Beneil DariushThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was back in Fortaleza, Brazil for the second time in promotional history last Saturday (March 11, 2017) with UFC Fight Night 106: Belfort vs. Gastelum, where seven of 12 bouts ended inside the distance. The solid night of entertaining action is now in our rear view, so let’s take a look at some potential match-ups featuring a few of the competitors from the evening… Beneil Dariush vs. Francisco Trinaldo Dariush suffered a second-round knockout at the knee of knockout artist Edson Barboza, which snapped the Iranian’s two-fight winning streak. For his next Octagon outing, I would like to see him take on another Brazilian Muay Thai striker “Masaranduba” Trinaldo, who saw his impressive seven-fight winning streak snapped on the same night by Kevin Lee, losing the bout by second-round rear-naked choke submission. Dariush and Trinaldo both went into the second round of their bouts after winning the first one and never made it to the third. I think this is a next-move that makes sense for both 155-pounders, and it is a potential matchup that grabs my interest. I think it would be a solid fit for the FOX Sports 1 televised preliminary card to August’s UFC 214 in Anaheim, CA, which would give Southern California’s Dariush the home advantage. Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio Oliveira made the most of his immediate rematch with Tim Means, defeating “Dirty Bird” via second-round rear-naked choke submission. With the victory now in his back pocket, the Brazilian has won in four straight UFC appearances, and when he next steps foot in the Octagon, he will be looking for his second straight victory since moving back up to the welterweight division. In his effort to do so, I would like to see him take on Argentina’s Ponzinibbio, who is coming off a unanimous-decision victory over Nordine Taleb and rides a four-fight winning streak, with two of those wins coming by way of TKO. I think Oliveira versus Ponzinibbio would be a very fun fight at 170 pounds and a potential contender for ‘Fight of the Night’ honors, regardless of the card it is booked on. Speaking of which, I think it would be the perfect fit as the preliminary card headliner for June’s UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which would again give Oliveira the home advantage. Jeremy “JBC” Kennedy vs. Andre “Touchy” Fili “Junior Bacon Cheeseburger” made it two straight wins for himself in the UFC when he defeated Brazil’s own Rony Jason by unanimous decision on enemy soil to keep his undefeated record intact. For his next bout, the Canadian has requested to face either Darren Elkins or Andre Fili, and personally, I favor the Fili matchup. Not only does it pit the two featherweights with the best nicknames against each other, but I think the pair would stylistically produce an entertaining scrap that would be a likely ‘Fight of the Night’ contender. Fili last saw action five months ago at UFC Fight Night 96, where he earned a unanimous-decision win over Hacran Dias. I think a potential Kennedy versus Fili bout would be a great selection to kick off the aforementioned UFC 214 Pay-Per-View fight card in Anaheim, CA this August.


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