The UFC made its second trip to Canada’s capital in Ottawa, Ontario this past Saturday night for UFC Fight Night 151. Six fighters picked up wins on the main card, and below are some matchups the UFC should consider booking in this edition of Playing Matchmaker.
Donald Cerrone vs. Conor McGregor
The main event of UFC Ottawa saw Donald Cerrone pull off an upset decision win over Al Iaquinta in what turned out to be the “Fight of the Night.” It was a tremendous performance by Cerrone, who is currently riding a three-fight win streak and who is 2-0 since moving back down to 155lbs. After the fight, Cerrone used his post-fight interview to call out Conor McGregor for a fight this summer at UFC 239 in July. That card looks booked, but UFC 240 at the end of July has no fights currently scheduled for it, and it would be the perfect time for McGregor to come back to the sport and take on Cerrone in what would be one of the most-anticipated fights of the summer. This matchup seems like a total no-brainer and the UFC would be making a mistake not to book it next.
Derek Brunson vs. Paulo Costa
Though the fight was not entertaining, the co-main event saw Derek Brunson grind out a decision win over Elias Theodorou. The win snapped Brunson’s two fight losing skid and should help him keep his top-10 ranking in the middleweight division. Ranked just above Brunson is Paulo Costa, and that fight makes a ton of sense, especially if the UFC ends up booking Yoel Romero against Jack Hermansson instead.
Shane Burgos vs. Mirsad Bektic
Though the judges nearly robbed him, Shane Burgos was able to edge out a split decision win over Cub Swanson, a victory that should bump him into the top-15 at 145lbs. Another ranked fighter who is in need of an opponent is Mirsad Bektic, who is coming off of a split decision win over Ricardo Lamas. Both Burgos and Bektic are riding two-fight win streaks at the moment and both men are ranked about the same in the division, so this is the perfect matchup for each man’s next outing.
Merab Dvalishvili vs. Matt Schnell
In bantamweight action, Merab Dvalishvili handed Canadian Brad Katona the first loss of his pro MMA career with a clear-cut unanimous decision win. Dvalishvili is now on a two-fight win streak and 2-2 overall in the UFC. For his next fight he should take on Matt Schnell, who is 3-2 in the UFC and riding a three-fight win streak of his own, in what would be a fun fight between grappling-based fighters.
Walt Harris vs. Augusto Sakai
Arguably the most impressive performance of the night came courtesy of Walt Harris, who needed only 50 seconds to brutally knock out UFC newcomer Sergey Spivak. Harris is now riding a three-fight unbeaten streak, and for his next fight he should take on Augusto Sakai, who is 2-0 so far in the UFC and who is riding a four-fight win streak overall. Both men have a common recent opponent in Andrei Arlovski, and this bout would help determine who is the No. 15-ranked heavyweight in the UFC.
Andrew Sanchez vs. Omari Akhmedov
Kicking off the main card, we saw Andrew Sanchez earn a hard-fought unanimous decision over Marc-Andre Barriault. Sanchez was able to grind out two rounds and get the victory, giving him a two-fight win streak in the middleweight division. For his next fight, let’s see Sanchez take on Omari Akhmedov, who recently grinded out a decision win of his own over Tim Boetsch and who is undefeated in two fights since moving up to 185lbs.
Who should the winners from the UFC Ottawa main card fight next? Leave a comment below with your own fantasy matchmaking picks.