It was an early morning for viewers in the Americas.
UFC Fight Night 111 took place on Saturday, June 17th in Singapore, the promotion’s second trip to the city-state. In the main event, Holly Holm snapped a three-fight losing streak with a third-round knockout win over managed to stop Bethe Correia.
Marcin Tybura, Colby Covington, and Rafael dos Anjos all were successful on the UFC Fight Pass streamed main card, earning unanimous decision victories in fairly dominate performances. A lot of action took place on the preliminary card, seeing Jon Tuck and Ulka Sasaki scored submission victories. Heavyweight Walt Harris and bantamweight Russell Doane impressively stopped their opponents by strikes in the first round.
It was a great night for many, but what are the top five fights to make after UFC Fight Night 111?
5. Marcin Tybura vs. Derrick Lewis
Marcin Tybura earned a third straight victory with his unanimous decision over former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski. This run for Tybura came after an octagon debut loss to Timothy Johnson back in May of 2016, being only the second loss of his career. Things would see a bright turn for the Polish fighter in his next appearance, stopping Viktor Pesta with one of the UFC’s best knockouts of 2016.
Just last week, Derrick Lewis suffered a fourth-round TKO to Mark Hunt in New Zealand. He hinted at retirement in his post-fight interview, but who knows? With Lewis coming off this loss and Tybura riding this three-fight win streak, a scheduling between the two sounds appropriate.
4. Ulka Sasaki vs. Tim Elliott
Out. Of. Nowhere. Despite being a fairly heavy underdog coming in, Ulka Sasaki found success after taking the back in round two and securing in a rear-naked choke over Justin Scoggins. Sasaki made his UFC debut back in August of 2014, having only one loss in record at the time. In that fight, he secured a “Performance of the Night” bonus over Roland Delorme with a first-round submission.
In his last octagon appearance, Tim Elliott came in on short notice to face off against Ben Nguyen. Things did not go at all how he planned, getting submitted just 49 seconds into the fight. Conveniently, his loss and Sasaki’s win come separated by one week. These two entertaining grapplers would really make for a fun showing. The UFC will be returning to Japan in September later this year (Sasaki from Japan); this could pass as a great main card or co-main match.
3. Colby Covington vs. Kamaru Usman
The fans may have boo’ed, but either way: Colby Covington is a fantastic athlete. A very unanimous decision over #7-ranked welterweight Dong Hyun Kim was the biggest of his 12 professional wins inside competition. With only one career loss to Warrley Alves, Covington continues to climb up the division’s ladder with four straight dominant victories.
Another man who carries athleticism and continues to shine in the octagon is Kamaru Usman, winner of Season 21 of The Ultimate Fighter. He has won nine victories in a row, including this TUF accolade, and is just nestled inside the welterweight’s top 15.
Both know how to talk some smack. A pairing between Covington and Usman would be a great test for these durable athletes.
2. Rafael dos Anjos vs. Carlos Condit
A clean performance for Rafael dos Anjos competing at welterweight for the first time, defeating Tarec Saffiedine by unanimous decision. It was much needed, too, losing back-to-back lightweight bouts (and the UFC belt) in the 2016 year. Dos Anjos’s last victory came in December of 2015, defending his former belt against Donald Cerrone.
Carlos Condit has been out of the octagon since August of 2016, lastly losing by rear-naked choke in the first round to Demian Maia. Unfortunately the fate of Condit is unknown, having contemplated retirement with two lone victories in the past four and a half years. Either way: he’s got a lot of talent, and still is a contender in the welterweight division.
Seeing Dos Anjos successful in his 170-pound debut, a test against a durable veteran in Condit may be a “Fight of the Night” we MMA fans need.
1. Holly Holm vs. Cat Zingano
The fight itself was not very enjoyable, but the knockout sure was. Holly Holm did what she usually does, successfully landed a head-kick in the third round after Bethe Correia’s failed attempt at “taunting.” The knockout snapped a three-fight losing streak Holm had rode previously, including two losses with a UFC belt on the line. The former UFC women’s bantamweight champion earned her first victory since knocking out Ronda Rousey in November of 2015. Holm’s victory over Correia was her eighth career win by knockout, also being the fourth come by way of kick to the dome piece.
Holm is a marketable name and still possesses a lot of potential. Another marketable name with an equal amount of talent is Cat Zingano, who we have yet to see compete since losing to Julianna Pena last July.
Holm vs. Zingano. Let’s make it happen.
Other fights to make after UFC Fight Night 111:
Jon Tuck vs. Andrew Holbrook
Walt Harris vs. Travis Browne/Alexey Oliynyk winner
Alex Caceres vs. Godofredo Pepey/Shane Burgos winner
Li Jingliang vs. Warlley Alves
Russell Doane vs. Mitch Gagnon
Naoki Inoue vs. Louis Smolka
Lucie Pudilova vs. Aspen Ladd/Jessica Eye winner
Bethe Correia vs. Leslie Smith/Lina Lansberg winner
Andrei Arlovski: released or retirement
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Alan Jouban
Tarec Saffiedine vs. Sean Strickland
Takanori Gomi: released or retirement
Cyril Asker vs. Rashad Coulter
Rolando Dy vs. Mizuto Hirota
Justin Scoggins vs. Ryan Benoit
Frank Camacho vs. Sabah Homasi
Kwan Ho Kwak: released
Carls John de Tomas vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian
Ji Yeon Kim vs. Veronica Macedo (Michael DeSantis’s suggestion)
*I missed last week’s event, UFC Fight Night 111 (Lewis vs. Hunt), due to being out of town. Here are TEN fight suggestions following that card, just in case you want some ideas to ponder for the next couple days.
Mark Hunt vs. Josh Barnett
Derek Brunson vs. David Branch
Ben Nguyen vs. Jussier Formiga
Ion Cutelaba vs. Patrick Cummins/Gian Villante winner
Dan Hooker vs. Mairbek Taisumov
Alexander Volkanovski vs. Chas Skelly
John Moraga vs. Ian McCall
Vinc Pichel vs. Drew Dober
Luke Jumeau vs. Sultan Aliev
JJ Aldrich vs. Paige VanZant