Fight Fixin’: Post-UFC 181 Winners Edition

By Adam Martin

Fight Fixin’ is a fantasy matchmaking article that comes out after every major event and features possible matchups for main card winners and/or losers from the previous event.

Robbie Lawler

In the main event of UFC 181, Robbie Lawler won a controversial split decision over Johny Hendricks to become the new UFC Welterweight Champion. Many thought that Hendricks did enough to edge out the decision, but two of the three Nevada judges sided with Lawler, and he became the new champ.

It’s going to be interesting to see what the UFC matchmakers do with Lawler next. It’s possible they do a trilogy bout with Hendricks, but they may wait on that. It’s also possible they do a rematch with Lawler and Rory MacDonald, an outcome most think is likely. However, as far as I’m concerned, since we’ve already seen Lawler handle both those guys I’d like to see a fresh matchup for the belt, and the guy who I want to see Lawler fight next is Georges St-Pierre.

I think this is a fantastic fight on paper and would be a massive pay-per-view seller if it does happen. I’m not sure if GSP will be back anytime soon, but if he wants to come back, now would be a good time to, with the UFC desperate for stars, and a fight against Lawler would be a huge matchup. It’s a pipe dream, but it’s the fight I want to see the most.

Fight to make: Robbie Lawler vs. a returning Georges St-Pierre

Anthony Pettis

In the co-main event of the pay-per-view card, Anthony Pettis was able to become the first man to stop Gilbert Melendez, finishing him in the second round with a beautiful guillotine choke. Pettis is absolutely the #1 lightweight fighter on the planet, and based on the way he has performed inside the Octagon, it’s hard to see him losing his title anytime soon.

Having said that, I think Khabib Nurmagomedov presents an interesting challenge to Pettis, and I think he should be the next in line for a title shot, as long as he’s healthy. I think Nurmagomedov can exploit Pettis’ weakness in wrestling and in the clinch like Melendez did, and I think he has a good shot at winning the belt. It’s hard to go against Pettis right now, but Nurmagomedov is the worst style matchup for him in the division, and I want to see these two fight and see who the better man is.

Fight to make: Anthony Pettis vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov

Travis Browne

In a heavyweight bout, Travis Browne was able to finish Brendan Schaub in the first round with ground and pound to keep his standing as a top contender in the UFC heavyweight division. Browne remains one of the top dogs in the shallow weight class, and with another win or two, he could be fighting for the belt.

I view Browne as a top guy at 265, and I also view Junior dos Santos and Stipe Miocic in the same light. Those two fight each other at UFC on FOX 13 this weekend, and the winner will maintain his spot as a legitimate top-tier heavyweight. Based on the rankings, Browne vs. either JDS or Miocic makes a lot of sense, and it could help determine who fights for the UFC heavyweight title next after Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez settle their business.

Fight to make: Travis Browne vs. the winner of Junior Dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic

Todd Duffee

In another heavyweight bout, Todd Duffee returned from a two-year injury layoff with a bang, as he knocked out Anthony Hamilton in just 33 seconds. Duffee needed a big win in a bad way to keep his stock high, and this was just that. The win extended Duffee’s win streak to three, and with a few more wins we could be talking about him as a title contender.

For his next fight I’d have Duffee take on Oleksiy Oliynyk, who also holds a finish win over Hamilton, and who is 2-0 in the UFC overall. Oliynyk is a tough veteran who doesn’t have a future as a title contender, so I see the UFC feeding him to a young gun like Duffee in a prospect vs. veteran type matchup.

Fight to make: Todd Duffee vs. Oleksiy Oliynyk

Tony Ferguson

In the lightweight bout that kicked off the main card, Tony Ferguson was able to outlast Abel Trujillo and come back after a poor first round to submit him in the second with a rear-naked choke. Ferguson improved to a four-fight win streak in the Octagon with the win, and he should fight someone ranked in the top 15 in his next fight.

There are a lot of great fights for Ferguson at lightweight, but how about a fight against Jim Miller? I think Miller is a tough guy who would provide a great test of how exactly Ferguson stacks up against a top-10 fighter, and if Ferguson wins, the UFC could have a new lightweight contender on its hands. It’s a great fight on paper, and I hope the promotion books it.

Fight to make: Tony Ferguson vs. Jim Miller


UFC 181: Hendricks vs. Lawler II (formerly UFC 181: Weidman vs. Belfort) took place on December 6, 2014 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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