Five for Fighting – UFC on FX 1

The UFC has wrapped up its debut on FX with a fairly solid card. You can read out play by play coverage of it right here, of course, and right now it’s time to play Joe Silva. It’s time to take the five most compelling fighters coming out of UFC on FX 1 and give them equally compelling matchups.

Jim Miller vs. the winner of Frankie Edgar/Ben Henderson – When UFC’s return to Japan ends, Miller’s only career losses will have been to the three guys to have fought for the lightweight title since the beginning of 2011. After defeating Melvin Guillard in the first, I think you can argue that the Edgar/Henderson winner ought to defend his title against Miller. Either way it’s a compelling matchup. Edgar is Miller’s only loss outside the UFC. Henderson and Gray Maynard are Miller’s only losses inside the UFC. With five rounds to decide their fate, either fight will be a barnburner.

Pat Barry vs. Chad Griggs – Griggs and Barry might not last longer than two minutes much less two rounds but you know it’d be an absolute brawl while it lasted. Griggs and Barry are pretty much the same guy in terms of stature within Strikeforce and the UFC respectively as guys who are good brawlers but probably will never be more than just exciting guys and not exciting contenders.

Melvin Guillard vs. Efrain Escudero – Guillard has lost two in a row against two guys in the title picture, which isn’t a bad thing at this point. He’s perhaps the best fighter in the UFC who just can’t quite put it together. He has strong takedown defense and great hands to go with strong wrestling but just hasn’t quite gotten basic jiu-jitsu into his arsenal. It’s maddening to see someone this talented who’s destroyed some top fighters in the division. At this point he needs a major step down in competition and Escudero would be a compelling enough matchup for him. Two losses at this point means Guillard needs to go back in line and build his way back up to the front.

Josh Neer vs. Brian Ebersole – Neer called him out at the post fight press conference and it kind of makes sense for both fighters. Neither is going to be more than a top level gatekeeper, mainly due to age and talent at this point. The winner of this fight would be a good matchup against someone like Rory MacDonald or another young prospect in the division.

Mike Easton vs. John Dodson – Easton is a bit small for a bantamweight. He was a good flyweight before moving up a weight class just to be in the UFC and with the addition of flyweights I can imagine he’ll be dropping down there sooner than later. Dodson is coming off an Ultimate Fighter win and is in a similar position. Both are exciting strikers and would be a good matchup.

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