4 fights to make after UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Condit
Demian Maia made quick work of longtime contender Carlos Condit on Saturday night in their main event fight at UFC Fight Night from Vancouver.
Maia’s win over Condit was just one of four fantastic fights on the main card that saw the victors take huge steps forward in their UFC career. Let’s put on our matchmaking hat and look at some potential opponents for the winners at UFC Vancouver.
Demian Maia vs. The winner of welterweight title fight
UFC on FOX analyst Brian Stann said that Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson is fighting welterweight champion Tyron Woodley next, and UFC president Dana White has said much of the same. Woodley, however, has expressed a desire in fighting longtime contender Nick Diaz, next, as well as former champion Georges St-Pierre.
But regardless of who Woodley fights in his first title defense, Demian Maia deserves to challenge the winner of that fight.
Maia has won six straight fights at 170 pounds and has beaten the likes of Neil Magny and Matt Brown along the way. Former interim champion Carlos Condit was his latest victim, and he didn’t break a sweat locking in a first-round submission over “The Natural Born Killer.” Maia has done more than enough to earn his second UFC title shot.
Anthony Pettis vs. Frankie Edgar
Anthony Pettis made a splash in his UFC featherweight debut, defeating sixth-ranked Charles Oliveira by submission Saturday night at UFC Vancouver.
Pettis had previously lost three straight, including his UFC title, at lightweight before dropping to the 145-pound division. He now has new life after beating one of the best grapplers in the division and should be just outside the title conversation.
Pettis admitted in the post-fight press conference that he was focused on getting to the belt, and what better way to do so than to take on the main who just challenged for the interim title, Frankie Edgar.
Both of these guys are former lightweight champions and would love nothing more than to win a belt in their second weight class.
Paige VanZant vs. Maryna Moroz
Paige VanZant scored her second UFC TKO win Saturday against gritty strawweight Bec Rawlings, but that’s no reason for the UFC to push her forward against the division’s best. I’d like to see 10th-ranked VanZant matched up with someone like ninth-ranked Maryna Moroz.
Moroz submitted highly touted strawweight Joanne Calderwood in her UFC debut and has won two of three fights since. Like VanZant, she’s a volume striker who fights hard every second of every fight.
A fight with Moroz gives VanZant a challenge in the top 10, but doesn’t give her more than she can handle -- like her bout with title contender Rose Namajunas last December. VanZant has the potential to be a huge star for the promotion, but she’s still young and should take her time making her way to the belt, improving her skills along the way.
Jim Miller vs. Gilbert Melendez
Jim Miller edged Joe Lauzon at UFC Vancouver for his second win over the lightweight veteran and his second straight win at lightweight. After losing four of his previous five, Miller appears to have gotten back on track and is ready to challenge the lightweight top 15, where he spent most of his UFC career.
Sitting at No. 14 in the rankings is another lightweight great, Gilbert Melendez, who desperately needs to snap a three-fight losing streak. Matching Miller up with Melendez would allow both fighters to focus on their strength -- their striking -- and literally brawl for a spot in the lightweight top 15.