The Ultimate Fighter China Finale was a largely passed over card. Even with the lack of name fighters on the card, there still was some significant developments inside some of the UFC’s premier divisions. What matches should be next for the card’s big winners? Take a look below to find out!
Dong Hyun Kim (18-2-1, 1 NC)
Dong Hyun Kim proved that he is a forced to be reckoned with in the UFC’s welterweight division. After two competitive rounds with John Hathaway, Kim floored the Brit in the third round with a spinning back elbow for the ages. The win was Kim’s fourth in a row and second straight by knockout. With such a winning streak, Kim deserves to be no more than two fights away from a title shot and should be matched up against a top contender. A bout with the winner of March 15th’s Jake Shields vs. Hector Lombard bout would be perfect for ‘Stun Gun.’
Zhang Lipeng (8-7-1)
Zhang Lipeng upset Wang Sai to become the inaugural winner of the Ultimate Fighter China. The win wasn’t without controversy as many fans and members of the media scored the bout in favor of Wang. None the less, Zhang was declared the winner and should be treated as such going forward. The bout between Zhang and Wang put many of each fighter’s holes on full display. Zhang is far from a finished product and should not be matched up with anyone who has UFC experience. A perfect match-up for Zhang would be against a low-level UFC newcomer from Asia.
Matt Mitrione (7-3)
Matt Mitrione picked up a huge win in Macao knocking out Shawn Jordan with one second left in the first round. For Mitrione, the win gave him much needed job security after going 1-3 in his last 4 bouts. While Mitrione holds an impressive 7-3 mark inside the UFC, he tends to fall short against the top competitors in the heavyweight division. Mitrione should face a guy who is also bordering on becoming a top contender. How about the perennial heavyweight gatekeeper Gabriel Gonzaga?
Hatsu Hioki saved his career in Macao, defeating Ivan Menjivar by unanimous decision. Hioki was heralded as one of the world’s top featherweights until a three fight losing streak brought his top ten ranking to a close. While Hioki’s win against Menjivar was far from pretty, it put the Japanese featherweight back on the right track. Hioki needs to stay away from top level wrestlers if he wants to continue his UFC career past his next fight. A bout with Thiago Tavares would fit the bill for Hioki.
Rest of the Card
John Hathaway vs. Hyun Gyu Lim
Wang Sai vs. UFC newcomer
Shawn Jordan vs. Walt Harris
Ivan Menjivar vs. Jeremy Larsen
Yui Chul Nam vs. Katsunori Kikuno
Kazuki Tokudome vs. Renee Forte
Vaughn Lee vs. Roland Delorme/David Grant winner
Nam Phan vs. Shunichi Shimizu
Wang Anying vs. UFC newcomer
Mark Eddiva vs. Zubaira Tukhugov
Jumabieke Tuerxun vs. Sean Soriano