover Teixeira got back into the win column with a solid victory over Ovince Saint Preux in the main event of Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 73 event. It snapped a two-fight losing skid for Teixeira and showed he can still contend in the light heavyweight division. He looked as good as he did before his title loss to Jon Jones in April 2014, and with Daniel Cormier now the king of the division while Jones is away, there will need to be new challenges for him whether or not contenders have fought for the title in the past. Teixeira should look to fight again before the end of the year, and a title eliminator contest between the winner of the fight between Anthony Johnson and Jimi Manuwa at UFC 191 next month seems like a logical next step for Teixeira.
Beneil Dariush vs. Tony Ferguson
Beneil Dariush got a controversial decision win in the co-main event over Michael Johnson, extending his win streak to five straight. While it was a close fight, many thought Johnson had done more to win the fight, and the result was very surprising. Dariush even thought he might have lost the fight, but nonetheless, he was the one who had his hand raised. He has quietly rised the rankings in the lightweight division, and another win puts him on the step to knocking on the title shot door. He is going to get another high-ranked opponent for his next fight, and I thought Al Iaquinta may be a good opponent, but he is out for a while due to knee surgery, and Dariush likely gets back into action quickly. A fight against Tony Ferguson, who has won six straight, makes some good sense.
Amanda Nunes vs. Alexis Davis
Amanda Nunes scored her biggest win inside the Octagon to date when she finished former title challenger Sara McMann in the first round. McMann showed good striking but was knocked down from a right hand by Nunes, who then jumped to the back of McMann and locked in a fight-ending rear-naked choke. It was the second straight win for Nunes and showed she will be a threat in the women’s bantamweight division. She should get a top-ranked opponent next, and Alexis Davis fits the bill there. Davis has won six of her last seven and is coming off an impressive win and doesn’t have a fight lined up. There is history there too- Davis defeated Nunes in a bout in Strikeforce in 2011.
Derek Brunson vs. Rafael Natal
Derek Brunson scored a very good win over Sam Alvey on Saturday night in a fight that produced a lot of striking. It may have been dangerous for Brunson to slug on the feet with Alvey as Brunson is a solid wrestler, but his power was shown when he scored the TKO win in the first against a tough Alvey. Brunson broke into the rankings after a win in his last fight and now has won three straight fights. The middleweight division is tough and there are a lot of solid fights that could be made with guys ranked ahead of him. I prefer to match Brunson with another fighter on a three-fight win streak in Rafael Natal, who, while he is below Brunson in the rankings, he would give him a solid opponent.
Ray Borg vs. Ali Bagautinov
Ray Borg showed why he is a rising prospect in the UFC’s flyweight division when he scored an impressive win over Geane Herrera on Saturday night. His stock continues to rise, and he gave a warning to UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson that he is making his way towards him. While Borg is on a three-fight win streak, he has yet to fight a ranked opponent. That should be what is coming to him next, and I like him to fight a former title challenger in Ali Bagautinov next. Bagautinov should be ready to return from a suspension any time now, and while he is coming off a loss to Johnson, he would be someone that Borg would need to defeat to show he is ready to contend. It is time to throw Borg to the wolves.
Ovince Saint Preux vs. Fabio Maldonado
Ovince Saint Preux went into the headline bout of UFC Fight Night 73 on Saturday as the favorite, both in the betting odds and in front of his home state crowd. There was a lot of pressure on him, and he admitted it got to him, and he was unable to stop the takedowns of Glover Teixeira and ended up being choked out in the third round. It was disappointing for Saint Preux, who was looking for his third straight win and a top-five position in the rankings. It’s time to go back to the drawing board for Saint Preux, and a bounce back fight against Fabio Maldonado may be the perfect chance for him to get back in the win column.
Michael Johnson vs. Anthony Pettis
Michael Johnson lost a close decision in the co-main event on Saturday night, a bout most thought he won over Beneil Dariush. It ended the four-fight win streak for Johnson and knocked him out of the title hunt for the time being. While it was controversial and a fight he probably should have won, it will leave a sour taste in the mouth for a while for Johnson. He is still a top fighter in the lightweight division and still has the chance to bounce back into contention. He still deserves a big fight in his next bout, and a fight against the former UFC Lightweight Champion, Anthony Pettis, seems like it would be a good direction. A lot of fighters want to fight Pettis, but he is coming off a loss and an opponent also coming off a loss seems likely. Johnson now fits that bill.