UFC on ESPN: Rodriguez vs Waterson Main Card Matchmaking

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Marina Rodriguez def. Michelle Waterson via Unanimous Decision

Marina Rodriguez – Joanna Jędrzejczyk

With Rose Namajunas’ recent title capture, it seemed like she was running out of new faces at the top of the division. Marina Rodriguez threw her name in the mix to be next in line with her recent victory. If she can defeat former champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk, she may cement herself as the next #1 Contender.

Michelle Waterson – Amanda Ribas

Michelle Waterson is one of the most loved female fighters on the UFC roster. The fans’ admiration for her will opnly go up after this performance. She took a fight up a weight class on practically no notice against one of the hardest hitters in the division. Amanda Ribas was forced out of her bout with Angela Hill due to COVID and the two are in the bottom half of the rankings.

Alex Morono def. Donald Cerrone via TKO (Punches)

Alex Morono – Nicolas Dalby

Alex Morono threw his name in the hat for the Cowboy fight and it paid in dividends. In a sport where your last performance is the one that counts, we will likely see Morono earn some big name opponents. Nicolas Dalby earned a hard fought victory over Daniel Rodriguez in his last fight. A fight between the two could be included on a pay=per-view card.

Donald Cerrone – Mike Davis

At this stage in Cowboy’s career, it will be hard to find a suitable matchup for him. Obviously he still holds tremendous name value but likely shouldn’t be facing other veterans given his skid. Mike Davis’ fight style is one that could bring out the best of Cowboy, but yet Davis has enough potential to pull this one off. For Davis, this is a chance of a lifetime as he recently admitted to nearly retiring due to injuries.

Neil Magny def. Geoff Neal via Unanimous Decision

Neil Magny – Khamzat Chimaev

Neil Magny has to be one of the most overlooked fighters on the entire roster. He has some of the best cardio and does a tremendous job of making elite fighters look mediocre. Magny is one of the few fighters who have called out Khamzat Chimaev. Both parties seem interested in the bout so I say send them the contracts.

Geoff Neal – James Krause

Geoff Neal has been booked with two of the most experienced fighters in the welterweight division consecutively. A step back in competition may not be a bad idea for Geoff Neal in an attempt to avoid three straight defeats. If the team at Glory MMA can all agree to take one night off for their coach, a fight with James Krause would be amazing. Krause is deserving of an opportunity at a spot in the rankings, and this could be it.

Marcos Rogerio de Lima def. Maurice Greene via Unanimous Decision

Marcos Rogerio de Lima – Jarjis Danho

Marcos Rogerio has been alternating wins and losses since 2014 which shows the inconsistency in his game. On Saturday, he showed up and dominated in the grappling department. Jarjis Danho just earned the biggest win of his MMA career by defeating Yorgan de Castro. A matchup between the two would help one take a big step forward in their careers.

Maurice Greene – Harry Hunsucker

Maurice Greene has now dropped 4 of his last 5 bouts. The grappling of de Lima was too much for Greene on the night, and couldn’t seem to get off his back. This is likely the end of the line for Greene despite finding success in his early UFC career. If the UFC keeps him, a fight with Harry Hunsucker would make sense.

Gregor Gillespie def. Carlos Diego Ferreira via TKO (Punches)

Gregor Gillespie – Islam Makhachev

In an emotional return to the octagon, Gregor Gillespie overcame a strong first round from Ferreira. As the fight continued, the tides began to turn in favor of the America. Gillespie is one of the best grapplers in the division and is a serious threat at 155lbs. Finding opponents for Islam Makhachev seems to be a problem for the UFC. A bout with Gillespie and Makhachev would be a battle of the two of the best grapplers in the division.

Carlos Diego Ferreira – Nasrat Haqparast

Carlos Diego Ferreira came in heavy at the weigh-ins partly due to the short-notice fight. Ferreira has now lost consecutive bouts for the first time since 2015. A fight with the unranked Nasrat Haqparast would present him with an opportunity to avoid three consecutive defeats. For Haqparast, a win would surely earn him a spot in the Top 15.

Phil Hawes def. Kyle Daukaus via Unanimous Decision

Phil Hawes – Deron Winn

Phil Hawes was scheduled to face Deron Winn in July and was brought in to face Kyle Daukaus who needed an opponent. With the win, the bout with Winn still makes sense and has already been rebooked. It looks like that fight will be taking place on July 17.

Kyle Daukaus – Joaquin Buckley

Since being brought in to face Brendan Allen on short notice, Daukaus has showed that he is a fierce competitor in the UFC’s Middleweight division. Despite the loss to Hawes, Daukaus will still be matched up with another prospect in the division. A fight with one of the most exciting fighters in the sport Joaquin Buckley could be next for Daukaus.

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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