Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Valentina Shevchenko and UFC 215's other losing fighters?

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Filed under: News, UFC

(ALSO SEE: Sean Shelby’s Shoes: What’s next for UFC 215’s winning fighters?)

UFC 215 took place Saturday at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, with a five-fight pay-pay-per-view main card.

Valentina Shevchenko (14-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) fell short of claiming the UFC women’s bantamweight title in the headliner when she suffered a split-decision loss to Amanda Nunes (15-4 MMA, 8-1 UFC) to experience her second UFC blemish, both of which have come against “The Lioness.”

Some other fighters suffered notable losses, as well, with Neil Magny (19-6 MMA, 12-5 UFC) and Wilson Reis (22-8 MMA, 6-4 UFC) suffering stoppage losses, and Tyson Pedro (6-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) and Gilbert Melendez (22-7 MMA, 1-5 UFC) falling short on the scorecards.

After every event, fans wonder whom the losing fighters will be matched up with next. And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC 215’s losing fighters.

* * * *

Gilbert Melendez

Jason Knight

Should fight: Jason Knight
Why they should fight: Melendez’s experimental drop to the featherweight division didn’t go according to plan against Jeremy Stephens, and now the former Strikeforce champion is sitting on a four-fight losing skid and is winless over a nearly four-year period.

Although he’s had two title shots and a “Fight of the Year” contender with Diego Sanchez in 2013, Melendez’s run in the UFC can likely be summed up as disappointing, especially when considering only the number of wins and losses.

At 35, it remains to be seen if Melendez will want to continue to fight much longer, especially with ownership of his own gym and an analyst gig with ESPN. Assuming he wants to continue, and stay at featherweight, a number of interesting fights are available in the division.

A slugger such as Knight (20-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) could potentially bring out the best in Melendez, and if it went the other way, Knight would add a legitimate name to his resume following a knockout loss to Ricardo Lamas at UFC 214 in July.

Tyson Pedro

Gian Villante

Should fight: Gian Villante
Why they should fight: Pedro experienced the first defeat of his career when he fell short with a unanimous-decision loss to Swedish powerhouse Ilir Latifi.

After a six-fight winning streak to begin his career, Pedro couldn’t rise to the level of his most elite opponent to date, and that shows he’s not quite ready for the higher-tier fighters in the light-heavyweight division.

A matchup with Villante (15-9 MMA, 5-6 UFC) wouldn’t be a big step back from Latifi, but he would present a winnable fight for the Australian that would also afford him a chance to add a notable name to his resume.

Wilson Reis

Brandon Moreno

Should fight: Brandon Moreno
Why they should fight: After being handed a brutal beatdown at the hands of flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson earlier this year, Reis took an even more one-sided loss when Henry Cejudo knocked him out cold in the matchup of former title challengers.

Reis was unable to accomplish anything in just over a round of cage time with Cejudo, and he got picked apart and ultimately finished with a series of second-round strikes. It’s unfamiliar territory for the Brazilian, who had never been finished in the UFC prior to this current skid.

Given the nature of his past two fights, it would probably be in Reis’ best interest to take a little time off. Once he’s recovered and recharged, though, a bout with fellow grappling specialist Moreno (14-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC) would be as compelling as any other available option at 125 pounds.

Neil Magny

Gunnar Nelson

Should fight: Gunnar Nelson
Why they should fight: After sitting out for eight months, Magny suffered a setback in his return to the octagon in the form of a first-round submission loss to former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos.

Magny has been stellar over the past few years, but in recent fights, he’s run into some issues that have prevented him from getting his hand raised. The American will need to make some adjustments in order to reach greater heights in the division, but many compelling matchups remain.

Nelson (16-3-1 MMA, 7-3 UFC) dangerous ground game and evolving striking would clash well with Magny’s versatile offense and defense. Both men would enter the fight off a loss, meaning even greater stakes and risk when they share the octagon.

Valentina Shevchenko

Should fight: Sara McMann
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Shevchenko should fight McMann (11-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC) next after her title-fight loss.

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 215 results: Ketlen Vieira first survives, then submits Sara McMann

Undefeated Brazilian contender Ketlen Vieira (9-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) earned the biggest win of her career, scoring a gutsy submission win over Sara McMann (11-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC) in impressive fashion.

The women’s bantamweight bout closed out today’s UFC 215 prelims, which took place at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and aired on FS1.

The two fighters traded punches to start, but McMann wasted little time shooting inside and looking to get the action to the floor. Vieira showed solid defense in her initial effort, but McMann continued to press until she did score the takedown, quickly settling into her opponent’s guard. Working from top position, McMann dropped several powerful elbows on to her opponent’s face, while Vieira tried unsuccessfully to control the arms and set up a potential submission. Instead, it was McMann who advanced quickly to half-guard and then the full variety before rifling off punches to the face. Vieira alertly countered with a slick transition and briefly threatened McMann’s left leg, but the bell sounded before she could earn a finish.

McMann seemed to strike a bit more to start the second before shooting in for another takedown. However, Vieira was up to the challenge and actually landed a series of damaging punches and elbows as she sprawled. McMann continued to look for the takedown in tight quarters, but Vieira defended well and then surprised with a quick, powerful takedown of her own that saw her fall immediately past the right leg. From the top, Vieira worked deftly into an arm-triangle choke on the left side, torquing and angling the squeeze and somehow earning the tap at the 4:16 mark despite being unable to clear McMann’s half-guard.

“Fenomeno” remains unbeaten and is now 3-0 in the UFC. McMann sees a three-fight winning streak snapped.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 215 results include:

For more on UFC 215, visit the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Former UFC title challenger Sara McMann joins Team Alpha Male

The stable of talent at Team Alpha Male continues to grow with the addition of UFC women’s bantamweight contender Sara McMann.

McMann (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) has officially joined the team in Sacramento, Calif., ahead of her scheduled bout with Ketlen Vieira (8-0 MMA. 2-0 UFC) at UFC 215, which takes place Sept. 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, with the main card on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

The full-time move to Team Alpha Male has been pending for several weeks, now it’s official (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

McMann, No. 9 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA women’s bantamweight rankings, unsuccessfully challenged then-champion Ronda Rousey for the title at UFC 170 in February 2014. She’s dropped fights to Miesha Tate and current champion Amanda Nunes since, but otherwise has overwhelmed her competition.

The 36-year-old is currently riding a three-fight winning streak including consecutive arm-triangle submission wins against Alexis Davis and Gina Mazany. She will attempt to push her winning streak to four against the undefeated Vieira.

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie