By Rick LaFitte @RickLaFitte on March 25, 2014
While the rematch between Dan Henderson and Mauricio Rua was the focal point of UFC Fight Night 38, the event in Brazil this past weekend proved a pleasant surprise. While the two legends delivered another thriller, there were other impressive individual efforts on a night that featured brutal knockouts, slick submissions and controversy.
Here are the top five fights to make after UFC Fight Night 38.
Jussier Formiga delivered a signature UFC win by submitting veteran Scott Jorgensen in the first round. He’s now ranked at No. 6 in the 125-pound divison, and a matchup against the rugged Moraga would be a solid next step. The No. 4 ranked Moraga is coming off a hard-fought decision victory over Dustin Ortiz.
C.B. Dollaway looked outstanding in brutalizing Cezar Ferreira in just 39 seconds, and sent a rowdy Brazilian crowd into stunned silence. He’s clearly ready for top-15 competition moving forward, and the winner of the Romero/Tavares clash at UFC on FOX 11 would be a solid next test for “The Doberman.”
Fabio Maldonado has won three straight after his brutal beat down of Gian Villante at Fight Night 38. The effort should warrant him a higher caliber opponent next. Cavalcante looked terrific in a first round finish of Igor Pokrajac in his last bout, and possesses the type of power that would be a great matchup for Maldonado’s volume striking and granite chin.
Mauricio Rua had Henderson badly rocked twice, but was unable to secure the finish in the rematch. He paid the price when he was brutally finished in Round 3 and sustained a broken nose. If Rua opts to keep fighting as a light-heavyweight, a matchup against “Lil Nog” would seem an ideal headliner for a future Brazilian event. They fought in Pride back in 2005, but a scheduled rematch at UFC 161 was scuttled by an injury.
Dan Henderson’s tremendous come-from-behind KO win over Rua all of a sudden makes a potential matchup against Daniel Cormier an attractive fight to consider. Both top-10 competitors are hoping to state their case for a future title shot, and this fight would allow the winner to do just that. Cormier is in need of a major step-up in opposition after barely breaking a sweat in pounding out Patrick Cummins at UFC 170.
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