4 Matches to Make After UFC on Versus 2

Aug 3, 2010
Before any of you ask, Jon Jones’ next fight should come against someone a rung or two better than Vladimir Matyushenko. There, problem solved.

Now onto more nuanced matters, as the non-headliner outcomes of UFC Live 2 “Jones vs. Matyushenko” have set the table for some interesting stories. In the interest of giving UFC matchmaker Joe Silva a breather, here are exactly which fights should come next for the winners on Sunday at the San Diego Sports Arena.

Yushin Okami vs. Alan Belcher

A detached retina remains one of the scariest injuries possible for an athlete, but it appears as though Belcher will make a full recovery. While his UFC Fight Night 22 main event with Demian Maia fell by the wayside, a future UFC Fight Night or UFC Live headliner against Okami would be equally intriguing, as Belcher’s high-volume style could help along Okami’s slow crawl towards becoming an offense-first fighter.

It would be just as interesting to see how Belcher handles Okami’s constricting clinch and vastly underappreciated boxing skills. Everything moves towards building a legitimate title contender, and the winner of this matchup could find himself just one eliminator fight away from challenging for the belt.

Takanori Gomi vs. George Sotiropoulos

As fans and media alike scramble to get the dirt off Gomi’s premature grave, the big question has become who exactly the former Shooto and Pride Fighting Championships titleholder should fight next. Matching him against one of the lightweight division’s lesser fighters would be a waste, but most of the division’s top attractions are tied up.

However, Sotiropoulos, he of the 6-0 UFC record, is available. It would be the perfect sort of test for both fighters. The Australian grappler has the rangy boxing to give Gomi problems, and his Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills ought not to be messed with. Then again, if Gomi has returned to T-800 mode, his right hand alone may be the ultimate trump card in the division.

Jake Ellenberger vs. Dong Hyun Kim

Anyone trying to wrestle his way to the top of the welterweight division has to prove he can handle the army of top control artists waiting in the top 10. With that in mind, pitting Ellenberger against Kim seems like a fight to make if the UFC intends on moving either man ahead in the division.

Better yet, watching how Ellenberger’s supersonic shot matches up with Kim’s smothering clinch game would make for one of the most fascinating takedown battles in recent memory. Given the UFC’s ongoing need for serious welterweight title contenders, this fight needs to happen before we get any closer to the universe collapsing in 2012.

Matt Riddle vs. Matt Brown

If you have not seen Riddle’s fight with DaMarques Johnson, allow me to paint a picture. It looked like Riddle was trying to make Johnson’s head a permanent part of the canvas. The temptation might be to rocket him up the ladder after such a resounding win, but a happy compromise can always be found between sacrificing and coddling prospects.

Brown would be the perfect concession, as his combination of mauling strikes and sociopathic tendencies have made life hard on many a takedown-minded foe. “The Immortal” makes for the kind of style clash that could tell us a lot about Riddle’s future in perhaps the toughest division in all of MMA.
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