5 Fights We Need to See After UFC Fight Night 213 |  News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

5 Fights We Need to See After UFC Fight Night 213 | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

5 Fights We Need to See After UFC Fight Night 213

0 out of 5

    Arnold Allen

    Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

    UFC Fight Night 213 went down Saturday night inside the promotion’s Apex facility in Las Vegas. The card was ultimately overshadowed by Jake Paul’s unanimous-decision win over Anderson Silva in the boxing ring, but anyone who tuned in was treated to some fun fights and finishes.

    The headlining spot was filled by a clash of featherweight contenders, as the division’s No. 6-ranked fighter, Arnold Allen, took on the fifth-ranked Calvin Kattar. Arnold won the fight by a second-round TKO, but it was a flukey Kattar knee injury that ended things and stripped his victory of most value.

    In the co-main event, veteran welterweight Max Griffin picked up one of the best wins of his career, earning a split decision over Tim Means with a diet of takedowns and power punches. Other big winners of the night included Khalil Rountree Jr., who defeated No. 13 light heavyweight contender Dustin Jacoby by split decision on the main card, and middleweights Roman Dolidze and Junyong Park, who finished Phil Hawes and Joseph Holmes, respectively, on the undercard.

    Keep scrolling for the fights we’re hoping to see when the dust has settled.

Arnold Allen vs. Josh Emmett

1 out of 5

    Arnold Allen

    Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

    After beating Calvin Kattar in the UFC Fight Night 213 main event, England’s Arnold Allen is on a 10-fight winning streak since making his UFC debut in 2015. Ordinarily, that would just about guarantee him a crack at featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, but these are not ordinary circumstances.

    The first problem is that Allen’s second-round TKO win came after Kattar suffered a freak knee injury in the waning moments of the first round. He looked good in the fight, sure, but it didn’t do much to improve his position in the weight class. The second problem is that there are two other fighters who are also leading candidates to face Volkanovski—and both of them are riding similarly unconvincing wins. One of those fighters is No. 4 contender Josh Emmett, who is coming off a hotly debated split-decision verdict over Kattar. The other is No. 2 contender Yair Rodriguez, who recently defeated Brian Ortega by first-round TKO after his foe suffered a shoulder injury.

    The long and short of it is that we have three contenders in a dead heat, and all three of them totally failed to make a statement in their latest appearances. Throw in the fact that all signs point to Volkanovski taking a hiatus from the featherweight division to challenge Islam Makhachev for the lightweight belt, and we’ve definitely got a weird situation on our hands.

    This could all shake out any number of ways for Allen. He could end up being the next man to challenge Volkanovski, he could have to win two more fights in the meantime, or he could end up in an interim title fight if the UFC chooses to go that route while Volkanovski goes lightweight.

    Our pick is the latter option. If Volkanovski is indeed fighting Makhachev, let’s create an interim featherweight title to keep the division moving in his stead. And if we’re doing that, let’s have Allen and Emmett fight for it. Allen, as we’ve covered, has won 10 straight, while Emmett has won five. Rodriguez is a stud, but he’s still only one win removed from a loss to Max Holloway, and that win was all thanks to Ortega’s shoulder injury. His claim is just not quite as strong.

Calvin Kattar vs. Yair Rodriguez

2 out of 5

    Calvin Kattar

    Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

    Calvin Kattar didn’t get the result he wanted against Arnold Allen at UFC Fight Night 213, but he is unlikely to lose too much ground in defeat, given that it was an injury that forced him out of the fight.

    From here, we’d like to see him matched up with Yair Rodriguez. As we said previously, we’re hoping the UFC will push ahead on an interim featherweight title fight between Allen and Josh Emmett. That would leave the division’s No. 2 contender, Yair Rodriguez, without an opponent, and it’s hard to imagine a better dance partner for him than Kattar.

    Not only are they both world-class fighters, but they’re two of the most exciting strikers in their weight class, with great finishing instincts and zero fear of long, drawn-out slugfests.

    Throw it on a pay-per-view main card, and get those bonus checks ready.

Max Griffin vs. Randy Brown

3 out of 5

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 29: (LR) Max Griffin punches Tim Means in a welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on October 29, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

    Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

    Thirty-six-year-old welterweight Max Griffin has shown a lot of potential over the course of his 14 fights in the UFC but has struggled too much with inconsistency to become a serious contender. It remains to be seen if he can make it into the division’s Top 15 before age catches up with him, but he definitely looks like he is finally starting to put it all together.

    In the UFC Fight Night 213 co-main event, he picked up one of the better wins of his career, defeating fellow veteran Tim Means by split decision after scoring a knockdown and three takedowns. The win put some distance between Griffin and a split-decision loss in March 2022 to Neil Magny—one of the best welterweights in the world—and pushed him to 4-1 in his last five.

    He’s ready for another tough test, and our pick is Randy Brown.

    The 32-year-old Jamaican-American Brown has also had his ups and downs in the Octagon but is currently on a four-fight winning streak. He seems like the perfect opponent for Griffin at this stage, and the winner might just be ready for a ranked opponent.

Khalil Rountree Jr. vs. Azamat Murzakanov

4 out of 5

    Khalil Rountree

    Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

    Khalil Rountree Jr. is easily one of the most exciting fighters in the light heavyweight division. The muay thai specialist picked up yet another entertaining win in the opening bout of the UFC Fight Night 213 main card, defeating No. 13-ranked contender and fellow striker Dustin Jacoby by split decision.

    After beating the No. 13 contender, Rountree will most likely debut in the light heavyweight Top 15, where a host of exciting matchup options await.

    Our pick for his next move is a clash with undefeated Russian Azamat Murzakanov, who recently locked up the No. 15th spot in the rankings with a third-round win over Devin Clark.

    This is a fight we’ve called for before. It now makes more sense than ever from a standpoint rankings, and better still, it looks like a thriller on paper.

Roman Dolidze vs. JunyoungPark

5 out of 5

    JunyoungPark

    Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

    Two rising middleweight fighters made big statements on the UFC Fight Night 213 undercard.

    First up, “The Iron Turtle” Junyong Park from South Korea battered Joseph Holmes to a second-round submission win. Two fights later, Georgia’s Roman Dolidze nearly ripped Phil Hawes’ leg off with a submission attempt before knocking him out on the feet—all in the first round.

    After defeating Holmes, Park is now on a two-fight winning streak and a strong 5-2 since debuting in the Octagon in 2019. Dolidze, meanwhile, is now on a three-fight unbeaten streak and is 5-1 in the promotion.

    Given that Park and Dolidze have had similar results in the Octagon, and that they are on identical fight schedules, it only makes sense to match them up against each other next.

    They’ve had two fights apiece this year, so there’s no need to rush them back into the cage, but it would be great to see them fight each other in the first quarter of 2023—maybe even right back inside the Apex.

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