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UFC Fight Night 34: What’s next for the main card winners?

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It was the UFC’s first event in Singapore and its first card of 2014. It was also the first event to stream LIVE on Fight Pass, the UFC’s recently launched online digital medium.

UFC Fight Night 34 didn’t necessarily appeal to the casual fight fan, with the line-up consisting of a vast number of promotional newcomers. Still, there were a couple of bouts that delivered, including the main event showcase between former Strikeforce champ Tarec Saffiedine and Hyun Gyu Lim.

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UFC Fight Night 34: What’s next for the main card winners?

Saffiedine displayed his vintage leg-kicking prowess which was somewhat akin to his performance against Nate Marquardt. But Lim, fatigued and injured in the latter rounds, persevered and fought till the very end. Although both fighters had their moments and their fair share of knockdowns, Saffiedine swept the judges’ scorecards with a one-sided Unanimous Decision victory.

The co-main event played host to the much anticipated UFC debut of long-time Japanese MMA vet, Tatsuya Kawajiri. The 35-year-old’s experience, however, proved too much in the end as Sean Soriano, who was also making his first UFC appearance, succumbed to a Rear-Naked Choke in the second round.

Elsewhere on the main card, Kyung Ho Kang earned a submission win over ZST vet Shunichi Shimizu, while Luiz Dutra’s illegal elbows gave Kiichi Kunimoto a disqualification victory.

The time has come again for MMASucka.com to seat in the matchmaker’s armchair, and derive possible match-ups that could materialize for the main card winners following UFC Fight Night 34.

Give us your thoughts in the comments section below and let us know your picks:

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  • Fighter: Kyung Ho Kang (12-7, 1 NC)
  • Who he should face next: Dustin Kimura (11-1)

Kimura featured on Saturday’s card as well, in the prelims against promotional newcomer Jon delos Reyes. With both men picking up submission victories, and now with three appearances each in the UFC, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t face each other.

Kang and Kimura are upcoming fighters in the Bantamweight ranks and this will be a good indicator to see who deserves to be at the top of the pile.

  • Fighter: Kiichi Kunimoto (16-5-2, 1 NC)
  • Who he should face next: Yan Cabral (11-0)

While fans didn’t get to see much of Kiichi Kunimoto’s skill-set in his UFC debut, there’s no denying that the former Heat Welterweight champ brings a wealth of experience to the 170-lbs division. The Japanese vet possesses some serious credentials in the grappling department too and with that said, fans could be in for a grappling clinic should he be paired up with Nova Uniao’s Yan Cabral in his next match-up.

  • Fighter: Tatsuya Kawajiri (33-7-2)
  • Who he should face next: Cub Swanson (20-5)

In fact, the Japanese vet signaled his intentions a few months back to fight Swanson in view of getting retribution for his friend, Hiroyuki Takaya, who dropped a decision defeat to the Jackson’s MMA native at WEC 37.

There’s no doubting the fact that Cub Swanson will be a massive test for Tatsuya Kawajiri.

Bur with Kawajiri now being possibly the most experienced fighter in the 145-lbs division, Swanson’s hands will undoubtedly be full in this classic striker vs. grappler match-up that could have fans on the edge of their seats.

  • Fighter: Tarec Saffiedine (15-3)
  • Who he should face next: Jake Ellenberger (29-7)

This match-up was the scheduled headliner for UFC Fight Night 34, before Ellenberger was forced to withdraw from the bout due to injury.

With the Belgian, Saffiedine, picking up a fairly lopsided decision win over replacement Hyun Gyu Lim, it would be fitting for him to face a top ten opponent. Ellenberger fits that bill perfectly, and it makes perfect sense to book this match-up once again.

For full UFC Fight Night 34 results, click here.

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Follow Thinesh on Twitter (@ThineshJohnMMA), and keep up with the latest MMA news from MMASucka via Twitter (@MMASucka) and Facebook

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20, Asian MMA enthusiast in Singapore.

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