On paper, UFC 204 didn’t look like a great pay-per-view card, but the action was among the best we’ve seen from the promotion all year.
Gegard Mousasi vs. Anderson Silva
Mousasi has watched the likes of Conor McGregor increase their value with their mouth, and he is adopting a more outspoken persona.
During his post-fight interview with Brian Stann, Mousasi asked for a top-five opponent, but he also said Anderson Silva would be a good fight for him.
Silva may still be willing to take a meaningful scrap against Mousasi. Silva lost his last bout against Daniel Cormier, but he wasn’t at his best, having just recently recovered from surgery.
He was also fighting above his natural weight class. Silva may be done as a serious contender, but taking on Mousasi is one way to find out for sure.
Yair Rodriguez vs. Mirsad Bektic
When it comes to dynamic young fighters, few are more exciting and entertaining than Rodriguez. His array of spinning and jumping techniques offer a different brand of combat than we’re used to seeing.
The thought of seeing Rodriguez’s fighting style against Bektic’s powerful, speedy, and more conventional aggression is intriguing.
Bektic would represent Rodriguez’s most significant opposition to date, and vice versa.
Mike Perry vs. Yancy Medeiros
If you didn’t catch the Fight Pass prelims, you missed one of the best fights of the night. Perry outlasted Danny Roberts and scored a brutal third-round TKO victory.
Both men had their moments, but Perry kept his undefeated record intact with his unforgiving power and notable resolve. He’s 9-0 and he’s had a finish in every fight.
Perry is definitely a crowd-pleasing fighter and it would be great to see him in the Octagon with Yancy Medeiros. Defense isn’t Medeiros’ best attribute, but he’s as tough as they come in the welterweight division.
He and Perry could produce a Fight of the Night performance.
Stefan Struve vs. Francis Ngannou
When you’ve been in the UFC’s heavyweight division as long as Struve, it’s difficult to find heavyweight contenders you haven’t already faced.
The powerful and up-and-coming Ngannou is one The Skyscraper hasn’t collided with in his career. Struve became the first man to score a stoppage win over Daniel Omielanczuk when he scored a second-round submission win via D’Arce Choke.
The victory might be enough to move Struve back into the top 10 in the division, and based on Ngannou’s short but destructive run in the UFC, it’s time he was matched with some tougher competition.
Ngannou last fought in July, so it would be smart to have this bout added to an event in December or January. A win for Struve would help move him closer to a title shot.
A victory for Ngannou would tell the world he’s a serious threat in the heavyweight division.
Jon Jones vs. Jimi Manuwa
With Jones’ return rumored to be happening sooner than previously reported, it’s time to begin speculation about his next opponent.
Obviously, there will be the inevitable talk about a rematch with Daniel Cormier, or a long anticipated first battle with Anthony “Rumble” Johnson.
With both of those guys already set for their own rematch, a bout for either with Jones would seemingly be some time off.
A rematch with Alexander Gustafsson could also be in the cards, but a more sensible bout would see Jones taking on Manuwa.
The latter scored a highlight-reel KO victory over Ovince Saint Preux on Saturday, and his reputation as a deadly striker makes the fight fairly marketable.
Manuwa isn’t one of the four or five premier light heavyweights, but some might argue Jones should have to prove himself a bit before he gets a shot at the title and a huge payday.
Jones would be the prohibitive favorite, but it’s still an interesting matchup.