The UFC’s second Pay per View of 2011 was very impressive as the stacked card delivered. Stunning knockouts by Champion Anderson Silva, submission victories and back and forth action filled the event. From this point, many can look forward towards the new expectations coming within the year. A number of fights await the winners and losers from Saturday’s event. These are a few of the not so obvious fights that can be made:
Forrest Griffin versus winner of Quinton Jackson/Thiago Silva
Forrest Griffin looked great in his comeback fight after more than a year away from the Octagon as he dominated Rich Franklin for three rounds. A very popular fighter during his career, the UFC has always enjoyed with Griffin is in the title hunt. He would need a big victory over another game opponent before he could be considered a contender again. Should Jackson defeat Thiago Silva this can set up a big rematch to the controversial title matchup in 2008. Silva would also pose a dangerous opponent for Griffin because he could threaten him on the feet while on the mat.
Miguel Torres versus Uriah Faber
If Faber is capable to defeat Eddie Wineland in March, the UFC would greatly benefit by pairing his with Torres in his next matchup. Two of the biggest names to come to the organization from WEC; they both carry draw power and a fan base that extends past the mainstream and hardcore MMA fan. At 135 pounds, both fighters can be considered contenders for the belt that is currently held by Dominick Cruz. The questions that would rise entering the matchup would be if Faber can deal with Torres’s long reach and what would happen when the fight hit the mat. No matter the answer, a Faber versus Torres matchup would be a great draw for the organization.
Jake Ellenberger versus Nate Diaz
Ellenberger went a long way in proving that he can survive when threatened in a mixed martial arts fight. Carlos Rocha had him in very bad positions during the first round of their fight at UFC 126. Instead of sticking to his guns and making a mistake, Ellenberger completely changed his game and kept the fight standing where he was able to outscore his opponent. A matchup against Nate Diaz would be another tough test. Diaz also has a very strong BJJ skill set, but he would bring a standup aspect to the fight that Rocha was lacking. Ellenberger would be in for a tough test as Diaz would continue to push the pace of the fight, while being able to threaten him from the mat. A Diaz versus Ellenberger fight would a great set-up to build another welterweight contender.
Chad Mendes versus Manny Gamburyan
Team Alpha Male prospect Chad Mendes continued his winning ways in his UFC debut. He was able to dominate the Japanese MMA star Michihiro Omigawa and earn an unanimous decision. A potential contender to Jose Aldo’s Bantamweight title, Mendes has shown his grow throughout his MMA career. Before being considered a number one contender, he should have to face a fighter who was also a contender at one point. Manny Gamburyan would fit that mold well. Gamburyan was defeated by Aldo in September and has yet to step back in the cage. He would pose a great threat to Mendes who’s wrestling background may be negated by Gamburyan’s Judo skills. On the mat the advantage would have to go to Gamburyan as well due to experience, but Mendes has proven he is able to go with nearly anyone. This fight would fit nicely on a UFC cable televised event.
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