UFC Fight Night 105 sure delivered some much-needed action after an unfortunate lackluster pay-per-view event in UFC 208. The promotion headed back to Halifax, Nova Scotia for the second time, seeing the 11-fight card go down from the Scotiabank Centre.
In the night’s main event, heavyweight Derrick Lewis earned a second round TKO victory over Travis Browne. The bout took home “Fight of the Night” honors, pocketing both Lewis and Browne and extra $50,000 for their back-and-forth battle. Also on the main card saw Johny Hendricks have success in his middleweight debut with his unanimous decision over Hector Lombard. Other performances saw Sara McMann, Paul Felder, Thiago Santos, and Gerald Meerschaert earn impressive finishes.
But what should and could be next for those who competed Sunday night? Below, we provide the top five fights to make after UFC Fight Night 105.
5. Gavin Tucker vs. Marlon Vera
The undefeated streak of Gavin Tucker stretched to ten victories after his dominate performance over veteran Sam Sicilia. Utilizing a variety of footwork and impressive combinations, Tucker took unanimous 30-27’s on the judges’ scorecards, the first decision victory of his professional mixed martial arts career.
It’s tempting after his impressive performance to push Tucker with a high-level opponent; however, we may want to build him up a little more. A comment on Twitter from 24 year old Marlon “Chito” Vera caught my attention, who is coming off a decision win over Guangyou Ning. The bout was his first bout at featherweight and if he chooses to stay at 145 pounds, this may be the fight to make.
4. Elias Theodorou vs. Brad Tavares
Elias Theodorou pulled off the victory in front of the Canadian crowd, earning a tightly-contested decision over Cezar Ferreira. We’ve seen only one bump in the road in Theodorou’s career, having lost a lone fight to Thiago Santos in December of 2015. However, The Ultimate Fighter: Nations winner sees his record at 13 total triumphs with five knockouts showing improvements with each step into the octagon.
After over a year’s hiatus, Brad Tavares returned in September of 2016 to earn a split decision over Caio Magalhaes. The 13-fight UFC veteran has earned many notable victories in the time with the promotion including decision victories over Nate Marquardt and Lorenz Larkin. With Tavares still lingering at the top but slightly inactive in recent years, a bout with the rising Theodorou would see one possibly crack the top fifteen rankings.
3. Sara McMann vs. Raquel Pennington
Not only had Sara McMann‘s opponent Gina Mazany had four professional fights spanning over the course of eight years; she took the fight on short notice. McMann earned an easy first round arm-triangle choke, her second straight after defeating Alexis Davis in her prior outing. The former Olympic wrestler rides a three-fight win streak after suffering two defeats in the 2015 calendar year.
Raquel Pennington has looked nonetheless impressive since her split decision loss to Holly Holm in February of 2015. She now rides a four fight win streak having defeated and retired Miesha Tate in her last fight, the former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion. Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko is yet to be official, but it’s safe to assume this is guaranteed the next title fight. A battle between McMann and Pennington could and should definitely be a title eliminator bout, seeing the winner receive a shot at the Nunes-Shevchenko winner.
2. Johny Hendricks vs. Derek Brunson
It’s been awhile since we’ve seen Johny Hendricks in the win column. After dropping three straight fights, “Bigg Rigg” capitalized on his middleweight debut by earning a decision victory over former Olympic judoka Hector Lombard. A former UFC Welterweight Champion, Hendricks is now looking for his first back-to-back set of wins since a Carlos Condit decision and Martin Kampmann knockout over four years ago.
Derek Brunson’s performance didn’t grant him a win in the judges’ eyes over Anderson Silva, but it did for 19 of 24 media members. Before this loss and knockout defeat to Robert Whittaker, Brunson rode a five-fight win streak in the middleweight division with four straight first-round knockouts. With the wrestling credentials plus knockout power both Hendricks and Brunson posses, this could really make for an interesting and fun 185 pound battle.
1. Derrick Lewis vs. Mark Hunt/Alistair Overeem winner
Derrick Lewis has the personality and talent to be enjoyed by numerous fans. After surviving a body kick early in round one, Lewis rallied in the second to earn a brutal ground-and-pound knockout over 16-fight UFC veteran Travis Browne. After two wins and two losses early on in his UFC career, Lewis has now earned six straight victories with five by knockout. This six-fight streak is very impressive, as Lewis currently holds the longest stretch of wins in heavyweight competition.
UFC 209 is the promotion’s next event on March 4th, and kicking off the pay-per-view is a rematch between veterans Mark Hunt and Alistair Overeem. In a post-fight Fox interview, Lewis stated a strong interest to face Hunt in his next outing. “Mark Hunt’s going to come out and fight. He’s just like me; he’s going to come out and fight. It ain’t going to be a boring fight. He ain’t going to try to hold you or nothing like that. He’s just going to come out swinging and banging, like I always do.”
Well Derrick. If Hunt can get it done March 4th, he’s all yours.
Other fights to make after UFC Fight Night 105
Paul Felder vs. Joe Lauzon
Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Tarec Saffiedine
Randa Markos vs. Felice Herrig
Aiemann Zahabi vs. Marco Beltran
Thiago Santos vs. Chris Camozzi
Gerald Meerschaert vs. Eric Spicely
Travis Browne vs. Roy Nelson
Hector Lombard vs. Rafael Natal
Sam Sicilia: released
Cezar Ferreira vs. Antonio Carlos Jr.
Gina Mazany: signed by Invicta FC
Alessandro Ricci: released
Nordine Taleb vs. Albert Tumenov
Carla Esparza vs. Tecia Torres
Reginaldo Viera vs. Enrique Briones
Jack Marshman vs. Alex Nicholson
Ryan Janes vs. Garreth McLellan
What are your fight suggestions following UFC Fight Night 105? Leave your ideas in the comment section below.