Joseph DuffyThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was back in London, England last Saturday (March 18, 2017) for UFC Fight Night 107: Anderson vs. Manuwa. It was an interesting night of scraps that saw only four of 11 bouts end inside the distance. The night of scraps is now in our rear view, so let’s take a look at some potential matchups featuring a few of the victorious competitors… Arnold Allen vs. Renan Barao Allen earned a split-decision win over Finland’s Makwan Amirkhani and kept his undefeated record intact while making it three straight for himself in the UFC. It was a solid win for the Brit, and for his next outing inside the Octagon, I would like to see him take a step up in competition and face former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao, who is coming off a unanimous-decision win over Jeremy Stephens in his most recent Octagon outing. I think this is a solid pairing and a potential scrap that could produce ‘Fight of the Night’ honors regardless of the card it was booked on. It would certainly answer questions about both fighters; whether Allen can get the better of a well-rounded veteran and former title holder, and whether Barao can beat a surging prospect. The matchup does put the Brazilian in the role of gatekeeper, which is a part he has never played before in his UFC career. I think this featherweight barn-burner would be a solid fit on the main card for UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas this July during International Fight Week. Joe Duffy vs. Paul Felder Irish Joe versus The Irish Dragon! I think this would make for an excellent potential matchup in the UFC’s lightweight division. First things first, though — Duffy would need to be re-signed by the UFC, as this past Saturday’s unanimous decision victory over Reza Madadi was the final bout on his current UFC contract, and the Irishman has entered free agency following the contest. Felder is coming off a first-round knockout of Alessandro Ricci and will be looking to keep things rolling. If Duffy and the UFC can figure things out soon, I think this potential lightweight scrap would make for a great fit as the preliminary card headliner for July’s UFC 213 during International Fight Week in Vegas. Marc Diakiese vs. Drew Dober Diakiese scored a beautiful, highlight-reel knockout of Finland’s Teemu Packalen to extend his UFC winning streak to three and remain undefeated as a professional mixed martial artist. He is without a doubt a threat in the UFC’s 155-pound division, and fight fans look forward to his next outing inside the Octagon. For his next UFC test, I would like to see him take a step up in competition against Dober in what would be a rare “winner versus loser” matchup in the UFC’s lightweight division considering Dober is coming off a submission loss to Olivier Aubin-Mercier. I think this is a pairing that makes sense for both fighters, but besides that, I see it as a recipe for fireworks. Stylistically, I think these two would put on a very fun fight, a likely ‘Fight of the Night’ candidate regardless of the card it’s on. Speaking of which, I think it would be an excellent addition to the main card for May’s UFC Fight Night in Sweden.


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