UFC Fight Night 79 marked the UFC’s debut in South Korea and, even though it began at 5am on the East coast, was a great
night morning of fights that featured lots of finishes and fun scraps. And talk about the split decisions — this card broke the record for most split decisions on one card, with a total of five.
In the main event, Ben Henderson remained undefeated at welterweight with a close decision (and yes, it was a split) victory over Jorge Masvidal, who, despite losing, impressed with his improved cardio.
With that, it’s now time to take over the role of UFC matchmakers Joe SIlva and Sean Shelby and match up the main card fighters with potential future opponents.
Ben Henderson: It’s tough to match Henderson up with someone because we really don’t know where he’ll go from here. Now currently a free agent, it’s very possible for him to test the market and sign with a rival promotion, such as Bellator MMA. Assuming he re-signs with the UFC, however, I believe he deserves a top 15 opponent next if he remains at 170-pounds. The winner of Tarec Saffiedine vs. Jake Ellenberger would make sense, but I wouldn’t be opposed to a higher ranked opponent like Matt Brown.
Jorge Masvidal: I don’t think this was a big setback for Masvidal, because as I said in my recap of this fight, Henderson is a tough opponent for anybody to face. Despite the loss, I think Masvidal should be given a chance to pick up a big win at welterweight. I like him vs. Erick Silva next, whenever the Brazilian is ready to return.
Dong Hyun Kim: Waters was an opponent Kim was supposed to beat, and he did. So now it’s time to give Kim, now riding a two-fight winning streak, another top 15 opponent. Neil Magny is coming off the biggest win of his career last weekend, so that’s the fight I want to see.
Dominic Waters: With the large amount of releases made as of late, I wouldn’t be shocked if Waters is let go by the UFC. I don’t think he should be, however, because he stepped up on very short notice against a top welterweight contender, less than two weeks prior to American Thanksgiving — something not too many people would be willing to do. A fight with Matt Dwyer would be pretty interesting, and both of them need wins badly, so set ‘er up.
Alberto Mina: Mina is undefeated but I’m not so sure he’s at that point to be fighting high level competition yet. There are definitely a few options like Richard Walsh and Dominique Steele, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s matched up with a UFC newcomer.
Yoshihiro Akiyama: Will fighting as a professional remain on Sexyama’s list of 100+ jobs? I can’t say for certain, but probably. Should it? I don’t like telling guys to retire, but, at 40-years old, probably not. If he doesn’t retire, though, a veteran who is on his way like him would serve well as a next opponent.
Doo Ho Choi: This kid has all the potential in the world. Two first-round stoppages in his UFC tenure; it can’t get any better than that for a young prospect like Choi. Even though he could be the next big thing in Asia, the UFC shouldn’t rush him up the rankings too quickly because he is far from perfect and isn’t ready for top competition yet. A fight with Mike De La Torre would be a tougher test to see where he’s really at.
Sam Sicilia: Sicilia is in a tough situation here because he just can’t put together a solid winning streak that would earn him a shot at a top 15 opponent before dropping a loss. He didn’t look good in this matchup whatsoever, but is still a fun fighter so he’ll stick around the UFC for a while. A fight with Kevin Souza would be fireworks and makes sense, so that’s the fight I want to see.
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