UFC on ESPN 15 brought a ton of action, featuring incredible comebacks and upsets alike. There were also several potential prospects on display who could have a bright future in the UFC. The UFC on ESPN 15 Post-Fight Matchmaker picks the next opponents for all of the main card winners.
UFC on ESPN 15 Post-Fight Matchmaker
Daniel Rodriguez vs. Alex Oliveira
It was an exciting fight while it lasted, but Daniel Rodriguez came back from nearly being finished to getting a TKO finish of his own against Dwight Grant. The win moves him to 3-0 in the UFC, and he is proving to be a threat in the 170-pound division. A matchup for “D-Rod” that would easily be a Fight of the Night contender on any card would be Alex Oliveira. Ever the fan-favourite, “Cowboy” Oliveira has won two in a row and is always a tough out with lots of experience against some of the division’s best. The winner could insert themselves into the welterweight rankings with a win or at least set themselves up for that in their following fight.
Shana Dobson vs. Rachael Ostovich
In what may be one of the biggest upsets in UFC history, Shana Dobson defeated highly-touted prospect Mariya Agapova by TKO in the second round. Agapova had a clear crash in energy after coming out like her hair was on fire in an effort to defeat the opponent she had called out two months earlier. “Danger” Dobson’s win snapped a three-fight skid and brought her back to an even 4-4 on her career. Even with the win, Dobson has a relatively unclear path forward. A reasonable next opponent for her would be TUF 26 castmate Rachael Ostovich. Ostovich is currently on a two-fight skid of her own and sports a 4-5 record overall. She is planning on returning to action soon following her suspension by USADA that is set to end next month.
Joe Solecki vs. Joel Alvarez
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Joe Solecki played to his strengths from the start of the fight, pulling off a slick submission of Austin Hubbard in the first round. The standing rear-naked choke was his seventh choke submission in his ten career wins. He is now 2-0 in the UFC and looking to have a bevy of potential in a stacked lightweight division. For his next fight, Solecki should face fellow submission specialist “El Fenomeno” Joel Alvarez. Just over a month ago, Alvarez sent Joe Duffy into retirement with a guillotine choke submission. Of the Spaniard’s 17 wins, 15 are by submission, with 14 coming by some form of a choke. The winner of what should be a grappling fan’s dream would be in position for a big step up in competition for their next fight.
Mike Rodriguez vs. Maxim Grishin
“Slow” Mike Rodriguez pulled even in his UFC career on Saturday night, making quick work of Marcin Prachnio in a TKO victory. The CES MMA veteran is now 2-2 in the UFC, along with one no contest. He will look to build momentum towards contention in his next fight, and he should do so against Maxim Grishin. The former Professional Fighter’s League veteran debuted in the UFC last month in a losing effort up a weight class against Marcin Tybura. The next fight for “Maximus” will be in his natural light heavyweight division, where he has more potential for success. A fight against Rodriguez would work to determine how much success there will be for the 36-year-old Russian.
Frankie Edgar vs. Dominick Cruz
Former UFC lightweight champion and two-time featherweight title challenger Frankie Edgar made a successful bantamweight debut in a split decision win over Pedro Munhoz. With the win, “The Answer” became just the eleventh fighter in UFC history to win in three separate weight classes. He now moves right into title discussions right away. While the next title challenger for Petr Yan will almost certainly be Aljamain Sterling, Edgar could easily stake his claim as the next in line with another win.
His ideal next opponent is Dominick Cruz. Cruz lost his most recent fight in a title shot against Henry Cejudo, but the controversial stoppage and Cruz’s impeccable pedigree make him an easy candidate for another shot soon. This fight is also a dream for UFC fans from the early 2010s, as both fighters were UFC champions and defending their titles in 2011. They are still top-tier fighters, and their fight would feature a dizzying pace with incredible technicality in what would surely be the main event of a Fight Night card.