Following every UFC and Invicta FC event, The MMA Corner will break down the event and suggest fights the promotion should make in the future. This week, our focus is on UFC Fight Night 34, which took place on Jan. 4 from the Marina Bay Sands in Marina Bay, Singapore.

Tarec Saffiedine vs. Jake Ellenberger

In the main event of the evening—or morning, if you were watching in the United States—former Strikeforce welterweight champion Tarec Saffiedine picked up his first win inside the Octagon. Saffiedine defeated Hyun Gyu Lim by unanimous decision after five rounds of action in a bout also earned “Fight of the Night” honors.

The Belgian wasn’t originally supposed to fight Lim in the event. Lim served as an injury replacement for Jake Ellenberger. Ellenberger has had to nurse a hamstring injury, but it makes perfect sense to match the pair up again once he is healthy.

Now that the No. 10-ranked Saffiedine has a win in the UFC, it further proves he should fight a top-five opponent like Ellenberger. “The Juggernaut” is coming off a loss to Rory MacDonald at UFC on Fox 8 in July, so he’ll be itching to get back to action with plans of making a run toward the title.

Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Darren Elkins/Jeremy Stephens winner

After many years of waiting, Tatsuya Kawajiri finally earned his chance to prove himself in the UFC. Heralded as one of the top 145-pound fighters in the world, Kawajiri impressed in his debut bout on Saturday by submitting Sean Soriano in the second round via rear-naked choke.

The 35-year-old has now won his last six fights since falling to Gilbert Melendez for the Strikeforce title in 2011, and the former lightweight has a great opportunity to make an impact on the featherweight division. Up next for Kawajiri could be a match-up with the winner of the contest between Darren Elkins and Jeremy Stephens, who are expected to clash at UFC on Fox 10 on Jan. 25.

Just because Kawajiri has only one UFC win under his belt doesn’t mean he should be tossed in the lower tier of the division. “Crusher” is a legend in Japan and should fight quality competition in the UFC. A possible bout against one of these two men ranked in the top 15 should suit him well.

Kiichi Kunimoto vs. Neil Magny/Gasan Umalatov winner

It may not be the way Kiichi Kunimoto wanted to get his first UFC win, but he’ll certainly take the disqualification victory. Luiz Dutra was penalized for landing illegal elbows to the back of the head of Kunimoto, who as a result was unable to continue fighting. This gave the Japanese fighter the victory to increase his run to five in a row.

Up next for Kunimoto should be a bout against the winner of the bout featuring Neil Magny and Gasan Umalatov. The two welterweights face off at UFC 169 on Feb. 1, with both having a lot at stake. Another loss for Magny will likely send him packing after he lost his last two fights, and Umalatov will look to earn his first UFC win to remain with the promotion.

Kyung Ho Kang vs. Dustin Kimura

On Saturday, Kyung Ho Kang used the “third time’s a charm” phrase to his advantage to pick up his first victory on the big stage. Kang has previously held a UFC record of 0-1 with one no-contest, but added a “W” by submitting Shunichi Shimizu in the third round with an arm-triangle choke.

Meanwhile, on the preliminary portion of the card, Dustin Kimura notched his eighth submission victory by forcing Jon delos Reyes to tap in the first round.

There were a total of four bantamweights who earned wins on Saturday, but considering Kang and Kimura have more than one UFC fight under their belt, it makes sense for the two to meet following their wins in Singapore.

Max Holloway vs. Robbie Peralta

In the final bout of the preliminary card, Max Holloway returned to his winning ways to stop Will Chope in the second round via TKO. “Blessed” had previously dropped back-to-back decisions to Dennis Bermudez and Conor McGregor, but now has his career back on track. At just 22 years old, Holloway is still growing as a fighter while already compiling a 4-3 record in the UFC.

A fight against Robbie Peralta makes perfect sense for Holloway’s next outing. Peralta kicked off UFC 168 on a high note by knocking out Estevan Payan in the third round to avoid a second consecutive loss.

With both men having rebounded with wins, it’s time for the two featherweights to meet to determine who moves another step forward in the division.

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.