10 Fighter I Want To See Back In The UFC
I was watching Amazon Forest Combat 2 today, and two of the fighters that won are two that I believe should be back in the UFC, so I thought I'd compile a list...
1) Thales Leites: Okay, okay, his fight with Anderson Silva was boring, but he lost one fight after that - a split decision against Alessio Sakara. I don't believe he should have been cut in the first place and, since his stint in the UFC, Thales has picked up 6 wins with just 1 loss - being to Matt Horwich, who he has just avenged this loss to. He's beat veterans like Jeremy Horn and Dean Lister along the way too, and during his spell in the major leagues he beat the likes of Nate Marquardt and Ryan Jensen. Call him up Dana, please.
2) Patrick Côté: He's on a 4-fight win streak since getting cut and finally seems to be back to the old Predator. Also, these four wins haven't been against bums (okay, maybe one win was) so Paddy has definitely made a statement since his departure. He's beaten the likes of Grove, Almeida and McFederies during his time at the UFC, and I could see him being in the top-10 if he shows the same form he has recently - if he does indeed get called up, that is. With an upcoming Canada event, this could be the time for Mr. Côté to be back in the UFC.
3) Gerald Harris: I don't see why he got cut in the first place. 1 loss against a beast like Falcao is hardly cutable - made up word, I know - and he stopped all 3 of his opponents prior to the boat with Maiquel at UFC 123. He's since compiled a record of 3-1 with solid wins in respectable organisations. I'd like to see him come back and fight dudes like Tim Boetsch and Rich Franklin for sure.
4) John Alessio: 10-1 in his last 11 is simply too impressive to go unnoticed. He's 0-3 in the UFC, but this is against beasts like Pat Miletich, Diego Sanchez and Thiago Alves - hardly something to be ashamed of. At 32, he is certainly in his prime and could make an impact in the already stacked Welterweight division.
5) Antonio Banuelos: I normally stick by Joe Silva's choices and regard him highly as a matchmaker, but putting Banuelos up against Torres was a poor decision. And a decision that effectively cut Banuelos as he was never likely to get past the reach advantage of Torres, let alone beat a guy of his calibre. Banuelos was recently in the final of the Dream Bantamweight GP losing to one of the best in the world at 135, Bibiano Fernandes. He deserves another chance in the UFC, that's for sure, and he matches up nicely against guys like Menjivar, Barao et al.
6) Brian Foster: He got cut due to medical issues, but before that he looked very solid. He's never been to a decision, has notched up a four-fight win streak, and - should he prove he is at full health - we should see him in the Octagon again very soon. And at just 27 years old, he could make serious impact to the 170lbs division.
7) Nate Marquardt: Dana needs to admit he made a mistake, take it on the chin and just sign Nate already. He's now back at Strikeforce and if he can get a win over his next opponent, he may get another call up. He justified his reason for a failed drug test, looked very good at 170 and should get another fight in the UFC soon, hopefully.
8) Paul Daley: If Dana can let bygones be bygones, and Daley can kiss Dana's shoes, he could be a big signing for the UFC. He was on an absolute tear prior to his three-round dry humping at the hands of Koscheck, and his first round loss to Diaz was one of the best one round fights ever. I believe he beat Misaki in his last bout, and he showed awesome elbows and wrestling in the bout to prove he's getting more well-rounded. His knockout power means it can all be over in a matter of seconds for his foes, and he's very sellable for the UK market and beyond. He's also beat very good fighters like Masvidal, Acacio and Shirai since being cut for his antics. One thing is for sure, if Semtex gets a second shot, there will be fireworks.
9) Junior Assuncao: After a very close decision loss against Ross Pearson in which Assuncao showed Machida-esque elusiveness, Jr. got cut for very mysterious reasons. He beat former Tachi Palace champ Eddie Yagin prior to the bout with Pearson, his 7th win in 7, and the decision to cut the Brazilian has always mystified me. It's not as though the Featherweight division is so stacked that it can afford to have fighters cut after one close loss, so this makes no sense to me. He didn't miss weight, didn't test positive to any form of drugs and put on an exciting fight. Hopefully if he wins one or two outside of the organisation, he will get another call-up shortly.
10) Tim Sylvia: Just so he can shut up and stop making videos.