First and Worst: Week of May 4 – May 10, 2015

By Adam Martin

First and Worst is an ongoing series for, where every week Adam will make his pick for the best and worst newly-announced fight of the past week (Monday to Sunday). If you’d like to see any additions to this series, hit him up on Twitter @MMAdamMartin.

First: Jake Ellenberger vs. Stephen Thompson, UFC 189

My pick for the best new fight announced this past week is the upcoming welterweight bout at UFC 189 between Jake Ellenberger and Stephen Thompson. The event takes place July 11 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Ellenberger and Thompson will likely find themselves on the main pay-per-view card.

This is a pretty sweet matchup. Ellenberger is coming off of a tremendous submission win over Josh Koscheck that snapped his three-fight losing streak. Many, including myself, were questioning whether or not Ellenberger had anything left in the tank, but after showing an evolution in his game by choking out Koscheck, it’s quite evident he does, and that his losing skid was overblown, considering he only lost to top-10 fighters.

As for Thompson, he’s looked awesome as of late, most recently defeating Patrick Cote, and prior to that taking out Chris Clements and Robert Whittaker, both by knockout. I think Thompson is one of the most gifted strikers in the entire UFC, and I believe after his recent string of wins he is very deserving of fighting a top-15 opponent like Ellenberger.

I just see this being a great fight. Both guys always bring it, win or lose, so being matched up against one another should lead to an entertaining fight for the fans and provide both men with an opportunity to win a $50,000 “Fight of the Night” bonus check. This is going to be a good one, and its addition to UFC 189 makes that card that much stronger.

UFC 189

Jake Ellenberger vs. Stephen Thompson

Click the stars to rate your anticipation for this fight.

Worst: Joseph Duffy vs. Ivan Jorge, UFC Fight Night 72

My pick for the worst new fight announced this past week is the upcoming lightweight battle at UFC Fight Night 72 between Joseph Duffy and Ivan Jorge. The event takes place July 18 at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland, and Duffy vs. Jorge is the first fight that’s been announced for the card.

This is an absolute blowout matchup, and it’s just unnecessary at this point in time. In Duffy’s UFC debut, the promotion matched him up with one of the worst lightweights on the roster in Jake Lindsey, and he brutally finished him in the first round. Considering this is the guy who handed top featherweight contender Conor McGregor his last loss, you’d think the UFC would want to test Duffy against a solid veteran and see just how good he is. Instead, they gave him a can in his debut, and after smashing him like he was supposed to, now Duffy has to fight another guy who is barely UFC caliber in Jorge.

The Brazilian Jorge is not a bad fighter, but he’s not good either. He’s also really small for the lightweight division, while Duffy is quite large for the weight class. Yes, Jorge is coming off of a win, but it was over Josh Shockley, who is one of the worst lightweights on the roster as well. These guys are bottom feeders, and I just don’t understand how Duffy keeps getting these easy matchups against fighters who simply do not belong in the same cage as him.

Duffy could be a potential star in the lightweight division, but for some reason the UFC keeps giving him really poor opponents. Sure, Duffy might smash these guys, but what good does it do? We don’t learn anything more from Duffy than we already did, and Duffy doesn’t really get to learn much either because his opponents simply aren’t in the same league, and therefore can’t test him.

I like Duffy a lot, and wish the UFC would start using him better, because right now they are just wasting him, and as someone who thinks Duffy has a lot of potential at lightweight, I’m crossing my fingers that once he gets past Jorge he actually fights someone decent next.

UFC Fight Night 72

Joseph Duffy vs. Ivan Jorge

Click the stars to rate your anticipation for this fight.


UFC 189: Mendes vs. McGregor (formerly UFC 189: Aldo vs. McGregor) takes place on July 11, 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Click the stars to rate how good you think UFC 189 will be.

UFC Fight Night 72: Bisping vs. Leites takes place on July 18, 2015 at SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow, Scotland.

Click the stars to rate how good you think UFC Fight Night 72 will be.

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