TUF China Finale results: Fights to make for the main carders

Anton Tabuena

Tim B. puts on his matchmaking hat and takes a look at who the TUF China Finale main card fighters should meet in their next bout.

The less said about the TUF China Finale, the better. While it had a couple of good bouts including the main event, there was zero focus on the show and half the fighters on the card were nowhere near UFC-worthy. But the outcomes will lead to some interesting matchmaking in the future, so all is not lost. Without further ado, let's take a look at who the main card fighters could face in their next bout.

Dong Hyun Kim - I only see two real options for Kim - either Matt Brown when he's ready to go, or the winner of the Jake Ellenberger vs. Tarec Saffiedine bout at UFC 172. He deserves another shot at a top-ten fighter after his recent streak and he'll get it.

John Hathaway - It's easy to forget that Hathaway is only 26 and has seven UFC wins. Kim was a tough fight after a 17-month layoff and he was fighting decently before he got clobbered. Most probably think he should get some irrelevant fighter next to help build himself back up, but I'd rather see him fight someone that has been around for a while. Nate Marquardt would work. Another solid choice would be Brian Ebersole if he remains at welterweight.

Zhang Lipeng - I assume he'll fight again on the next Macau card, but I'm not really sure who they'd use as a first test. My guess would be someone from another version of TUF - maybe the winner of TUF Nations?

Wang Sai - In the same vein, they've been known to put TUF runner-ups against other TUF fighters. Unfortunately for Sai, I can't see a single guy from another version of TUF that he can beat. In fact, the only guy in the welterweight division I can see him having a shot against is Takenori Sato. So book that.

Matt Mitrione - The win over Jordan could move Meathead into the top 15. Just saying that seems wrong, but it's true. He's had 10 UFC fights now, and Jordan is probably his best win. So what's next? Ben Rothwell would be the most logical choice, but I believe they have trained together extensively in the past so they might not want that fight. I guess he could fight Soa Palelei if he wins at UFC Fight Night 40. Or one of the new guys they've signed lately. Other than that, there's not a lot out there for him.

Shawn Jordan - Is Brandon Vera still in the UFC? The Rothwell fight was never officially flipped to an NC was it? Either way, he'd make a decent opponent for Jordan's next fight.

Hatsu Hioki - Hioki needed to get his mojo back and he's done that now, but who does he fight next? I'd personally like to see him face the winner of the Nik Lentz vs. Manny Gamburyan bout at UFC Fight Night 40. Both would pose interesting challenges. If we're just looking for fun fights though, Hioki vs. Cole Miller sounds kind of awesome.

Ivan Menjivar - He has lost three in a row and four out of his last five, but he's usually pretty competitive no matter who he's in there with. Will he return to 135 after this or continue on at 145? At 145, throw him in there with Maximo Blanco. At 135, he'd be a good challenge for Sergio Pettis coming off of his first loss.

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