UFC Denver showcased a host of great fights, with Valentina Shevchenko cementing her title shot with an incredible armbar submission win over Julianna Pena.
Jorge Masvidal propelled himself up the welterweight rankings with a vicious TKO victory over Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. Also, Francis Ngannou ran through Andrei Arlovski whilst Jason Knight submitted Alex Caceres.
In keeping with our new tradition, it’s time for some fantasy matchmaking. Sticking with the tried and tested Sliva/Shelby model for making fights, let’s match winners with winners and losers with losers. Fights that make sense and would be f–king awesome to watch.
Fights That Make Sense after UFC Denver
What a damn performance by Shevchenko. She was never in any trouble when Pena had her in the clinch and she was the one who reversed the clinch to trip Pena and take her down.
There’s only one fight that makes sense for “The Bullet” now and that’s Amanda Nunes. There’s talk about Nunes going up to challenge for the 145lb title – much to the dismay of UFC President Dana White – but when Cris Cyborg returns there’s only one fight for the winner of Holly Holm vs. Germaine De Randamie after UFC 208. Nunes/Shevchenko is the fight to make.
It was a bad night for “The Venezuelan Vixen.” If she had won she would have been the next in line for a shot at Nunes but as it stands now she needs to regroup and claim a big win in her next fight to put herself back in the reckoning.
Raquel Pennington is on the brink of her own title shot after a dominating display over former champ Miesha Tate at UFC 205. Riding a four-fight winning streak, an eliminator between the two is the fight to make.
In a night of impressive performances, Masvidal stood the tallest. The number 12 ranked welterweight ran through Cerrone in his own backyard. In a stacked division there is now a new contender.
There’s one fight that immediately makes sense for me. Carlos Condit needs a match-up (well, we think he does anyway) and the chance to avenge his teammate’s loss. If Masvidal wins he’s next in line behind Damien Maia. If Condit wins he’s right back in title contention. Masvidal vs. Condit is the fight to make.
This will be hard for the Denver native to get over. He was soundly beaten in his hometown without ever really getting into the fight and it puts the breaks on any title hopes for the immediate future.
Cerrone needs to beat a big name to remind everyone why he looked so good at 170lbs in the first place. A fight with Robbie Lawler; which was originally touted for UFC 205, still makes sense now. Cerrone/Lawler as the unofficial fight of 2017.
Ngannou is a scary dude. He picked Arlovski off the floor with a punch. Arlovski is 250lbs and he got lifted up, that’s just terrifying. The big Frenchman wants a top tier opponent and I am fully behind that idea.
There are not many available top five guys around other than Ben Rothwell and It would be good to see how Ngannou gets on against someone with a top, top level submission game. A win over Rothwell would propel Ngannou into the title picture. Ngannou/Rothwell is the fight to make as soon as possible.
Knight is one of those fighters that you always want to watch because he always brings it. Although, I’m still unconvinced that he has it in him to be a top-level featherweight.
I do, however, want to see him given a shot at the top 15. So the fight for me is Andre Fili. The Sacramento trained fighter is bouncing between wins and losses but would make for an amazing fight with Knight. Knight/Fili is the fight to bring to the masses.