HYDEN BLOG: Junior Dos Santos vs. Tai Tuivasa and Nick Diaz return opponents


Juniot dos Santos (artist Grant Gould © MMATorch)

No events this past week and I had some personal stuff to deal with so let’s just hit upon some quick news.


Tai Tuivasa vs. Junior Dos Santos

Tai Tuivasa will face Junior Dos Santos at UFC Fight Night 142 on December 2nd. This is an interesting fight, despite not really having big title implications.

JDS has alternated wins and losses since late 2012 and Tuivasa is undefeated at 8-0 but only really has one big win on his resume, a stoppage over former champion Andrei Arlovski. To be fair, a Tuivasa win over JDS would definitely vault him close to a title shot (especially considering the wide-open nature of the heavyweight division) but I don’t think even that would give him the shot because of the way the division is right now.

UFC Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier (also the UFC’s light heavyweight champion) is expected to fight the returning Brock Lesnar early in 2019. Ok, so that lines up because Tuivasa-JDS is in December.

However, if Curtis Blaydes beats Franic Ngannou at UFC Fight Night 141, he would be much more likely to get the next title shot. Also, former champion Stipe Miocic could be given a chance to win a fight and get the next title shot. Either of those is possible.

However, this fight is still very interesting because JDS has been around for a long time but is still only 34 years old. He’s also shown that he’s still got the ability to win while Tuivasa has yet to taste defeat in the cage. This should be a good fight with plenty of excitement.



A Nick Diaz Return?

Nick Diaz has had the domestic violence charges against him dropped, and there’s talk of him returning to the cage. Who knows what he would even be like, as he’s only fought once in five and a half years, but it’s a slow news week so cue the future-seeing.

I’ll get in on that myself, why not?

He wouldn’t be fighting a top-level guy, that would make little sense, so it’d have to be an attraction fight. The two most likely fights would be Anderson Silva or Georges St. Pierre.

Both of these would be special feature types of fights. Silva-Diaz would be the perfect attraction fight on a big television card, especially if they were trying to pop a big rating as part of a TV deal or something.

GSP-Diaz would be too big for the UFC to put on network or cable television (though it would make sense if they were going to try to transition to television more and move away from pay-per-view given their dwindling roster of fighters who draw) so I can’t imagine they would do anything but try to get a PPV main event out of that fight.

Regardless of what they do, I think Diaz could have some success. He’s always been super tough and ready to fight. Whoever he fights is going to have to prepare for a war.

Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at hydenfrank@gmail.com and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank

NOW READ THIS: HYDEN BLOG: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from UFC Fight Night 135, plus 2 big fights announced

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