UFC 180:

Kelvin Gastelum vs. Tyron Woodley: Gastelum absolutely torched Jake Ellenberger. He looked better in every aspect of the fight with his first round submission victory, and there might not be anybody better at scrambles in the division. With an undefeated record, both promotionally and professionally, Gastelum is inching closer and closer to the top 5 range for welterweights. It would make sense to match Gastelum with a proven, top-tier welterweight like Tyron Woodley. If he were to beat Woodley, it would probably move Gastelum one fight away from a title shot. If Woodley wins then he would get back into the title contention range and Gastelum is young enough where a loss to a top 5 opponent wouldn’t derail his career.

Fabricio Werdum vs. Cain Velasquez: This one has to be the fight if Velasquez can come back from his injury. A unification bout for the UFC Heavyweight Championship in Brazil or Mexico would be electric and one of the most anticipated fights of 2015. My dream scenario is that Cain is healthy by March; he would have March and April for camp, and hopefully ready for a card on either May 2nd or May 9th in Mexico City. Now we also must prepare just for the scenario that Velasquez still isn’t ready to return and is stripped of his heavyweight championship. If that were the case, I would like to see Werdum vs. the winner of Junior dos Santos and Stipe Miocic at the UFC on Fox in December. Dos Santos already knocked Werdum out in his UFC debut back in 2008 and Miocic is riding a three-fight win streak with some impressive performances.

Bellator 131:

Will Brooks vs. Dave Jansen: Will Brooks put away any doubts that he is the best lightweight in the promotion and probably a top 10 lightweight in the world on Saturday night with his win against Michael Chandler. Unless we see Scott Coker go out and sign somebody else, Dave Jansen is the deserving candidate for Brooks’ next title defense. The former WEC fighter is 7-0 since coming to Bellator and he won the season 7 lightweight tournament. Brooks and Jansen would make a good co-main event for the fight I want to talk about next.

Tito Ortiz vs. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal: I went back and forth on this for a while between King Mo and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Nobody is really certain of Rampage’s future in Bellator, even though there are rumors of plans to bring Jackson back in May. I personally would be more interested to see Tito go against King Mo. The trash talk and the dislike for one another were already clearly present at the Bellator 131 post-fight press conference. We’ve already been through the promotional period of a Rampage vs. Tito matchup; let’s make this fight happen instead.

WSOF 15:

Justin Gaethje vs. Luiz Firmino: Justin Gaethje is solidifying himself as the man at 155 for the World Series of Fighting. He’s defended his belt twice against two strong challengers in Melvin Guillard and Nick Newell. Luiz Firmino is rolling, winning five in a row including bouts with Toby Imada, Jacob Volkmann, and Tyson Griffin. If he can deal with the deadly leg kicks of Gaethje, Firmino would stand a decent chance against the champion.

David Branch vs. Krasimir “The Wrestler” Mladenov: I think that Mladenov is one of the most intriguing prospects under the World Series of Fighting banner. Mladenov fights out of Bulgaria and his nickname gives you a peak at his strategy. He has world-class takedowns with the repertoire of submissions he can use to get the finish. Since coming to the WSOF, Branch has looked like a completely different fighter. Let’s put the now established champion against the best middleweight prospect in the promotion and see what happens.

About The Author

Blane Ferguson
Associate Editor/Senior Staff Writer

Blane can trace his MMA roots, like many others, to the finale of the first Ultimate Fighter season between Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin. After watching that incredible fight and cleaning the local Blockbuster of any recorded UFC pay-per-views they had, Blane was hooked on watching the sport and he carried that passion with him to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Blane is a four-year broadcasting veteran of ASU's campus radio including a founder and co-host of the station's combat sports show, The Final Round.