Fight Fixin’: Post-UFC Fight Night 65 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.

Stipe Miocic

In the main event of UFC Fight Night 65, Stipe Miocic absolutely brutalized Mark Hunt for five rounds to earn a fifth-round TKO win. Miocic struggled early on in the first round with Hunt’s power on the feet, but once the fight hit the mat it was all Miocic, and he just kept landing punches that brutally hurt Hunt until the referee finally stopped the fight due to strikes. It was the best performance of Miocic’s career, and he’s a bona fide title contender.

Miocic is a top contender, but considering that he recently lost to Junior dos Santos, he’s still a little bit behind in the title queue. That means he probably needs one more win before he gets his long-awaited title shot. I think it makes sense, then, that Miocic next squares off against the winner of Travis Browne vs. Andrei Arlovski, which takes place at UFC 187. A fight between the victor and Miocic would produce a legitimate title contender, so I expect the UFC to go this route.

Fight to make: Stipe Miocic vs. winner of Travis Browne vs.Andrei Arlovski

Robert Whittaker

In the co-main event, Robert Whittaker brutally knocked out Brad Tavares in the first round with punches. Whittaker looked incredibly fast on the feet, and his hands were even faster, as he was able to catch Tavares’ chin and brutally put him away. Whittaker is now 2-0 since dropping down to the middleweight division, and the TUF Smashes winner is quietly turning into a dark horse contender at 185 lbs.

After getting brutal knockouts in both of his UFC middleweight bouts, I believe it’s time Whittaker gets a step up into the top 10. Next week at UFC Fight Night 66 there’s a middleweight bout between top-10-ranked Gegard Mousasi and Costas Philippou. The winner of that fight makes sense for Whittaker’s next opponent, and if he can win that fight, he’ll be knocking on the door of the top five. Crazy.

Fight to make: Robert Whittaker vs. winner of Gegard Mousasi vs. Costas Philippou

Sean O’Connell

In a light heavyweight bout, Sean O’Connell knocked out Anthony Perosh in the first round. This was just a brutal matchup for the chinny Perosh, and it was amazing that the odds were so close heading into the fight, with O’Connell actually closing as a slight underdog. Clearly, though, he should have been the favorite all along, and now at 2-2 in the UFC with two straight knockout wins, he’s quietly making a case to break into the top 15 of the division.

O’Connell is in a tough spot now because the light heavyweight division is extremely shallow and there simply aren’t many fighters available for him to square off with next, especially fighters coming off of wins. That’s why I’m OK with the UFC giving O’Connell a fight against Rafael Cavalcante. “Feijao” hasn’t fought in a year, but he’s still ranked highly in the division, and O’Connell deserves a step up. So I say match these two up and let the fireworks explode.

Fight to make: Sean O’Connell vs. Rafael Cavalcante

James Vick

In a lightweight matchup, James Vick improved to 4-0 in the Octagon, as he submitted Jake Matthews in the first round with a guillotine choke. Vick is constantly underrated by fans and media, but he continues to get the job done. Now 8-0 in his pro career (plus a 3-1 record on the live season of TUF), Vick is a young stud and it’s time the fight world finally gets a chance to see just where he stacks up with the division’s best.

I know he’s coming off of a loss, but I’d love to see Vick take on Gleison Tibau next. Tibau is the ultimate gatekeeper at 155 lbs, and Vick deserves this step up in competition. He deserves the chance to sink or swim, and Tibau is the right guy to test him. Book this fight for the main card of an upcoming Fox card or PPV, and hope Vick wins in impressive fashion to create an instant contender in the lightweight division.

Fight to make: James Vick vs. Gleison Tibau

Daniel Hooker

In the featherweight bout that closed out the prelims, Daniel Hooker picked up the biggest victory of his career as he brutally knocked out Hatsu Hioki with a head kick and punches. Not many people were giving Hooker a chance, and he wasn’t looking good in the first two rounds, but he found Hioki’s chin at the right time to pick up a massive upset victory that shocked a lot of bettors.

For his next outing, I’d like to see Hooker take on Diego Brandao. I think this would be a really exciting fight between two guys who love to finish fights. Hooker is 2-1 in the UFC with two finishes, while Brandao is 5-3 with three finishes. Both men are coming off of stoppage wins, and neither is in title contention at the moment, but both could be close to the top 15 with a few more victories. So I say match these two up, and hope for fireworks.

Fight to make: Daniel Hooker vs. Diego Brandao


UFC Fight Night 65: Hunt vs. Miocic took place on May 10, 2015 at Adelaide Entertainment Centre in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. Due to time differences, the event aired on May 9, 2015.

Click the stars to rate how good you think UFC Fight Night 65 was.

What Do You Think of This Fight/Event?