written by: Cam Bennett
Dustin Jacoby vs Alonzo Menifield
What a way to improve to 15 career wins for Dustin Jacoby. Jacoby came in and handled business quite quick against Darren Stewart by securing the first round tko. It was an absolute onslaught of strikes that put Stewart away and get Jacoby his 10th ko/tko finish. I think a matchup with Alonzo Menifield who is coming off of a win recently against Ed Herman. This would be a solid fight against two light heavyweight strikers that are trying to climb the ranks in the division.
Gerald Meerschaert vs Puna Soriano
What a performance by Meerschaert; a performance that showed toughness and savviness that a true veteran possesses. Meerschaert looked like he had his hands full with Muradov in the first round but was able to land some solid shots himself and then secure the RNC in the second round. Meerschaertmentioned a possible shot at the top fifteen of the division but I believe he may need at least one maybe two more fights before that happens. A matchup with another person looking for a shot to crack the rankings with another win or two could get Meerschaert there. Puna Soriano would be that guy; Soriano is a hot prospect with his only loss coming by decision to Brendan Allen who is an absolute stud.
Daniel Rodriguez vs Muslim Salikhov
D-Rod has now moved to 6-1 in the UFC with the decision win over Kevin Lee. There was a lot of thought that we could see a very rejuvenated Kevin Lee moving up to welterweight and I felt like some over-looked Rodriguez. D-Rod is a nasty striker and showed some solid takedown defense against a stud like Lee. I’ve been watching Rodriguez for a bit now and I think he deserves a shot at the welterweight rankings. I think a match up with the “King of Kung Fu,” Muslim Salikhov who is #15 in the division. Salikhov is on a 5-fight win streak and has 12 of his 18 wins coming by way of ko/tko. A fight between Rodriguez and Salikhov could end with someone shutting off the lights of the other at the end and be filled with fireworks in between.
Bryan Battle vs Tresean Gore
From being the last pick, this season to being crowned “The Ultimate Fighter,” Bryan Battle battled his way throw an absolutely game Gilbert Urbina who took the fight on short notice. Battle had to weather the early storm that Urbina brought and came back and finished Urbina with a RNC in round two. I think a fight with a healthy Tresean Gore would be a perfect next step. It’s almost a fight to decide who is the real champ of this past season of TUF since they were originally scheduled to show down in the finale. Either way, I think Urbina, Battle, and Gore will all have phenomenal careers in the UFC.
Giga Chikadze vs Arnold Allen
Giga Chikadze keeps the ball rolling with the finish over the veteran Edson Barboza. Chikadze has been calling for his shot at the title and he has a couple of people in front of him in line, but with the tko win over Barboza, he is definitely heading in the right direction. The featherweight division is stacked with absolute killers and the waters only get deeper. Giga is calling for a fight with Max Holloway as well, but I believe the fight between Holloway and Yair still needs to happen, and I don’t think Giga will want to sit around. I think a matchup against Arnold Allen who is #6 in the division would be the next step. Allen is a very well-rounded killer and is 17-1 in his career and undefeated in the UFC. This would be a fight where the winner puts himself right in range for a contender fight, and quite possibly find themselves across the cage from “BLESSED”.