“UFC on FUEL TV 3: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier” is in the books, and once again the Ultimate Fighting Championship delivered a brilliant night of mixed martial arts action. Chan Sung Jung submitted Dustin Poirier in the round of their main event bout. Also on the main card, Amir Sadollah, Donald Cerrone, Yves Jabouin, Igor Pokrajac and Tom Lawlor each picked up impressive victory over their respective opponents on the main card.
After every fight card, fans wonder who the winners will be matched up with next. With another night of UFC action in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to look forward and put ourselves in Joe Silva’s shoes to play UFC matchmaker.
Winner: Tom Lawlor
Who He Should Fight Next: Andrew Craig
Why They Should Fight: Tom Lawlor picked up a much-needed win against Jason MacDonald at UFC on FUEL TV 3 and is now on the upswing in the UFC middleweight division. Lawlor possesses solid wrestling and powerful striking, he would be a good test for Andrew Craig, a one-fight UFC veteran who picked up a decision victory against Kyle Noke in his octagon debut at UFC on FX 2 last March. Craig is a talented grappler himself and would pose interesting problems for Lawlor, a fighter who has had difficulties fighting off his back at points in his career. On the flip side, Lawlor size and power would be a lot to deal with and if Craig can handle it he would prove he is ready for a higher caliber crop of middleweights.
Winner: Igor Pokrajac
Who He Should Fight Next: Stanislav Nedkov
Why They Should Fight: Before visa issues forced him to withdraw from the bout, Stanislav Nedkov was scheduled to face Fabio Maldonado, the man Igor Pokrajac just defeated at UFC on FUEL TV 3. Since those two fighters were originally slated to face one another, it only makes sense that Pokrajac would slide into Maldonado’s place to fight against Nedkov. Both European fighters are always down for stand up war and after getting robbed of the “Fight of the Night” award at UFC on FUEL TV 3, Pokrajac may finally earn the bonus if he is put in the cage with Nedkov.
Winner: Yves Jabouin
Who He Should Fight Next: Mike Easton
Why They Should Fight: Mike Easton was expected to face Yves Jabouin at UFC on Fuel TV 3 but unfortunately was forced out of the bout with an injury and replaced by Jeff Hougland. Hougland was defeated by Jabouin in a one-sided affair and was clearly not a suitable replacement, as he did not have much to offer Jabouin. Easton is expected to return from injury fairly soon so the logical decision is to make the fight that was supposed to happen at UFC on FUEL TV 3. Jabouin and Easton are two of the quickest bantamweights in the UFC and putting their skills in the cage together would make for one extremely dynamic fight.
Winner: Donald Cerrone
Who He Should Fight Next: Winner of Edson Barboza vs. Jamie Varner at UFC 148
Why They Should Fight: Edson Barboza is expected to defeat last-minute replacement Jamie Varner at UFC 148, should he live up to those expectations and get past Varner, a fight with Donald Cerrone is a match up to salivate over. Two quick, explosive and versatile lightweights that like to throw kicks until their opponents are beat red or knocked unconscious. Even though Barboza is currently undefeated in the UFC and Cerrone suffered a loss just two fights ago, the two fighters sit in roughly the same place in the UFC lightweight division. A fight between Cerrone and Barboza has potential to be a “Fight of the Year” candidate with the winner jumping into title contention.
Winner: Amir Sadollah
Who He Should Fight Next: Matt Riddle
Why They Should Fight: Amir Sadollah and Matt Riddle are two gritty welterweights that both delivered underwhelming performances and arguably lost their most recent fights. They are both veterans of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show and Sadollah’s mauy-thai striking against Riddle’s smothering top attack would make for an interesting clash of styles. Both fighters are in the lower tier of the UFC welterweight division, this match up would be more than suitable for any preliminary card on FUEL TV or FX.
Winner: Chan Sung Jung
Who He Should Fight Next: Winner of Jose Aldo vs. Erik Koch at UFC 149
Why They Should Fight: FUEL TV reporter Ariel Helwani stated on the UFC on FUEL TV 3 post-fight show that UFC president Dana White told him in a text conversation that Chan Sung Jung has leapfrogged to the top of the UFC featherweight rankings with his submission win over Dustin Poirier. Jung has won his last three fights in memorable fashion against high-level opponents, an argument few other 145-pounders on the UFC roster can make. “The Korean Zombie” is more than deserving of his opportunity to fight for the UFC belt and become the first Asian champion in UFC history. Also, it would be fascinating if the organization could schedule Jung’s title fight at an event in Asia.
This article was written by Mike Bohn, founder and lead writer of FightCove.com. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @FightCoveMike. Also, be sure to follow @FightCove on Twitter and “Like” Fight Cove on Facebook.