The Main Card Losers
Lorenz Larkin vs. Derek Brunson – Okay it’s a lazy pick, but makes sense, right? Larkin took a couple of rounds to get going and dropped a decision against a tough guy in Brad Tavares, whilst Brunson looked impressive before the third round, where Romero caught him with a big right hand. The only thing that may get in the way of this is Brunson’s potential recovery time as he suffered a fractured jaw.
Mike Easton vs. Andy Ogle – I say give Easton a more winnable fight than he’s been given in the past, the UFC have rushed the tough featherweight far too much, giving him three top-10 fighters in a row with the second of the two being a closely contested contest with Brad Pickett. Easton is an entertaining and gritty guy, and I’d like to see him stick around; Ogle dropped his last fight and looked less than impressive – makes sense to me.
Dustin Ortiz vs. Campuzano/Montague winner – Ortiz showed that he can hang in there with a top ranked flyweight and therefore has earned a shot to get right back in the heap, and will do just that if he can get past the winner of the Campuzano vs. Montague bout. Both fighters are dangerous in different ways and are coming off short notice losses, so the winner of this fight would prove a tough test for Ortiz.
Sam Sicilia vs. Rani Yahya – I think this would be a really tough test for Sicilia, but it is winnable. Sicilia has a ton of knockout power for his weight class, while Yahya has scary jiujitsu, making it the classic striker vs. grappler affair. Another important thing to note is that Sicilia will not be outsized in the same way as he clearly was against Miller. Otherwise if he was able to make 135 that would be the move to make. I hope the Miller loss doesn’t indicate the end of Sicilia’s UFC run.
Costas Philippou vs. Uriah Hall – I quite like this match-up as it’s a step-up for Hall, but not a drastic one. Also, Philippou would be more than willing to trade on the feet with Hall in the same way that Leben did, and it would be interesting to see how he can fare against a higher level striker in the Cypriot Philippou. After losing to Rockhold decisively, taking his losing streak to two, Costas knows it’s do-or-die if he wants to stay relevant at middleweight – a win over Hall, and he’s back on track; a loss could spell the end of any future title shot hopes.