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 on Fuel TV 9: Mousasi vs. Latifi, which took place on April 6 from the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.

Gegard Mousasi vs. Ryan Bader

In the main event of UFC on Fuel TV 9, Gegard Mousasi defeated Ilir Latifi, who stepped in on just a few days’ notice for teammate Alexander Gustafsson, by unanimous decision.

This was the UFC debut for Mousasi, but he didn’t deliver an impressive finish to wow over the MMA community. For this reason, it’s hard to place Mousasi higher up in the rankings, especially since it was a win over a UFC newcomer competing in the biggest fight of his career on short notice.

After the fight, Mousasi said he will have knee surgery, which makes it difficult to determine who his next opponent will be inside the Octagon. However, one name that stands out is Ryan Bader, who, like Mousasi, will be out of action for several months due to a knee injury.

Not only will the timing aspect make this fight possible, but so does where the two rank in the 205-pound division. Both are on the verge of breaking into the top 1o, so this makes sense in many ways.

Ross Pearson vs. Jamie Varner

In the co-main event of the evening in Sweden, Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson welcomed Ryan Couture to the Octagon, but sent him packing with a TKO in the second round.

Pearson is now 2-0 since returning to the lightweight division and has shown his ability to finish his opponent with his hands in those two fights.

Up next for Pearson should be another step up in the division, possibly someone like Jamie Varner. Varner is 2-1 since returning to the UFC, with his last win coming against Melvin Guillard, in which Varner won via split decision.

Neither Pearson nor Varner is considered a top-15 fighter yet, but they are knocking on the door as long as the wins continue to pile up. This match-up is solid due to the fact both are comfortable standing and on the mat, and it would be crucial to help their resume.

Matt Mitrione vs. Brendan Schaub

After dropping his last two fights to Cheick Kongo and Roy Nelson, Matt Mitrione returned to his winning ways by knocking out Phil De Fries in just 19 seconds.

The knockout was strange, as De Fries’ head appeared to have hit Mitrione’s knee, which stunned him and allowed “Meathead” to get the finish. However, a win is a win, and Mitrione will move forward to build upon the victory.

The next opponent for Mitrione should be Brendan Schaub, who is also coming off a win following two straight losses. When comparing their two records, Schaub and Mitrione are similar. Both were on a bit of streak, then lost two in a row before bouncing back. Stylistically, they are also very similar, with 12 knockouts between them, making this a match-up with fireworks written all over it.

Brad Pickett vs. Michael McDonald

The “Fight of the Night” bonus on Saturday was awarded to Brad Pickett and Mike Easton, who put on an exciting fight for the Swedish fans. Pickett would get the nod by split decision.

With the win, “One Punch” is back on track after losing to Eddie Wineland at UFC 155. Regardless of that loss, Pickett was still a top-10 bantamweight coming into the fight and will remain there with this win.

Due to putting on exciting fights each time he steps in the cage, Pickett is a guy who will always have a job in the UFC, but he hasn’t been able to reach the top five yet in his career to earn a title shot. With a couple more wins, he could reach that point by the end of the year.

Following the event, Pickett mentioned Michael McDonald as a possible opponent up next for him, and it makes a ton of sense actually. McDonald is coming off a loss to Renan Barao for the interim title, but is still in the top five of the division. He’ll have an opportunity to bounce back, and a fight with Pickett would be a solid win to add to boost him back into title contention.

These two never fail to put on entertaining fights, so expect this to be a future match-up.

Diego Brandao vs. Rani Yahya

Diego Brandao impressed fans on Saturday with his submission skills, as he forced Pablo Garza to submit with a arm-triangle choke in the first round.

The Ultimate Fighter season 14 winner is now 2-1 since winning the show and continues to improve after each win. Brandao deserves a step up in competition, and a guy like Rani Yahya will provide him with a test.

Yahya has also won two fights in a row and is as good as they come as far as grapplers in the featherweight division. But the fact that Brandao is capable of knockouts and submissions creates a solid match-up on paper and a huge fight for the 25-year-old up-and-comer.

Photo: Gegard Mousasi (Ryan O’Leary/Sherdog)

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.

  • unbeknownst

    - Gegard Mousasi vs. Glover Teixeira/James Te Huna (winner)

    – Ross Pearson vs. Donald Cerrone/KJ Noons (winner)

    – Matt Mitrione vs. Stipe Miocic/Soa Palelei (winner)

    – Brad Pickett vs. Urijah Faber/Scott Jorgensen (winner)

    – Diego Brandao vs. Conor McGregor

    • Corey Adams

      I like Mousasi vs. Teixeira-Te Huna winner, but the timing is a bit off, which is why I went with Bader instead.

      Pearson vs. Cerrone or Noons may be possible, but a win over Ryan Couture, who was making his debut, doesn’t make him a top 15 lightweight just yet.

      Mitrione vs. Schaub makes perfect sense, but now with his suspension, that isn’t going to happen unfortunately.

      Pickett and Jorgensen fought back in 2010, but I agree that Faber vs. Pickett is possible, depending on Faber’s performance.

      And lastly, Brandao-McGregor would be very entertaining, but I’m not sure how far they will push Mcgregor, so we’ll see.

      Thanks for the input.

      • unbeknownst

        I don’t know the extent of either Mousasi’s or Bader’s injury. However, I can’t see the UFC giving Mousasi a wrestler yet. I like the idea of having two former TUF winners fighting, Bader vs. Forrest Griffin.

        You have to remember that Pearson is coming off not just two wins, but wins as the co-main event and the main event respectfully. He has notoriety beyond his current ranking. Cerrone doesn’t do well against other top LW (so far). You can make the argument that Noons doesn’t deserve a fight against a UFC vet and top ranked fighter like Cerrone, but they know it’ll an exciting match-up. Just like Pearson vs. Cerrone or Noons would be as well.

        Mitrione seems to prefer fighting against in the lower part of the HW field. I had the advantage of knowing about Mitrione’s suspension, and the Stipe Miocic/Soa Palelei fight is further enough out there so that when the victor is ready to fight again Mitrione will be off suspension.

        Yes, Pickett and Jorgensen fought in 2010. But it was a really close and entertaining FOTN in the WEC. No good reason two of the more notable BW UFC fighters couldn’t be matched up again. But really I think Pickett vs. Faber is the real fight here. These guys are WEC/UFC vets that have never faced each other. I know Pickett was talking about McDonald after his last fight, but outside of a title shot there really isn’t a bigger fight for him at BW. Possibly a #1 contender fight.

        Brimage was 3-0 in the UFC, making him a fringe top 20 FW by default. That’s a tough task for someone making their UFC debut. Brandao is a top 20 FW, but not a top 15 yet. In my opinion, this is the perfect progression for a guy like McGregor. In a fight that is scientifically designed to be awesome.

        Did any of my points sway you?

        • Corey Adams

          I agree with you that Mousasi vs. Glover-Te Huna winner makes a lot of sense, and I would have included that if it were not for Mousasi announcing he will have knee surgery. Timing is off.

          You make a good point on Pearson. He has looked great since moving back down to 155, but I want to see him against a guy like Varner before I give him someone like Cerrone, who should defeat Noons.

          With Mitrione being pushed back in terms of his next appearance, sure I’ll buy into him fighting the Miocic-Soa winner.

          With Pickett, you could put this guy in any fight and he’ll deliver. Dana is a huge fan of Pickett, which could mean they will give what he wants (McDonald), but Faber-Jorgensen winner is there as well. I think it will just come down to Faber’s performance. With Cruz still sidelined, it makes the bantamweight landscape so unknown.

          What I like about Brandao-McGregor is timing. It’s perfect, obviously. You have swayed me on this one to an extent. McGregor seems to be a guy they will push differently from other newcomers because of his popularity.