Matches to Make After UFC 122

By Jason Probst Nov 14, 2010
Anderson Silva: Marcelo Alonso |

Here’s a look at four matchups we’d like to see on the heels of Saturday’s UFC 122 in Germany.

Yushin Okami vs. Anderson Silva

This assumes Silva gets past Vitor Belfort at UFC 126 in February, which is a big “if.” That aside, I want to see the promotional angle of how the UFC would convince fans that Okami has much of a chance. He won via disqualification off an illegal upkick in their first fight in Rumble on the Rock in 2006, and that’s likely his best shot at winning today. Sometimes you need some red meat thrown to the audience to remind you of why fighters like Silva are such rare gems. This is that chunk of meat. Enjoy, and do not forget to pass the ranch dressing.

Dennis Siver vs. Sam Stout

Siver’s ground game is no longer a secret, as he utilized a quick submission following a devastating left hand and choked out the talented Andre Winner. But let’s face it. Nothing’s more exciting than two kickboxing-oriented guys locking horns. Stout’s two bouts against Spencer Fisher were instant classics, and a clash with Siver would be everything you want to see in a fight: spinning back kicks, fluid combinations, rollicking action and rallies from the brink. It would also be a nice sorting-out style match, as both would get a good boost up the ranks with a win if the fight were made. Stout could not be in a boring fight if he tried, and Siver would be willing to stand and trade with him in what would be a great matchup.

Amir Sadollah vs. Matt Serra

Sadollah was workmanlike and his usual efficient self in decisioning Peter Sobotta. With his cerebral tactics and well-rounded skills, it’s time for him to jump into deeper waters. He will always give up size and wrestling pedigree to weight-cutting takedown artists, so a match with Serra would be a good litmus test for both. For Serra, the ex-champ’s stand-up is pretty strong, as witnessed in his impressive knockout of Frank Trigg. However, Serra looked a little flat in his rematch loss to Chris Lytle. To Serra’s credit, he’s willing to stand and bang before reverting to a ground fight, which would be a compelling test for Sadollah. Sadollah’s muay Thai and underrated ground game would make this an interesting fight and a worthwhile measuring stick for his career.

Carlos Eduardo Rocha vs. Mike Pierce

For a UFC debut, Rocha was exceptionally impressive, delivering a kneebar submission over "The Ultimate Fighter" Season 11 finalist Kris McCray. You hardly ever see people deliver fight-finishing leg submissions these days, and that suggests Rocha’s jiu-jitsu game is as good as advertised. A match against the hardened Pierce would be a natural next step. Pierce has been a tough soldier in four UFC bouts, losing via decision to Jon Fitch and beating Brock Larson, Julio Paulino and Amilcar Alves. Rocha adjusted very well in his first UFC bout and figures only to get better. This would be the kind of match to tell us a lot more about both guys, and a wrestler like Pierce is often the best test for a Brazilian with a good submission game.
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