UFC Fight Night 175 was an interesting and fun card, despite the several changes it underwent along the way. It was a rare in the organization’s history to not feature a knockout or TKO. Moreover, the main card featured all unanimous decisions. This Post-Fight Matchmaker picks the next opponents for the main card fighters who were on the right end of those decisions.
UFC Fight Night 175 Post-Fight Matchmaker
Ricardo Lamas vs. Alex Caceres
“The Bully” Ricardo Lamas turned back the clock with a vintage performance, defeating the debuting Bill Algeo by unanimous decision. Lamas has had an up-and-down ride since losing in a title fight in 2014 against Jose Aldo, but this win proves that he can still hang with quality fighters. In the post-fight interviews, Lamas discussed two things: securing the freedom of the Cuban people from the Castro regime, and his potential retirement.
Lamas has been on the receiving end of some brutal KOs, and at 38 years old, retirement should be coming sooner rather than later. If he does continue to fight, though, a good matchup would be Alex Caceres. “Bruce Leeroy” is on a three fight win streak, including a submission win over Austin Springer on the prelims. Lamas would be a step up in competition for Caceres, while providing Lamas a solid test against a well-rounded veteran in what could be his final fight.
Alexa Grasso vs. Viviane Araujo/Montana De La Rosa winner
Alexa Grasso‘s flyweight debut went off without a hitch, defeating Ji Yeon Kim by an impressive unanimous decision. Grasso has alternated wins and losses in her seven UFC fights, but looked primed to right the ship in her new division. In a division short on true contenders for Valentina Shevchenko‘s title, the 27 year old can quickly rise to the top with another couple of wins. Next Saturday’s event will host another flyweight bout when eighth-ranked Viviane Araujo faces off against 12th-ranked Montana De La Rosa. The winner of that fight should face Grasso to quickly move up the division’s ladder.
Neil Magny vs. Stephen Thompson
In what was possibly the biggest win of his career, Neil Magny put an overwhelming amount of pressure on former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler to pick up a dominant unanimous decision victory. After almost a year and a half out of the Octagon, “The Haitian Sensation” looks to be in the best form in his career in 2020. Saturday night’s win made him the second-most winningest welterweight, only behind the great Georges St. Pierre.
His next fight should reflect both his recent performances and his winning pedigree. When thinking of that, former title challenger Stephen Thompson comes to mind. “Wonderboy” has only won two of his last six fights, but his opponents have generally been better than Magny’s and he is still ranked sixth in the division. The matchup itself would also be intriguing, combining Magny’s in-your-face volume striking with Thompson’s selective counter striking. This “bull vs. matador” style fight would be both fun and important for the division’s sake.
Aleksandar Rakic vs. Jiri Prochazka
In the main event, Aleksandar Rakic made easy work of Anthony Smith, pummeling “Lionheart” across three rounds en route to a unanimous decision. After losing a controversial split decision to Volkan Oezdemir in December, Rakic is back on track and looking to move into a higher level of contention. He called for a title shot for his next fight, but that is almost certainly not happening. He needs a couple more wins to even be considered for that opportunity.
A fighter in a similar position is Jiri Prochazka. “Denisa” debuted with the UFC in a big way in July, defeating the aforementioned Oezdemir by a devastating second-round knockout. The win put the newcomer right in the thick of the division’s rankings. He has proven to bring nothing but action, only going to decision twice in his 31 career fights. A Rakic-Prochazka fight would be an absolute barnburner with heavy implications for the light heavyweight division.
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