UFC: 5 Fights To Make After UFC Fight Night 29
5 Fights To Make After UFC Fight Night 29
UFC Fight Night 29 may not have been the best show the UFC has put together, but there are still many things to learn from the event.
In the main event, Jake Shields was able to edge out a decision against Demian Maia. Shields came into the fight having just beat Tyron Woodley by split decision. He would beat Maia in the same fashion. The win will not shoot Shields straight to the top even, if Maia was riding a three-fight win streak against decent opposition.
For Maia, he missed out on an opportunity to show UFC brass he could compete at the elite level. Even with the loss, Maia doesn’t fall outside the top-10 because the fight could have gone either way. Had Maia lost by submission or was completed dominated in the fight; it would be a different story.
Dong-Hyun Kim knocked out welterweight prospect Erick Silva in the co-main event. Going into the contest as an underdog, Kim showed the world how talented he is. Now on a three-fight win streak, it should be about time for the UFC to step up the competition. Kim has only lost twice in the UFC (Carlos Condit and Maia).
For Silva, it’s back to the drawing board. He has not been able to string a pair of wins together since he beat Francisco Ayon in his exiting bout in Jungle Fight and Luis Ramos in his UFC debut. It is doubtful that the UFC will put Silva against a top-10 fighter in the division.
In the wake of UFC Fight Night 29, here are five fights the UFC needs to make:
5. Erick Silva vs. Rousimar Palhares
Erick Silva is a talented fighter and always brings fire when he competes. Despite all the hype when he first entered the octagon, he has failed to win a fight against decent opponents.
Losing to Dong-Hyun Kim definitely set Silva back. Getting knocked out by Kim, a fighter better known for his pressure and decision victories, didn't help the situation.
The loss proved that Silva needs to take the time to develop and mature. A fight against Rousimar Palhares should do the trick. Palhares submitted Mike Pierce using his signature heel hook at UFC Fight Night 29.
The fight would be a step up in competition for Palhares, who was on the brink of being released following back-to-back first-round knockouts to Alan Belcher and Hector Lombard.
4. Thiago Silva vs. Shogun Rua/James Te-Huna winner
It was an ugly, ugly fight, but Thiago Silva pulled out the unanimous decision victory over Matt Hamill. The victory gives Silva, who looked completely out of shape going into the Hamill fight, back-to-back wins. He knocked out Rafael Cavalcante in the first round at UFC on Fuel TV 10 earlier in the year.
There are things Silva needs to do to improve his game. Getting in shape would definitely be one of them. To compete at the level many thought he would in the past, Silva needs to buckle down and focus on the fight game.
A fight with the winner of Shogun Rua and James Te-Huna would be a good fight for Silva. Rua and Te-Huna will lock horns in December at UFC Fight Night 33. Both men are coming off loses. Te-Huna was submitted in his last outing against light heavyweight title contender Glover Teixeira. Rua lost by submission to Chael Sonnen at UFC Fight Night 26.
3. Dong Hyun Kim vs. Martin Kampmann
Dong Hyun Kim pulled off the upset, if you want to call it that, on Wednesday against Erick Silva. Kim knocked Silva out in the second round. Though Kim was also hurt badly during the fight, he stayed cool, calm and collected and was able to pull off the victory. The win gives him three in a row (Silva, Siyar Bahadurzada and Paulo Thiago).
The victory over Silva should be enough to open the eyes of UFC matchmakers. Stun Gun may not always be the most exciting fighter, but he is talented.
It's time to give Kim a step up in competition to see what he is really made of. A fight with Martin Kampmann would be a perfect test for Kim. Kampmann, who is currently ranked sixth in the UFC rankings, is coming off back-to-back losses to Carlos Condit and Johny Hendricks.
2. Damien Maia vs. Carlos Condit/Matt Brown loser
The Damien Maia/Jake Shields fight turned out just like everyone expected it to. It was basically a grappling match with a few kicks and punches thrown in. Maia walked away in defeat after five grueling rounds. The loss snapped Maia's three-fight winning streak.
The split-decision loss doesn't set Maia back to far. He could still be considered a top-10 fighter in the UFC welterweight division. Against an opponent with a lower level jiu-jitsu or wrestling, Maia may have come out on top.
The loser of the upcoming Carlos Condit/Matt Brown fight would serve as a great way to see if Maia is truly a future contender for the welterweight strap. Brown and Condit will fight in December at UFC on Fox 9. Condit will be coming of a win against Martin Kampmann, while Brown will be riding a six-fight win streak into the bout.
1. Jake Shields vs. Jake Ellenberger
Jake Shields was able to out-grapple Damien Maia on Wednesday. He pulled out the split-decision victory by the hair on his chin. The win gives Shields two wins in a row, both by split-decision. One of the most talked-about fighters during the Strikeforce roster import, Shields has yet to live up to expectations.
Now, having won three of his past four fights with one no-contest, it's rematch time for Shields. Give him Jake Ellenberger. Typically, it takes a while for rematches to happen, but in this case it wouldn't hurt to put them together. Ellenberger lost in his last outing to Rory MacDonald.
Ellenberger disposed Shields inside the first round two years ago. Shields has said at times that his head wasn't in the right place at the time. Let's see how true that is.
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