It’s time to play matchmaker again and have a look at some potential fights for the winners and losers of UFC Fight Night Halifax: Lewis vs Browne. If you have any fights you’d like to see, tweet us at @mma_banter
The heavyweight division is really starting to spice up with the brilliant runs of Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou. This performance by Lewis was arguably the most impressive of his career. He looked visibly hurt early in the first round as he took some brutal body kicks by Browne, but he stormed back early in round two to drop and punish Browne with some spectacular power. It really is hard to find a fighter in the UFC heavyweight division with he raw strength and power of Lewis. He’s knocking on the door of title relevancy with this win and deserves a big fight next. My initial reaction was to throw him to Ben Rothwell. Another guy with that raw physical presence and sitting pretty in the top five, providing Lewis with the opportunity. Then amidst the talk of needing to poo poo, complimenting Miss Ronda Rousey and talking about his abundance of bed room activities, Lewis mentioned Mark Hunt. I like it, a lot. Hunt has a match-up with Overeem booked for UFC 209, so the timing is about right for both men to be ready to fight at the same time. Obviously a Hunt victory over Overeem would set this fight up nicely, but I’m willing to let the two behemoths fight regardless. It will be an absolute power brawl and what’s not to like about that. MATCH-UP: Mark Hunt
The slippery slope continues for Travis Browne. Once the biggest prodigy in the division, with the world at this feet, he is now looking a long, long way from any form of relevancy in the division. He needs to take some time to re-evaluate where he stands in the fight game, and then come back slowly. I like the look of a lower end fight in the rankings. A guy like Alexander Volkov fits the bill there. If they want to give Browne the opportunity to really find his feet again, even a striker outside the rankings makes sense. Luis Henrique perhaps, Mark Godbeer. He really needs to find his feet again badly, so the lower we go with this, the better chance we have to see the old Travis Browne emerge. MATCH-UP: Alexander Volkov
If there were any doubts about the move to middleweight for Johny Hendricks, they are sure to disappear tonight. The result aside, Hendrick’s finally looked like that fighter that arguably beat GSP again. He had fluid movement, speed and something we haven’t seen from in a very long time, a smile. He’s where he belongs and there are certainly some fun match-ups for him in this division. I will be honest and say that I’m not sure I like his chances at the top end of this division. With his 69 inch reach, he’s going to come up against some overwhelming reach advantages with the likes of Rockhold, Weidman, Bisping etc, if he gets that high up the list. The middle of the road guys however, will provide some really interesting and even match-ups for him. First up, I can’t go past a bout with Tim Boetsch. He’ll get to test himself against true middleweight power. He’ll also avoid the huge each advantage that will plague many of his match-ups in this division. It should be a tremendous clash of styles and a great second test for Hendricks in this division. MATCH-UP: Tim Boetsch
What a debut in front of his home crowd! Gavin Tucker was very impressive against a tough veteran in Sam Sicilia. He showed very creative, technical striking and graceful movement, looking a class above from start to finish. It’s incredibly clear this guys has a lot of talent and could make a decent run in the division. My first though was Shane Burgos. Another recent addition to the division who was equally impressive in his debut performance. He’s booked for a fight already. Next name that sprung to my attention was the Australian Alex Volkanovski. He was super impressive in his UFC debut, all be it at lightweight. It has since been revealed that he will drop to the 145lb division and was slated to make his first featherweight appearance on this very event, only for his opponent to be removed. Tucker did say he wants to jump straight back in and Volkanovski has been chomping at the bit to get back in there too. Volkanovski is a powerful striking, with a smothering wrestling game. Both guys are 1-0 in their UFC careers, with a lot of potential. Lock it in! MATCH-UP: Alex Volkanovski
Other fights: Lombard vs Natal; Sicilia vs Penn; Theodorou vs Tavares; Ferreira vs Spicely; McMann vs Pena; Mazany vs Eye; Felder vs Vick; Ricci vs Powell; Ponzinibbio vs Tumenov; Talib vs Roberts; Markos vs VanZant; Esparza vs Torres; Zahabi vs Ramos; Vieira vs Morales; Santos vs Hall; Marshann vs Hermansson; Meerschaert vs Cedenblad; Janes vs McLellan.