UFC Singapore: Holm vs. Correia – Fights to make

All the best, most interesting, and obviously coolest fights to make following the UFC’s most recent event in Kallang, Singapore. UFC Singapore may not have provided thrilling wall to wall action (at least not on the main card), but it did provide some much needed clarity for a few lingering questions, especially in the welterweight division. Is Dong Hyun Kim really among the welterweight elite? What about Tarec Saffiedine? Could Andrei Arlovski right his ship at heavyweight? Many of those answers were: No.
With those questions behind us, however, it’s time to figure out what comes next for the winners and losers of the UFC’s latest fight card. To do that, I’m going to be employing the classic Silva/Shelby model of fight booking. That means I’ll be pitting winners against winners, losers against losers, and similarly tenured talent against one another. If you’d like to take your own whack at it, leave a comment below starting with “People want to see me fight. It’s the Bethe effect. That’s why other girls are so jealous of me.” I’ll pick one winner out of the comments for next week’s event.
Joining me this week is BE reader Alteroc:
Hello, my name is Chris, but I go by Alteroc on B.E and Twitter (@crwate01 ). My first real interest in UFC started with UFC 92, and I became irretrievably hardcore at the beginning of 2011. Edgar/Maynard II, and Silva/Belfort will do that to a person. B.E was also a big part of my growing fandom, so I’d like to give a shout-out to the community at large for being generally awesome, and to Zane for letting me participate in the fight picking this week.
HOLLY HOLM
Chris – The UFC got the head-kick highlight they were looking for, and the rest of the fight might as well be locked up next to the Arc of the Covenant as far as casuals are concerned. The goal here has to be to set up Cyborg/Holm which might be the biggest non-Conor fight the UFC can put on at this point. Holm probably needs one more win, preferably impressive, to set that up though, and she’s not a totally safe pick against anyone in the Top 10. Enter Cindy Dandois. Dandois has a win over Megan Anderson, can fight at 145, has a Judo-black belt that will allow easy comparison to the Rousey fight, and most importantly, Holm will have a massive striking advantage. It gives Holm the best chance to look impressive going into a big matchup.
Zane – Welp. As promised you did make the case for Holly Holm vs. Cindy Dandois and I can see some of the crazy logic at work. But, it’s hard for me not to think that Alexis Davis would just be a better option along those lines. And I still don’t believe at all that Holm will fight Cyborg. If the UFC just wants to keep Holm afloat with wins then something like the Davis fight would be okay, or maybe even Katlyn Chookagian for a battle of MMA kiai’s. For me, however, I’d like to see her fight Liz Carmouche. Carmouche has improved a lot over the last couple years and it would be a good opportunity for her to really test her boxing, and for Holm to prove she can keeping picking up tough wins. Liz Carmouche vs. Holly Holm feels like the right fight to make.
BETHE CORREIA
Chris – There’s always going to be an athletic wall that Bethe will have difficulty overcoming, but she’s scrappy as can be and always willing to fight. She’s also only 5 years into her career. Ashlee Evans-Smith is in a similar spot in the rankings, is also coming off a loss, and is also at similar place in her career arc. Let them sort out the end of the Top 15.
Zane – Correia still does a lot with a little, but the real goal of this fight was surviving, showing she could stay smart and durable against a much much better athlete, and she didn’t get that done. As such, it’d be a good idea for her to take a step back and take on someone more her speed. This is where I would like to see Cindy Dandois. Like Correia, Dandois gets a lot done with out a lot of physical gifts, and while she isn’t ranked, like Correia she brings more notoriety with her than much of the rest of the division. It’s a good highlight fight for a UFC undercard. Correia vs. Dandois, book it.
MARCIN TYBURA
Chris – Marcin is on a three fight winning streak with two wins by KO. He doesn’t look ready for the elite of the division, but a fight with the winner of Volkov/Struve makes a lot of sense in terms of both rankings and competitiveness. The winner of that match would then be on a 4-fight winning streak and ready to take a shot at the big names in the division.
Zane – Unfortunately for Tybura, most of his best options are booked up or in some sort of career flux right now. Ben Rothwell and Josh Barnett and Frank Mir are all suspended, as is Ruslan Magomedov. Which leaves two obvious options: Fight Mark Hunt, or if he can’t get that bout, wait for a less notable opponent to free up. Personally, I’d say he should get the Hunt fight, not for the greatness of his performance (obviously) but because it’s free and they’ve got to fight somebody. Otherwise a fight with the Volkov/Struve or Browne/Oliynyk winner is much more in keeping with his Singapore performance.
COLBY COVINGTON
Chris – Covington is already one of the best wrestlers in the division, but I think he could use another fight or two to develop his striking before jumping into the deep end. Kamaru Usman looks more ready for the Championship push at this point. A match against the winner of Nelson/Ponzinibbio makes sense in terms of rankings, and the winner of that fight would absolutely deserve a Top 5 match-up next. In particular a fight against Nelson would give Covington a chance to show growth from his Warlley Alves loss.
Zane – While I like either a Ponzinibbio or Nelson fight (although Nelson is such a big step from Alves that it hardly seems like a test of the same skills), I don’t think there’s much sense in waiting on a wide open division that needs more bookings. In fact, there’s no reason not to match Covington up with Usman, right now, excepting the idea of pitting prospect against prospect. But with Leon Edwards, Neil Magny, and Kamaru Usman all ranked and coming off wins and unbooked, that’s probably where Covington should end up. Usman seems like he would be the most interesting of those tests. Pit D1 All-American against D2 champ. Colby Covington vs. Kamaru Usman.
DONG HYUN KIM
Chris – Kim is 13 years into his career, and while he figures to be a tough out for a while longer, his days in the Top 10 look finished. I’d like him to fight the loser of Ryan LaFlare/ Alex Oliveira. A fight against the loser of LaFlare/Oliveira presents a potential passing of the guard, and both LaFlare and Oliveira present interesting grappling match-ups for Kim.
Zane – Part of me would be interested to see a rematch of DHK’s 2008 fight with Matt Brown, but I’m not exactly sure how close Brown is to taking his next fight. And while I like the idea of the LaFlare/Oliveira loser against DHK, I’m going to say that he should take on the loser of Nelson vs. Ponzinibbio instead. That feels like a more high profile welterweight bout, where even the loser of that fight will still have some real momentum in the division and would be better for a fighter of Dong Hyun’s profile.
RAFAEL DOS ANJOS
Chris – RDA looked good against Saffiedine. I’m not sure I like his odds against the bigger Welterweights who can stuff takedowns like Lawler or Thompson, but RDA looks like a threat to most of this division. I’d prefer to see him against Jorge Masvidal. It’s a new matchup for two former lightweights, and stylistically it is almost guaranteed to produce fireworks. Make it a five rounder please.
Zane – I do love the idea of a Masvidal fight, but I really want that Masvidal/Thompson bout that both men have verbally agreed to. Instead, I think Neil Magny makes a perfect matchup for RDA. Magny has established himself as a top-5 gatekeeper in the division with his well rounded game, but he’s not quite a standout anywhere. And while he has the ability to finish bouts as they get into deeper waters, he’s not the kind of instant KO threat that could blindside RDA out of the gate. It should give RDA a good chance to continue implementing his pressure game at 170 against someone with a huge frame for the division.
TAREC SAFFIEDINE
Chris – Saffiedine has lost three straight and doesn’t have a particularly casual friendly style, so he might be getting cut here. I hope not though, because Welterweight has a lot of solid fighters just outside the Top 15. If Mike Pyle wants another fight that would be an interesting technical matchup, but for right now I favor a fight against Sean Strickland. Both guys need the win to stay near the top of the division and it should be a great out-fighting chess match.
Zane – I am 100% behind this Strickland fight, as an opportunity to see if Strickland can really make the jump to the top of the division and pick up a name win. The problem is, that it will probably be an exceptionally boring style clash, even if it’s the right fight for both men. So, while I’m going to agree with Chris, I’d throw Vicente Luque out there as a secondary option more likely to produce some fireworks.
LI JINGLIANG
Chris – The Leech never seems to have a lackluster fight, and once he gets his reads figured out in the first he’s an absolute terror to fight against. I’d like to see the UFC try to book him against Yancy Medeiros one more time. Both guys are stupid tough and devastating strikers throughout, and defensively suspect, at least in the first round. It’s a matchup that has Fight of the Night written all over it.
Zane – A fighter like Li Jingliang always has a dozen fights he could take in any given month. Guys like Zak Cummings, Sergio Moraes, Peter Sobotta, Yancy Medeiros, Nordine Taleb, Bryan Barberena… Basically any seasoned vet on a win makes for a strong fight right now. Of all those, I think Sobotta and Barberena are the two I’d be most interested in. Especially Sobotta, with his rapidly improved boxing/Muay Thai style. Peter Sobotta vs. Li JingLiang would be a great fight.
NAOKI INOUE
Chris – Inoue’s game looked extremely well put together for a 20-year-old fighter. His cardio was good, his grappling was dominant, and he had some sharp combinations on the feet. He’s only two years into his career, so hopefully the UFC will bring him along slowly. Jenel Lausa is a tough fighter who can challenge Inoue standing and who should be readily available for a Pacific card.
Zane – If Matt Schnell is still around, I think Inoue would be a great matchup there. Schnell’s the slicker striker, but has shown problems with his chin. On the ground it’d be a fantastic scrambling grappling match. While the promotion could otherwise go with someone like Lausa, I’d say they’d probably be best served to just sign more flyweights. If they don’t, I’m saying Matt Schnell.
OTHER BOUTS: Arlvoski vs. Duffee, Tuck vs. Hooker, Harris vs. Ledet, Asker vs. Milstead, Caceres vs. Fili, Dy vs. Benitez, Sasaki vs. Moraga, Scoggins vs. Elliott, Camacho vs. Ramos, Doane vs. Soto, Kwan Ho vs. Grant, de Tomas vs. Mokhtarian, Pudilova vs. Aldana, Ji Yeon vs. Mazany
Source: bloody