This past weekend was a very good weekend for mixed martial arts fans. With two major events going on and more than ten televised events; plenty of action was available. If you like long, contested battles, then the UFC was your place. However, if you liked jaw rattling knockouts Strikeforce was your best bet. Now that the dust has settled a number of fights can be made to advance the careers of many of these fighters.
Fights to make after Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu
Dan Henderson versus Gegard Mousasi
With a stunning knockout of Renato “Babalu” Sobral, Dan Henderson firmly stated his claim to being a contender within the Light Heavyweight division. While some believe that the victory is enough to earn him a shot at the current champion, Rafael Cavalcante, they’re may be others who think otherwise. With his Dream tournament victory this past September, former Strikeforce champion Gegard Mousasi proved that he hasn’t lost a step since losing the title. A fight between these two individuals could create a firm number one contender for Cavalcante.
Paul Daley versus Nick Diaz
Strikeforce’s welterweight division is thin when it comes to big name talent. Outside of Nick Diaz, the organization has a lot of young, rising talent; but their names do not carry a lot of weight to mainstream MMA fans. Daley has recorded an 8-2 record in his last ten contests, including the incident with Josh Koscheck. A Daley versus Diaz matchup would include an interesting clash of styles. While Diaz normally enjoys standing and trading with his opponents, doing so with Daley could quickly cost him his title. If Diaz could get the fight to the ground, he would have a glaring advantage. Daley has proved that while his takedown defense isn’t the best, he does have the abilities to shake off some attempts. The question would be which fighter can maintain their position for the longest in hopes of winning this bout.
Fights to make after the Ultimate Finale
Jonathan Brookins versus Donald Cerrone
Jonathan Brookins was tested by an early fire to win this season’s Ultimate Fighter crown. Still, he’s earned his place in perhaps the UFC’s deepest division. With the merger of the WEC coming in 2011, even more fighters are being thrown into the mix. Enter one, Donald Cerrone. A Cerrone vs. Brookins matchup would be quite an interesting competition. Cerrone’s constant pressure would force Brookins to fix the standup problems in his game. At the same time, Cerrone has had a problem fighting solid wrestlers who could take him down and Brookins is a strong threat to do just that.
Demian Maia versus Rousimar Palhares
Demian Maia once again proved that his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is among the best within MMA. A matchup against fellow BJJ black belt, Rousimar Palhares would put both of the fighters mat abilities to the test. Maia has already dispatched of one high level BJJ practitioner in Mario Miranda. Palhares would be a stout test for Maia, as both fighters are looking to get back into the middleweight title hunt. This fight wouldn’t be the standup battle that MMA fans are normally looking for, but the action on the ground would be a clinic by two of the very best in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
With two of December’s six mixed martial arts events in the bag, the stage has already been set for 2011 to keep the ball rolling.
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