Fights To Make After UFC Fight Night 33

By Raphael Garcia

UFC Fight Night 33 didn’t seem like a major card to get excited for as it approached. However, once the night finished, the main event had left everyone standing on their feet in praise. Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva capped off the card with one of the greatest heavyweight fights to ever grace the sport of MMA. Looking forward, here are some fights that can be created for those that found victory at UFC Fight Night 33:

Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva 2

While neither fighter gained a win for his resume, this is the type of fight that gives fighters a wealth of new fans. Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva showed that not all heavyweight affairs have to end before three rounds for them to be exciting. With every exchange and near finish the roar of the crowd became louder and louder. The UFC needs to make an immediate rematch for these two, not only because the division needs to build new contenders, and not only because of the opportunity to make a large amount of revenue, but because the anticipation around this fight has the power to carry a free televised card due to how badly fans want to see it.

Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva 2 should be booked for a Fox card towards the end of the first quarter of 2014.

Mauricio Rua vs. the winner of Lyoto Machida vs. Gegard Mousasi 

Mauricio Rua needed only 63 seconds to remind the MMA world that he isn’t as done as many were saying. He left James Te Huna prone on the canvas and created a new wave of excitement as rumors began to swirl about him moving to middleweight. He would make an interesting opponent for the winner of the UFC Fight Night 36 main event of Lyoto Machida vs. Gegard Mousasi.

Another fight against Machida comes with the built in story of the 1-1 record that they have against each other. It would be interesting to see how this fight would play out in a new weight class and who could come out on top. And Mousasi is still a new fighter to the UFC mainstream fan, so if he were to be matched against both Machida and Rua in back-to-back fights and prove victorious, the organization would have developed a new star for the 185-pound weight class.

Rua vs. the winner of Lyoto Machida vs. Gegard Mousasi could be a main event bout for an upcoming UFC Fight Night in 2014.

Clint Hester vs. Thales Leites 

Clint Hester looked very promising in his fight against Dylan Andrews before his opponent was forced out due to a shoulder injury. The former Ultimate Fighter competitor has steadily improved since his stint on the show and has won two straight fights in the Octagon. His next fight should come against a veteran of the UFC who’s had a run of success of his own in Thales Leites.

Leites has looked very good since his return to Zuffa employ earlier this year. He would be a true test of where Hester belongs in the middleweight division. The former title challenger would present some stylistic challenges to Hester that he has not seen at this point in his career, but would need to pass in order to move up the rankings at 185 pounds.

Clint Hester vs. Thales Leites would work as a preliminary fight for any type of UFC card in 2014.

Takeya Mizugaki vs. Eddie Wineland 

Takeya Mizugaki has strung together four straight wins that have largely gone unnoticed in the UFC’s bantamweight division. At this point he should be placed behind only Rafael Assuncao on the title challenger list. Pitting him against a recent contender in Eddie Wineland will determine whether he is ready to move to the next level or is merely a fringe contender at 135.

Mizugaki looked very good against Nam Phan at UFC Fight Night 33. He kept the pressure on his foe while using his technical boxing to score in every round. He would have to stay moving in such exchanges against Wineland due to Wineland’s ability to land from distance. He has some of the best boxing in the division and has leaned on it for his recent success.
Takeya Mizugaki vs. Eddie Wineland could be used to open a main card for an upcoming UFC pay-per-view.

Ryan Bader vs. Daniel Cormier 

Ryan Bader is 16-4 in the UFC, but fans often forget how good of a fighter he has been throughout much of his career. He’s struggled against elite fighters in the division, but should never be truly counted out when matched against many fighters the UFC has to offer. In fact, he would be an interesting test for fellow wrestler Daniel Cormier who is making a move to 205.

Cormier was recently announced as the next opponent for Rashad Evans in the main event of UFC 170, but if that fight were to fall through, Bader would make a fine replacement. In Bader, Cormier would face a wrestler who might have the ability to stifle some of the takedowns he has used to dominate opponents up to this point in his MMA career. Bader also never shies away from throwing punches, though that hasn’t always worked out for him in the past. If Cormier is destined to be the light heavyweight title challenger many see him as, Ryan Bader would be a great test for him once he makes the move.

Daniel Cormier vs. Ryan Bader would be a fight that could be featured on the main card of a UFC PPV bout.

UFC Fight Night 33 gave fans a lot to be excited for once the event was over. These suggested fights would keep fans talking about the winners of the contests, while building new faces for the UFC to promote.


UFC Fight Night 33: Hunt vs. Bigfoot took place on December 7, 2013 at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. (Due to the time differences, the event aired on December 6 in the United States.)

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