UFC Utica – Matches To Make

Marlon Moraes – In the biggest fight of his career (so far), Marlon Moraes has, incredibly, earned himself his most impressive win. This win has placed Marlon as the undeniable number one contender in the talent-rich Bantamweight division, with him likely to face the winner of the upcoming fight between the champion TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt.

Jimmie Rivera – After twenty consecutive wins, Jimmie Rivera has unfortunately suffered one of the most devastating defeats of the year. It is hard to imagine how difficult a loss such as this is to deal with but I am sure Jimmie Rivera will handle it well and come back better than ever. For his return, a matchup with Cody Garbrandt (if he is defeated by TJ Dillashaw) would be perfect.

Gregor Gillespie – As expected, Gregor Gillespie remains undefeated and is one step closer to becoming a top-tier Lightweight. For his next fight, it is essential that he is tested against a top-level opponent. Either Mairbek Taisumov or Rustam Khabilov would be suitable.

Ben Saunders – This was a phenomenal performance and even better finish from Ben Saunders. Now that he is back in the winner’s circle, after dropping two fights in a row, Killa B is left with many potential opponents, but none are more enticing than Matt Brown.

Julio Arce – In only two UFC appearances, Julio Arce has managed to become one of the most promising up-and-coming Featherweights in the world. This fight was a fantastic showcase for Julio’s well-rounded game and potential finishing ability. A matchup with Gabriel Benitez would be phenomenal for his next fight, but regardless of who he faces next, I am excited to see what the future holds for Arce.

David Teymur – Moving one step closer to the Top 15, David Teymur once again showed that he has the potential to be a future top contender. For his next fight, I hope to see him tested against a top tier Lightweight, the winner of the upcoming bout between Dan Hooker and Gilbert Burns would be perfect.

Nik Lentz – Although he was bested by the rising prospect, Nik Lentz gave a respectable performance in this fight. Nine years and twenty fights into his UFC career, Lentz continues to be a tough test for anyone in the Lightweight division. For his next fight, a matchup with Stevie Ray would be suitable.

Nathaniel Wood – Jumping into the deep end with a super tough UFC debut, Nathaniel Wood showed the world exactly why he is beloved by European fans. This was an exciting fight that ended in an impressive win for Wood. That being said, this fight also showed that his nickname of “The Prospect” still rings true. Wood isn’t a complete fighter — nor should he be — and will need to make some improvements before he begins to fight the best Bantamweights in the world. With that in mind, I would like to see him face fellow prospect Tom Duquesnoy upon his return.

Jose Torres – This was far from a flawless performance from Jose Torres but considering it was his short-notice UFC debut it was pretty damn impressive. In his next fight — given a full camp and a game opponent — Torres will show the world exactly why he is being considered the sports most promising Flyweight prospect. Ryan Benoit will make for the perfect dance partner upon his return.

Jarred Brooks – Despite suffering the most frustrating defeat of his career, Jarred Brooks can look back on this fight as a performance to be proud of. Brooks showed in this fight that he still has the potential to be one of the most exciting up-and-coming Flyweights in the UFC. For his return, a matchup with Joby Sanchez would serve him well.


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