FIGHTS TO MAKE NEXT: UFC on Fox 27 edition

Cole Henry, MMATorch Contributor

Jacare Souza (photo credit Jason Silva © USA Today Sports)

With UFC on Fox 27 in the books, its time to look ahead to the next fight for every competitor. Here is a fresh fight  for everyone on the card.

Jacare Souza def. Derek Brunson

It is rumored that Mark Twain once commented on his own death by saying “The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Jacare Souza could probably use that quote in an argument against me and I would be silenced.

After the loss to Robert Whitaker, and at his age, I really thought that Souza’s best days were behind him. He has made comments about how he doesn’t need fighting because he loves to teach, and with such a long layoff I think it was fair to question where he was at this point in his career. But he quickly proved me wrong by taking out a guy that I thought was a dark horse contender for the title with another win or two.

Plenty of people commented about how Brunson’s striking has improved drastically since these two first met and while that’s clear true it still wasn’t enough to get past Jacare.

An interesting statistic is that Jacare has 4 KO wins in his 31-fight career and 2 of them have come against Brunson.

With this win I think it’s safe to say that Jacare is back on track, and probably not far from a title shot. His next fight is any easy one to book. He’s been going back and forth with Chris Weidman and that just really seems like a fight that should happen. Weidman has stated he would like to test himself against Jacare, and Jacare has said he himself is open to the fight.

Fight to make next:  Jacare Souza vs.  Chris Weidman

Derek Brunson went into the Souza fight with a 9-3 record. Perhaps more impressive than the record is the fact that 6 of the wins were first round KO’s, and all in under 2 minutes and 40 seconds. Though he’d suffered some recent losses to Robert Whitaker, and Anderson Silva, Brunson still seemed like he’d been fighting at his highest level ever and was coming into the fight riding a 2-fight win streak, both Knockouts, against Dan Kelly and Lyoto Machida.

That streak came to a screeching halt on Saturday though courtesy of a high kick from Jacare Souza. It was a tough setback for the 34-year-old Brunson, but he has had them before and has always managed to overcome, so until he doesn’t I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

In my opinion since he has found the power in his hands he has drifted away from his high-level wrestling ability. It’s doubtful that he would have used his wrestling much anyway against Souza, but it would be interesting to see him mix it up a bit more in the future.

Brunson was given a highly ranked opponent in Souza and couldn’t get the job done. I am a believer that if you are given a shot you have to return the favor. Brad Tavares is on a three-fight win streak and needs a break though win. Derek Brunson can use this fight to right the ship, but it also provides Tavares with a chance to move into the next level.

Fight to make next: Derek Brunson vs. Brad Tavares

Andre Fili def. Dennis Bermudez

Andre Fili walked away with what some people considered to be a questionable split decision victory over Dennis Bermudez. I personally thought it was close enough to go either way. With that being said, a win is a win so Fili will move forward. He has had a bit of a rocky UFC career, but is always exciting. At this point he isn’t anywhere close to title contention, but he is at the right gym, so the future could be bright.

Another guy who could potentially have a bright future is Renato Moicano. Moicano was undefeated until he ran into Brian Ortega, and he was arguably winning that fight until he was finished by one of the most epic guillotines ever (Watch it if you haven’t already). My only reason for booking this fight is that I really want to see it.

Fight to make next: Andre Fili vs. Renato Moicano

This was a tough loss for Bermudez, and as I stated above it was a fight that some people believed he won. This loss makes it three straight for Bermudez, and though it’s been tough competition, he still seems to be competing at a lower level than he was in the past.

Remember that this is a guy that at one point was on a 7-fight win streak, with victories over Clay Guida and Max Holloway mixed in there. He’s 2-5 since that streak ended though, and while he probably isn’t in danger of being cut right now, he isn’t exactly under an iron clad contract right now either.

I know it seems like I book Doo Ho Choi after every card, but he just makes sense for a lot of guys and this is another case of that. Choi has struggled in his last two losses, but I still think that he needs to be fighting good competition. He will either fill in his holes and swim, or he won’t, and he will sink.

Fight to make next: Dennis Bermudez vs. Doo Ho Choi

Gregor Gillespie def. Jordan Rinaldi

Gregor Gillespie is my top prospect in the 155-pound division. Though touted for his grappling, he has shown a consistent ability to KO his opponents, both on the feet and on the ground. He has out classed all his opponents up to this point, so I think it’s about time that he gets a bit of a step up in competition.

Up to this point the UFC has brought him along slowly, which I am a fan of. So, while he will get a step up in competition I will say that I think he should stay out of the top 15 for now, and instead fight somebody just outside of it.

Dan Hooker has been on a tear as of late and is very dangerous on his feet. He is coming off back to back wins for the first time in his UFC career, and has looked increasingly better as the time has passed. A win here for either guy could mean a top 15 opponent next.

Fight to make next: Gregor Gillespie vs. Dan Hooker

Jordan Rinaldi got a Ric Flair sized pop in his home state of North Carolina but was clearly over matched against Gillespie and couldn’t get the job done. He probably isn’t far from the chopping block, so he will definitely be looking for a win in his next fight.

I don’t know much about Matt Frevola, but his record indicates that he is probably in the same situation as Rinaldi. The winner stays, and the loser goes.

Fight to make next: Jordan Rinaldi vs. Matt Frevola

Drew Dober def. Frank Camacho

Drew Dober came into the UFC and failed to impress, but after going through a rough patch he has managed to string together a few wins and has looked better and better as time has passed.

Now while this fight was fought at 170, Dober has already stated that he will return to 155 so I will book him against an opponent in that division. James Krause is a solid vet, riding a solid win streak, with some fresh exposure from his time in the recent Ultimate Fighter: Redemption show. He is a couple wins away from possibly breaking into the rankings, so this is an important fight for both he and Dober.

Fight to make next: Drew Dober vs. James Krause

Frank Camacho is tough, and in a way, reminds me of a Robbie Lawler or Drew McFedries type of fighter. He’s very aggressive and doesn’t move back very often. He was in the fight until his gas tank started to fail, and even then, he still managed to crack Dober a few more times throughout the remaining minutes. Andrew Holbrook seems like a great fighter that just has chin issues, so maybe I am setting him up to fail but this Camacho vs. Holbrook makes sense to me.

Fight to make next: Frank Camacho vs. Andrew Holbrook

Fox Sports 1 Prelims

Bobby Green def. Erik Koch

Fights to make next:

Bobby Green vs. Beneil Dariush

Erik Koch vs. Alex White

Mirsad Bektic def. Godofredo Pepey

Fights to make next:

Mirsad Bektic vs. Myles Jury

Godofredo Pepey vs. Rick Glenn

Katlyn Chookagian def. Mara Romero Borella

Fights to make next:

Katlyn Chookagian vs. Barb Honchak

Mara Romero Borella vs. Andre Lee

Randa Markos def. Juliana Lima

Fights to make next:

Randa Markos vs. Michelle Waterson

Juliana Lima vs. Amanda Cooper

Ji Yeon Kim def. Justine Kish

Fights to make next:

Ji Yeon Kim vs. Jessica Eye

Justine Kish vs. Rachael Ostovich

Vinc Pichel def. Joaquim Silva

Fights to make next:

Vinc Pichel vs. Scott Holtzman

Joaquim Siva vs. Darrell Horcher

Early Prelims

Niko Price def. George Sullivan

Fights to make next:

Niko Price vs. Jordan Mein

George Sullivan vs. Court McGee

Cory Sandhagen def. Austin Arnett

Fights to make next:

Cody Sandhagen vs. Julio Arce

Austin Arnett vs. Brandon Davis


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