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 46, which took place on July 19 from The O2 in Dublin, Ireland.

Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier

Like him or not, you can’t deny the impact Conor McGregor has made in the UFC. Before McGregor arrived, the popularity of the UFC in Dublin was very low. Now, though, for the promotion’s second event there, the venue exploded once McGregor’s music hit. After four minutes and five seconds of fighting, the result was just what the fans came to see, as McGregor scored a TKO of Diego Brandao in the first round.

After McGregor was announced as the headlining bout, tickets were sold out in about an hour. If you don’t realize how big “The Notorious” one has become not just in Dublin, but all over the world, then you must not have been watching on Saturday. McGregor may have just three fights under his belt inside the Octagon, but he’s a star already.

The debate concerning McGregor is his rise to the top. The featherweight has yet to defeat a top-15 fighter in the division, but he is currently ranked 12th and is sure to move up again after Saturday’s win. Considering the quality of competition he has beaten, should he be in that position in the rankings? Honestly, no. But he’s already taken the sport by storm, and there should be no slowing him down.

McGregor should fight Dustin Poirier next for that reason, and the fact “The Diamond” has expressed interest over and over again on Twitter to “shut McGregor up.” Even though Poirier is six spots ahead of McGregor in the rankings and holds five more UFC wins, it will be a grudge match with high entertainment value.

Gunnar Nelson vs. Kelvin Gastelum

If it wasn’t for McGregor, the MMA community would be talking about Gunnar Nelson instead. Nelson put on a dominating performance in the co-main event, where he defeated Zak Cummings via rear-naked choke submission in the second round. The undefeated welterweight continues to back up his claim to being one of the fastest risers in the division, with three of his four UFC wins coming by submission.

The 25-year-old should now meet another fighter with a zero in the loss column. That man would be Kelvin Gastelum. Gastelum also has four wins in the UFC since winning The Ultimate Fighter 17 and, like Nelson, he has a bright future in this sport.

I wrote about the possibility of this match-up after Gastelum’s win over Nico Musoke last month, and Nelson’s performance on Saturday makes the idea of the fight more appealing. These are two names just outside the top 10 who are poised to break through, so a great deal will be on the line if this booking is made.

Ian McCall vs. John Lineker

Whenever Ian McCall or Brad Pickett step inside the cage, you can expect three rounds of entertainment. With that said, you can probably guess what happened on Saturday. McCall and Pickett went 15 minutes. After the final bell, “Uncle Creepy” was awarded the victory by unanimous decision.

McCall has now won back-to-back fights in the flyweight division, and while many thought the winner of this bout would be next in line for a title shot, McCall will need one more win to get another shot at Demetrious Johnson.

Chris Cariaso will fight “Mighty Mouse” next, while the remainder of the division sorts itself out to find the next No. 1 contender. But in a slim division, it’s clear that John Lineker stands as the big obstacle for McCall.

After Lineker knocked out Alptekin Ozkilic on Wednesday—and also made weight the day prior—it’s time for Lineker to start moving into title contention. The winner of McCall-Lineker would emerge as the guy next in line, unless of course another surprise name is called upon to fight the champion.

Norman Parke vs. Mitch Clarke

In front of screaming fans inside the O2, Norman Parke delivered what his fellow Irishmen were hoping for—a stoppage win. Parke defeated veteran Naoyuki Kotani by second-round TKO to open up the main card, improving his UFC record to 4-0-1.

To defeat a guy in Kotani, who previously held a 13-fight winning streak dating back to 2010, is no easy task. “Stormin” took a big leap by scoring his first finish inside the Octagon.

Up next for Parke should be Canadian Mitch Clarke. “Danger Zone” is coming off a “Performance of the Night” win over Al Iaquinta at UFC 173, and he will be looking to return to the cage soon after claiming the second-round victory via D’arce choke. A guy like Clarke gives Parke another tough challenge, but it is another opportunity for Parke to climb the rankings quickly just as other Ultimate Fighter winners have done.

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.