The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the eight time in promotional history last Saturday (June 3, 2017) with UFC 212: Aldo vs. Holloway. It was a solid night of scraps that saw nine of 12 bouts end inside the distance, and with the fights now in our rear view, let’s take a look at some potential matchups featuring a few of the competitors from the evening…
Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar
Holloway dethroned Jose Aldo to become to new king at 145 pounds, and for his first official title defense, I think it would make most sense for him to take on Frankie Edgar, as that is a matchup fight fans have been wanting to see for a while now. The other potential candidate for a title shot in Cub Swanson, but his last loss came at the hands of Holloway in a very decisive fashion. That is not a fight that peaks the interest of fight fans, as Holloway would be expected to be a massive favorite. The Edgar fight is one in which anything can happen, so everybody wants to see it. I think this potential featherweight title would would be a great fit to main event UFC 216 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Claudia Gadelha vs. Rose Namajunas
Gadelha made short work of Poland’s Karolina Kowalkiewicz, defeating her by rear-naked choke submission in the very first round of action. She now enjoys a two-fight winning streak, and for her next outing inside the Octagon, I would like to see her take on Namajunas in a title eliminator. Both fighters earned quick victories in their most recent bouts, so I would like to see them make a quick turnaround to co-main event August’s UFC Fight Night in Mexico City.
Brian Kelleher vs. Bryan Caraway
Kelleher earned a first-round guillotine-choke submission over veteran Iuri Alcantara in what was a picture perfect promotional debut for the 30-year-old, who used his post-fight speech to ask for a Top 10 ranked opponent for a quick turnaround on the upcoming Long Island card in July. I think an opponent that makes sense is Caraway, who has not seen action since a split decision win over Aljamain Sterling just over a year ago. I think this is a pairing that makes sense for both fighters and would be a good fit anywhere on the Long Island fight card.