Who The UFC Fight Night: 52 Winners Should Fight Next

By: John Carlin

After a very entertaining UFC Fight Night in the land of the rising sun, we play matchmaker and have a look at who the nights winners should face next.

Fighter: Mark Hunt

Opponent: Josh Barnett

Why they should fight:

Mark Hunt is coming off of a spectacular knockout win over number 8 ranked Roy Nelson, with Travis Browne, Junior Dos Santos, Stipe Miocic and Fabricio Werdum all with opponents already booked, Josh Barnett is the only fighter in the top 5 of the heavyweight division rankings without an opponent, both fighters sit at 5 and 6 respectively in the rankings and a rematch of their 2006 clash in the now defunct Pride organization, in which Barnett won via Kimura, would make a lot of sense right now ranking wise and also given Hunts improvements in his submission defense. A classic striker v grappler match up.

Fighter: Miles Jury

Opponent: Edson Barboza

Why they should fight:

After spectacularly finishing Takanori Gomi (who is renowned for having a solid chin) in the first round this past weekend, Miles Jury is looking like he could become a very exciting contender in the lightweight division. At only 25 years of age and with the upper echelons of his division so talent rich a fight against Edson Barboza would make perfect sense. Barboza is one of the most dangerous strikers in the 155-pound division and coming off of a vicious finish of Evan Dunham. There is the temptation to have Jury face higher competition, the likes of Jim Miller, Josh Thompson or Ben Henderson, but I believe the right fight right now for Jury would be Barboza, as he continues to grow and develop as a fighter.

Fighter: Yoshihiro Akiyama

Opponent: Erick Silva

Why they should fight:

Following his victory over Amir Sadollah this past weekend, after having been away from the Octagon for over 2 and a half years a match up against Erick Silva would present an interesting clash of styles. Both fighters are currently 4-4 in their UFC careers, and both are entertaining fighters who would put on a great fight.

Fighter: Meisha Tate

Opponent: Sara McMann

Why they should fight:

It’s a big fight for womens MMA, two of the very best 135-pound women in the world currently below the champion Ronda Rousey, It’s a chance for Meisha to prove she can still cut it with the big dogs in her division, and for McMann, who is desperate for another crack at Ronda Rousey, it’s the perfect match up to get her nearer that goal.

Fighter: Kiichi Kunimoto

Opponent: George Sullivan

Why they should fight:

Following his split decision victory over Richard Walsh, Kiichi Kunimoto has now amassed at 3-0 record in the UFC, George Sullivan himself has amassed a 2-0 record following his knockout victory of Igor Araujo last week in Brazil. Get them in there !

Fighter: Kyoji Horiguchi

Opponent: Zach Makovsky

Why they should fight:

Horiguchi is now on a 3-fight winning streakin the UFC and is looking very impressive, Zach Markovsky is a top 10 ranked fighter, who just came up short in his last effort against Jussier Formiga, there are quite a few interesting potential match ups for Horiguchi, not least Brad Pickett, but stylistically speaking a match up against Makovsky would be interesting and a big step up for Horiguchi, but one that I feel he’s capable of doing well in.

Fighter: Masanori Kanehara

Opponent: Joe Soto

Why the should fight:

Following Kanehara’s somewhat suprising victory over Alex Caceres, a match up against Joe Soto would make sense. Both guys came in and impressed on their UFC debuts, albeit with contrasting results. Soto pushed the champ TJ Dillashaw all the way and actually looked very good in defeat in his UFC debut.

Fighter: Katsunori Kikuno

Opponent: Jimy Hettes

Why they should fight:

After gaining his second UFC victory in what was his featherweight debut, I’d like to see Kikuno face Jimy Hettes next, Hettes is 4-3 in the UFC and given his strong Judo and BJJ game, Stylistically this match up would be interesting.

Fighter: Hyun Gyu Lim

Opponent: Brandon Thatch

Why they should fight:

Now this would be an awesome match up, and more importantly a relevant one too. It would rely on Thatch’s condition given his latest Injury, but if the stars align and this fight is made boy could you expect fireworks. Both guys are vicious strikers holding 3-0 and 2-0 UFC records respectively, and this fight would surely guarantee entertainment, be it a knockout or a 3-round war.

Fighter: Kyung Ho Kang

Opponent: Russell Doane

Why they should fight:

Both fighters just recently fought, and both have identical 2-1 UFC records, Doane performed very well in his loss to Iuri Alcantara last week in Brazil and although coming off of a loss, as opposed to Kang’s win, I would like to see this match up next.

Fighter: Johnny Case

Opponent: Yosdenis Cedeno

Why they should fight:

Following Johnny Case’s ultra impressive submission of Kazuki Tokudome in his UFC debut I’d like to see him fight the Cuban Yosdenis Cedeno next. Cedeno is 1-1 in his UFC career and I feel like it would be another good test for Case.

Fighter: Maximo Blanco

Opponent: Godofredo Pepey

Why they should fight:

Again two fighters with similar records in the UFC, Blanco 3-3 and Pepey 4-3. They have also recently just fought, so barring any injuries their turnaround time should be similar.Two Brazilian fighters who have the potential to put on and explosive fight, it’s a fun match up, and one I hope the UFC make next.

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