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Kyoji Horiguchi (Rizin FF) for Francis Ngannou (UFC)
This one makes a lot of sense to me. Kyoji Horiguchi had a successful first run in the UFC but just couldn’t find a way past Demetrious Johnson. Since leaving the UFC he has made a dominant run in Rizin and has in my opinion clearly established himself as a top three flyweight in the world. What more can he do in Rizin that he hasn’t done before? With Mighty Mouse leaving the 125 division needs a top contender of Horiguchi fits that mold. As far as Ngannou goes well it’s a pretty simple reason. He can be a much bigger star in Japan than he can in the United States or UFC. Japan loves freak shows and Ngannou is exactly that, but he is one with skills. I could see him now on billboards and movie posters just like in the Bob Sapp days. The truth is that he was exposed against Stipe Miocic and then further tarnished in the Derrick Lewis fight…he has been criticized heavily by the UFC and likely isn’t close to getting another crack at the belt. Perhaps Rizin would be a good home for him. A fight with Amir Aliakbari or Mirko CroCop would be worth watching.
Fedor Emelianenko (Bellator) for Mark Hunt (UFC)
Fedor is the one that got away for Dana White and you know that deep down somewhere Dana White knows that. Fedor has shown lately that he has something left in the tank and perhaps now could finally be the time that we see the last emperor compete in the UFC. Of course, he has some unfinished business with Ryan Bader to attend to but afterwards what does he have to lose? Perhaps we could finally see the Alistair Overeem vs. Fedor Emelianenko fight that was rumored back in…well I am starting to feel old. Mark Hunt for his part has made it clear as of late that his love affair with the UFC is long over and they are only staying together for the kids… (Or the contact in this case) …anyway if the UFC could trade him before that contract ends perhaps they could reap one more reward from the Super Samoan. A fight with Matt Mitrione, Vitaly Minakov, or Sergei Kharitonov would be fun.
Bibiano Fernandes (One Fighting) for Anderson Silva (UFC)
Bibiano Fernandes should be on any bodies list of top fighters to have never competed in the UFC. He turned down a contract some years ago and chose to instead sign with One Fighting and has stayed there ever sense. He is nearing forty and likely does not have many fights left but he could make for an interesting contender in the UFC bantamweight division. Specifically, a fight with Dominick Cruz could be interesting. But for One Fighting to give up a long-time champion and legend of the promotion they would need one in return. Anderson Silva has reached the point in his career where he may still want to compete, but he certainly is not at the level he was some years ago. One Fighting would value his devotion to the “arts” aspect of Martial Arts (I’m just choosing to ignore the steroid stuff…) He could have some fun fights in One with Aung La Nsang and Alain Ngalani before he calls it a career.
Aaron Pico (Bellator) for Curtis Blaydes (UFC)
Aaron Pico just might be the future of MMA. He is a far more effective version of Sage Northcutt in the sense that he was brought up to fight and now we are seeing the results of a life time of preparation. He seems to be improving rapidly and it seems like its only a matter of time before he is ready to challenge for a World Title. Now as much as I love Bellator I have to say that in my opinion the UFC has a far superior featherweight division and therefore in the perfect world Pico should be fighting there. But Bellator isn’t just going to trade a prospect with such immense hype for nothing. Curtis Blaydes has been very vocal about his unhappiness with some of the recent actions taken by the UFC. He was specifically irritated by the news of Brock Lesnar returning and leap frogging him in the title hunt. He hasn’t said he wants to leave the UFC but perhaps a trade to Bellator would solve his problems. Bellator would get a top heavyweight fighter and a guy they could base the entire division around. Perhaps that would be worth trading the unique talent that is Aaron Pico.
CM Punk (UFC) for Jason Jordan (WWE)
CM Punk has about as much business being on the UFC roster as I do. He was given two chances to show was he could do and simply put it wasn’t much. He was soundly defeated by a part time fighter in his last fight and showed no signs of improvement and really very few signs that he’d ever trained at all. His days in the UFC are likely over but he hasn’t been publicly released from his contract so who knows. But either was he should not be competing in the UFC and really if he wants to remain relevant in any sort of way he needs to return to Pro Wrestling. The WWE would surely love to reunite with the former champion and in terms of drawing power they wouldn’t have to give up that much to get him. Jason Jordan is not exactly a top draw in the WWE, but he has been positioned well on TV before, so he does have some name value to the average viewer so perhaps they would be interested enough to tune in if he competed in a UFC fight. Now before you roll your eyes let me explain a little bit about Jason Jordan’s background. He is a former multiple time NCAA division 1 national qualifier and was ranked in the top 15 in the country as a heavyweight from his sophomore through senior years. He finished 35-0 during the regular season of his senior year and managed to attain a top five national ranking. My point is that he is a very decorated wrestler and at just 30 years of age it seems like he would be a good prospect for the heavyweight division.