With eight bouts scrapped from UFC Fight Night 183 and it’s main event squabbled together on just five days notice, the latest offering from the UFC’s APEX Centre events was never going to be a classic.
Despite UFC Fight Night 183’s problems, though, Saturday’s fight card still had its moments as Paul Felder put on an admirable losing effort in Rafael Dos Anjos’ successful return to the lightweight division.
Without stepping foot into a gym, Felder would go the full 25 minutes with the former 155 lbs king and afterwards revealed that his retirement will likely have be postponed.
Elsewhere at UFC Fight Night 183, Khaos Williams starched Abdul Razak Alhassan in just 30 seconds in the co-main event billing while Sean Strickland scored the only other stoppage victory of the night with a second-round TKO over the highly touted Brendan Allen.
With the UFC quickly marching on to a flyweight title doubled header next weekend, here are five fights for the UFC matchmakers to jot down in the aftermath of UFC Fight Night 183:
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Justin Gaethje
Controlling the bout as expected, Rafael dos Anjos’ bizarrely scored split decision win over Paul Felder will insert the former champion into the title picture in a now open lightweight field.
While dos Anjos has called for a rescheduling of his proposed 2016 bout with Conor McGregor, it is likely that ‘The Notorious One’s’ rematch with Dustin Poirier will be for vacant lightweight gold.
With two of the top four set for action and a third man in Tony Ferguson angling for a fight with promotional newcomer Michael Chandler, Justin Gaethje is left as the odd man out and would make for a great match-up against Dos Anjos.
With both men keen on pressing the action, a Gaethje – dos Anjos bout around February / March would be a fantastic title eliminator.
Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta
Despite losing in the headline act of UFC Fight Night 183, Paul Felder’s drive and determination against a game dos Anjos will see his stock stay high at 155 lbs.
While Felder has toyed with retirement, his valiant showing on five days notice has seemingly put that idea on the backburner for now.
As for his next outing, a fellow top 10 ranked opponent should be on the cards and with Al Iaquinta coming off of a two-fight skid, a Felder – Iaquinta fight would make for a fun stand-up battle.
Khaos Williams vs. Rodriguez / Dalby Winner
Now 2-0 in the UFC’s welterweight division with a 57-second total fighting time, Khaos Williams seemingly has ridiculous knockout power.
Putting out two durable 170 pounders in quick fashion is a pretty mean feat put the UFC would do well to temper any desire to fast track Williams without seeing more to his game.
As fellow talented strikers Daniel Rodriguez and Nicolas Dalby prepare to clash at UFC 255 next weekend, the winner of that bout would make for a good opponent in Williams’ next outing.
Ashley Yoder vs. Cory McKenna
Snapping a two-fight losing streak with a unanimous decision win over Miranda Granger, Ashley Yoder is looking to become somewhat of a gatekeeper to the more talented fighters in the UFC’s strawweight division.
With a 3-5 promotional record, Yoder has only lost to fighter’s you would put in the top 20 while defeating those outside of that bracket.
With another strawweight fight taking place at UFC Fight Night 183, Cory McKenna would defeat fellow prospect Kay Hansen on the main card and so a fight with Yoder would establish where she fits into the 115 lbs picture at this time.
Sean Strickland vs. Krzysztof Jotko
Putting together two impressive victories two weeks apart, Sean Strickland looks to be a decent prospect in the middleweight division.
Defeating Brendan Allen via a second-round TKO, Strickland is now on a three-fight winning streak and is on the precipice of a top 15 spot at 185 lbs.
With UFC veteran Krzysztof Jotko also on a three-fight run, matching the two be decent matchmaking and test their respective striking skills.