By Rick LaFitte @RickLaFitte on April 17, 2014
Tim Kennedy continued his successful UFC journey by grinding out a well-earned unanimous decision victory over Michael Bisping in the main event of the TUF Nations Finale. With his third straight Octagon triumph, Kennedy has emerged as a legitimate middleweight title threat. On a night that featured some exciting performances, here are the Top 5 UFC fights to make after the TUF Nations finale.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports
This matchup is on the assumption that Noons returns to the lightweight ranks after destroying Sam Stout in a mere 30 seconds. The fight was contested at welterweight, so Noons has future options in a pair of weight classes. A fight against the winner of the Sanchez/Pearson clash in June would have the makings of a tremendous stand-up battle and would allow Noons to continue to showcase his boxing prowess.
Kaufman secured her first Octagon victory with a solid performance against Leslie Smith. Kaufman is looking to work her way into title contention and is traditionally involved in spirited battles. The winner of the Tate-Carmouche contest this weekend at UFC on FOX 11 would represent a good next step. Kaufman has previous wins over both competitors dating back to their time in Strikeforce.
Poirier delivered another impressive finish against Akira Corassani to pick up his third straight win and a Fight of the Night bonus. He’s an exciting featherweight who’s proven himself ready for a test against top-5 opposition. Lamas would fit that bill. “The Bully” is coming off a title loss against champion Jose Aldo and is a tough challenge for anyone in the 145-pound ranks.
Bisping’s days as a title contender may be winding down with three losses in his last five fights. “The Count” didn’t have his best night against the always tough Kennedy, but he is still deserving of one more high-profile opportunity to try and revive his career. A matchup against either Rockhold or Boetsch would represent a solid challenge. They are due to square off this month at UFC 172.
Kennedy’s stock is at an all-time high after getting the better of Michael Bisping. He’s on the cusp of a title shot and a victory over Souza could land Kennedy that opportunity. The two fighters met back in their Strikeforce days with “Jacare” earning a unanimous decision in their 2010 title bout. Both competitors are at the top of their games right now and it would be a high-level contest between two physically imposing fighters.
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