UFC Fight Night 108 took place on April 22nd from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
In the main event, #4 ranked featherweight in the world Cub Swanson earned a fairly dominate decision victory over Artem Lobov, a former competitor on The Ultimate Fighter and a training partner of UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. Lobov now moves to 2-3 in the UFC, seeing Swanson earn his fourth straight victory by decision.
A two-year hiatus for Al Iaquinta did nothing to halt his performance, stopping 26-fight UFC veteran Diego Sanchez by first-round knockout in the event’s co-headliner. Numerous other fights and performances made excitement through the night, with Ovince Saint Preux’s Von Flue submission and Mike Perry’s inside elbow knockout.
After Bryan Barberena’s first round TKO, a scrap against Tim Means would be something worth the watch. How about seeing the winner of Henry Cejudo and Sergio Pettis face off against the 23-year-old Brandon Moreno, coming off a victory Saturday night?
With lots of matchmaking possibilities up for grabs, what are the top five fights to make after UFC Fight Night 108 in Nashville?
5) Ovince Saint Preux vs. Tyson Pedro
Ovince Saint Preux needed a win to save his UFC career, and he did in record-breaking style. A second-round Von Flue choke would force opponent Marcos Rogerio de Lima to tap, the second by this form of submission for Saint Preux. He is now the only fighter in UFC, WEC, PRIDE, and Strikeforce history to have two Von Flue choke finishes. After a three fight losing skid, this was his first victory in over a year and his first finish since knocking out Patrick Cummins in April of 2015.
The light heavyweight division is thin. Really thin, in regards to competition challenging for the belt. Probably the hottest prospect in the division comes in Tyson Pedro, undefeated with six victories all coming by finish inside the first round. His two UFC wins both came in impressive fashion, earning a “Performance of the Night” bonus in his debut over Khalil Rountree. This is one of my personal favorites on the list, and I hope this is what they’ve got planned next for each.
4) Mike Perry vs. Alberto Mina
It honestly looked like Mike Perry killed Jake Ellenberger with that inside-clinch elbow. I mean, Ellenberger didn’t even move for a couple minutes. Despite the controversial nature of his personal life, Perry continues to prove he means business inside the octagon. A decision loss a few months ago to Alan Jouban is his only career slip, having all ten of his wins come by knockout in various rounds.
There are a lot of good and exciting possibilities for Perry next. I’m suggesting his next opponent as Brazilian Alberto Mina, undefeated at 13-0 with three UFC wins including two over veterans Mike Pyle and Yoshihiro Akiyama. These two both have the capability of becoming something big in the UFC, along with possessing some big time knockout power. A win for either could shine them into the spotlight (and closer to the Top 10) fast.
3) Al Iaquinta vs. Beneil Dariush
Despite not having competed in just over two years, Al Iaquinta made quick work of Diego Sanchez with his 98-second first round knockout. Iaquinta had been working full-time as a real estate agent following his fight with Jorge Masvidal (Are you booing me?!) and contract issues with the UFC. With all that aside, Iaquinta has won his last five straight seeing four by knockout.
Now, Iaquinta isn’t too pleased with the UFC for not having received a post-fight bonus after his win. He’s also had a couple moments of disagreement with the promotion in the past. Assuming he’s planning on sticking around the fight game for another go, a very possible match-up is against Beneil Dariush, who just lost by flying knee to Edson Barboza in his last outing.
2) John Dodson vs. winner of Marlon Moraes/Raphael Assuncao
We didn’t see the “Rock’em Sock’em robots” battle we were possibly expecting for two small and heavy hitters, rather a clean and technical unanimous decision performance from John Dodson over Eddie Wineland. After two loses to flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson at 125 pounds, Dodson made the return to bantamweight (not competing in that weight class since 2011) in hopes to capture the title there. He’s now 2-1 after the switch, sitting right up there in the hunt for the title.
There were two options I was thinking for Dodson next. The first is having him face Jimmie Rivera, with one loss in 21 professional career fights. The second is pairing him up with the winner of Marlon Moraes vs. Raphael Assuncao, who will settle the score at UFC 212 on June 3rd in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I’m leaning more towards my second option, and maybe doing Rivera vs. Bryan Caraway as the other top bantamweight fight. Maybe? Just a pick and choose thing.
1) Cub Swanson vs. Chan Sung Jung
I think we all thought Cub Swanson would quickly take out Artem Lobov on Saturday. The finish never did arise, but Swanson would earn the unanimous decision victory landing 209 significant strikes over the 25-minute battle. Now with four straight unanimous decision victories and two back-to-back “Fight of the Night” bonuses, Swanson is right back into contention at the top of the division.
Swanson has yet to ever receive a title shot in the UFC, despite now having ten victories in the promotion. I don’t really think he gets the chance just yet, but it is definitely possible the matchmakers make that move. Jose Aldo and Max Holloway have a bout scheduled to determine the featherweight champion, and if someone pulls for injury Swanson could be the replacement. Chan Sung Jung, following two years of mandatory military service in South Korea, returned in vicious style last time out knocking Dennis Bermudez out in the first round. He’s a killer, Swanson’s a killer (cub). Let’s go ahead and make it happen.
Other fights to make after UFC Fight Night 108:
Stevie Ray vs. James Vick/Marco Polo Reyes winner
Thales Leites vs. Chris Weidman
Brandon Moreno vs. Henry Cejudo/Sergio Pettis winner
Scott Holtzman vs. Mitch Clarke
Danielle Taylor vs. Tatiana Suarez
Alexis Davis vs. Julianna Pena
Bryan Barberena vs. Tim Means
Hector Sandoval vs. John Moraga/Ashkan Mokhtarian winner
Artem Lobov vs. Alex Caceres/Guan Wang winner
Diego Sanchez vs. John Makdessi
Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Francimar Barroso
Eddie Wineland vs. Iuri Alcantara
Joe Lauzon vs. Ross Pearson/Daniel Hooker winner
Jake Ellenberger: released or retirement
Sam Alvey vs. Chris Camozzi/Trevor Smith winner
Dustin Ortiz vs. Louis Smolka
Michael McBride: released
Jessica Penne vs. Heather Jo Clark
Cindy Dandois vs. Sarah Moras
Joe Proctor: released
Matt Schnell: released