TUF: Nations Finale – What’s next for the main card winners?

Patrick Cote caps off a brilliant night for the Canadians in the co-main event.
Patrick Cote caps off a brilliant night for the Canadians in the co-main event.

The UFC’s TUF: Nations Finale event which went down on Wednesday, saw an essence of Canadian flair.

All Canadian fighters, except for Olivier Aubin-Mercier, gained victories in their respective bouts. Well, technically, it could have been considered a ‘proper’ clean sweep by Canada if Mercier wasn’t a paired up against a fellow countryman.

Anyway, the main event featured an interesting 185-lbs tussle between longtime perennial contender Michael Bisping, and Tim Kennedy.

Bisping tried indulging his kickboxing abilities with jabs and combinations, which certainly had a big effect during the fight. But ultimately, the Brit succumbed to Kennedy’s wrestling prowess en route to losing a fairly lopsided decision. He slumped to his sixth career defeat. Kennedy, meanwhile, further propelled himself up the Middleweight ladder and is in fact, now a perfect 3-0 under the UFC banner.

The co-main event featured a battle between Kyle Noke and Patrick Cote, two fighters who had stints as coaches in the ‘TUF: Nations’ reality MMA series. Cote was able to keep Noke at bay with his wrestling skills although he lost most of the exchanges on his feet. He took home a Unanimous Decision victory.

Elsewhere on the card, two new ‘TUF’ champions in Chad Laprise and Elias Theodorou were crowned.

Dustin Poirier kicked off the main card with a bang, scoring a slick TKO victory over ‘TUF: 14’ alumnus, Akira Corassani.

So with that, it’s that time again where we at MMASucka.com play “matchmaker” and derive match-ups that could materialize for the main card winners. Sitting on the matchmaker’s armchair is no easy task by any standards so if your solutions differ from ours, state them in the comments section below.

Let’s get started!

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DustinPoirier_Headshot

  • Name: Dustin Poirier (16-3)
  • Who he should face next: Dennis Bermudez (13-3)

This is a match-up between two established names in the 145-lbs division with ‘Fight of the Night’ written all over it. Dustin Poirier has faced some of the division’s elite and is coming off three straight victories. Dennis Bermudez, meanwhile, is running rampant with six straight wins. It’s a bout with possible title implications and with both men known for their exciting performances in the octagon, the masses are going to be in for a treat should this one materialize.

ChadLeprise_Headshot

  • Name: Chad Laprise (8-0)
  • Who he should face next: Nam Yui Chul (18-4-1)

A drop to 155-lbs looks seemingly possible for Canadian prospect Chad Laprise after it was noted that he was competing above his natural weight class, at Welterweight, for the ‘TUF: Nations’ show. If he does make the change, well, we’ve got a fantastic tilt in store for the 27-year-old. Everybody loves a match-up between two prospects looking to prove their worth and this is no different. Former ROAD FC champ Nam Yui Chul, one of South Korea’s hottest commodities, is coming off a win over Kazuki Tokudome in his UFC debut. Both Laprise and Chul have all-round MMA facets, and with winning streaks under their belt, this bout has all the ingredients to be a really intriguing contest on paper.

EliasTheodorou_Headshot

  • Name: Elias Theodorou (9-0)
  • Who he should face next: Antonio Braga Neto (9-1, 1 N/C)

It’s a known fact that Theodorou has the whole package to shine in the industry. He’s got the looks, the personality and on top of it all, he’s a talent in the fight game. A dominant victory on Wednesday night proved that the Canadian is more than ready for just a ‘warm-up’ match-up in his next appearance. With that said, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champ Antonio Braga Neto would be a perfect opponent for Theodorouwho can use this fight to send a message to the UFC brass of what an asset he could be to the company.

PatrickCote_Headshot

  • Name: Patrick Cote (20-8)
  • Who he should face next: Ildemar Alcantara (20-6)

Cote has gone 3-1 since his return to the UFC, a record that Brazilian veteran Ildemar Alcantara possesses in the organization as well. Cote has already beaten established names such as Bobby Voelker and on Wednesday night, he added Kyle Noke to that list. However, he still isn’t near the contenders’ pit by a long shot and come to think of it, so is Alcantara for that matter. It would hence be sensible to have both fighters paired up against each other next, in a match-up that will determine who deserves to take a step up, and who does not.

TimKennedy_Headshot

  • Name: Tim Kennedy (18-4)
  • Who he should face next:  Winner of Gegard Mousasi (34-4-2) vs. Mark Munoz (13-4) at UFC Fight Night 41

Tim Kennedy suffered a broken hand in his main event contest with Michael Bisping on Wednesday night, which means he could be on the shelves for months to come. At the post-fight press conference, the American voiced his interest in facing the winner of the bout between Gegard Mousasi and Mark Munoz. Is it practical? I for one believe it is so. Kennedy’s win over Bisping cemented the American a spot in the top ten rankings. Mousasi/Munoz are two fighters also worthy of being in the upper echelon of the division so we could see this match-up in the fold by year’s end.

For full TUF: Nations Finale results, click here.

*Pictures credit: Ultimate Fighting Championship

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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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