UFC on ESPN: Reyes vs. Procházka Main Card Matchmaking

PC: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Jiri Procházka def. Dominick Reyes via KO (Spinning Elbow)

Jiri Procházka – Aleksandar Rakić

Prior to the fight taking place on Saturday, UFC president Dana White announced the winner would fight for 205lb title. The title fight between Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira takes place in September meaning a defence isn’t likely until at least December. A booking between Rakić and Procházka would make for a tremendous co-main event on that card to determine who is next.

Dominick Reyes – Ryan Spann

Usually when a fighter suffers three straight defeats, a matchup with an unranked opponent may follow. The Reyes scenario is a little different given the quality of opposition he faced during those defeats. A fight with Ryan Spann is a perfect opportunity for Reyes to rediscover the form that earned him a shot at the 205lb strap.

Giga Chikadze def. Cub Swanson via TKO (Body Kick and Punches)

Giga Chikadze – Calvin Kattar

Giga Chikadze has been running through the division since his arrival in 2019. Many felt his padded record outside the promotion would lead the Georgian to struggle in the UFC. Hopefully a win over a veteran in Swanson will silence all those doubters. Calvin Kattar will be returning in the fall with a point to prove after a disappointing defeat to Max Holloway. A fight between Chikadze and Kattar could easily co-headline a Fight Night card.

Cub Swanson – Omar Morales

Only a few days after breaking into the Top 15 of the 145lb division, Swanson once again finds himself on the outside courtesy of the “Giga-kick”. Swanson has made a career of fighting up and coming prospects and turning them away on their quest for UFC glory. At 35, the time is now for Venezuelas Omar Morales if he wants to get into the rankings. For fans, it is a fan-pleasing fight that could be a front runner for FOTN.

Ion Cutelaba vs. Dustin Jacoby – Draw

Ion Cutelaba – Dustin Jacoby

I rarely ever like to see rematches unless a title is at stake. This is one of the very few times I have an exception to the rule. Given the antics that took place at the weigh-ins, I feel there is some unsettled business here. A fight between the two would give both men an opportunity to leave this chapter in the rearview mirror.

Sean Strickland def. Krzysztof Jotko via Unanimous Decision

Sean Strickland – Kelvin Gastelum

Sean Strickland’s skyrocketed him up to the #11 spot in the UFC Middleweight Rankings. After fighting a fighter ranked below him, I’d like to see him collide with someone inside the Top 10 next. Kelvin Gastelum recently lost to Robert Whittaker after accepting a fight on short notice. This is a huge step up in competition for Strickland, but would put him in a very good spot should he emerge victorious.

Krzysztof Jotko – Julian Marquez

In 2016 Jotko was destined to earn his shot in the rankings before a defeat to David Branch. Once again, Jotko suffered another loss after being on the brink of the UFC rankings. Unfortunately for Jotko, it is back to drawing board. One of the breakout stars in 2021 is Julian Marquez. A win of Marquez would steal some of his shine and keep Jotko sitting just outside the Top 15.

Merab Dvalishvili def. Cody Stamann via Unanimous Decision

Merab Dvalishvili – Pedro Munhoz

Merab Dvalishvili put together another masterful performance in what could be considered his best UFC performance to date. At 30 years old, the time is now for the Georgian. Most of the fighters ahead of him are booked or former champions who likely wouldn’t take the fight, so there isn’t much in terms of options. Pedro Munhoz is one of the few guys in the rankings that are down to fight anyone.

Cody Stamann – Rani Yahya

Cody Stamann has had a tough last three fights in terms of opposition. Brian Kelleher, Jimmie Rivera and now Merab Dvalishvili. Stamann has proven to be one of the very best at 135lbs and will sit inside the Top 15 for a long time. That being said, he is now on a two-fight skid. Rani Yahya has been sitting on the doorstep of the rankings for quite some time. A fight between the two for a spot in the rankings could feature on a main card of a Fight Night card.

Sergio Pineiro

Sergio Pineiro is the Founder of FighterPath.com and host of the Quarantinecast podcast. Based in Canada he is both a sports journalist and MMA enthusiast. He practices the sport but has a passion for the individual stories of training, fighting and living the fighting lifestyle.

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