Matches to Make After UFC 211

By Brian Knapp May 14, 2017

If Jessica Andrade thought she was the woman to dethrone Joanna Jedrzejczyk, she was mistaken -- and gravely so.

The undefeated Jedrzejczyk spent the better part of five rounds picking apart Andrade, as she kept her stranglehold on the Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s strawweight title with a lopsided unanimous decision in the UFC 211 co-main event on Saturday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Scores were 50-45, 50-44 and 50-45.

Nothing went according to plan for Andrade, who ate punches and kicks to the head, body and legs at an alarming rate. Jedrzejczyk connected with nearly 65 percent of the strikes she threw, according to FightMetric data, and outlanded the challenger by an eye-popping 230-94 margin. The champion was simply brilliant. The 225 significant strikes Jedrzejczyk put on Andrade were a career-high, besting her previous mark of 220 set in November 2015.

In the aftermath of UFC 211 “Miocic vs. Dos Santos 2,” here are five matches that ought to be made:

Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Rose Namajunas: One could make the argument that Jedrzejczyk has become the most dominant fighter in the sport, male or female. Since she laid claim to the UFC women’s strawweight championship in March 2015, the American Top Team export has cut through Andrade, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Claudia Gadelha, Valerie Letourneau and Jessica Penne. In those five appearances, Jedrzejczyk has landed 918 significant strikes. Her opponents have connected on just 324. Namajunas, 24, last competed at UFC on Fox 24 in April, when she submitted former Invicta Fighting Championships titleholder Michelle Waterson with a second-round rear-naked choke.

Stipe Miocic vs. Cain Velasquez: Miocic finds himself in rarified air after he avenged a December 2015 defeat to Junior dos Santos and disposed of the Brazilian with punches in the first round of their main event. In doing so, the 34-year-old Euclid, Ohio, native joined Velasquez, Randy Couture, Tim Sylvia and Brock Lesnar as the only men to successfully defend the UFC heavyweight championship in back-to-back appearances. Miocic’s options at the top of the division are somewhat limited, ranging from a rematch with Fabricio Werdum to a showdown with upstart Francis Ngannou. A clash with Velasquez, if healthy, provides the most intrigue. The oft-injured American Kickboxing Academy standout has not fought since he bounced Travis Browne with punches at UFC 200 in July.

Demian Maia vs. Tyron Woodley: A run of seven consecutive victories has put Maia in position to challenge for the UFC welterweight title. The 2007 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist fought through considerable adversity in his latest outing, as he eked out a split decision over American Top Team mainstay Jorge Masvidal. Maia had submitted three of his previous four opponents, but “Gamebred” proved to be a far more difficult nut to crack. A little less than a year removed from his upset of Robbie Lawler, Woodley last competed at UFC 209 on March 4, when he was awarded a majority decision over Stephen Thompson at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Frankie Edgar vs. Ricardo Lamas-Chan Sung Jung winner: Edgar was systematic and sensational, as he steamrolled “The Ultimate Fighter Latin America” winner Yair Rodriguez in a hotly anticipated featherweight showcase. “The Answer” had all the answers, pairing first- and second-round takedowns with devastating ground-and-pound. All his work resulted in significant damage to Rodriguez’s left eye and led to a doctor stoppage in between the second and third rounds. Edgar shows no signs of slowing down at age 35, having rattled off seven wins across his past eight outings. Lamas and Jung will lock horns at UFC 214 on July 29.

David Branch vs. Derek Brunson-Daniel Kelly winner: In his UFC appearance in more than six years, Branch pocketed a split decision against Krzysztof Jotko. The former two-division World Series of Fighting champion did not endear himself to the audience with a focus on clinches and takedowns, but he did enough to warrant favor from two of the three cageside judges. Branch, 35, has pieced together an 11-fight winning streak since he lost to Anthony Johnson under the Titan Fighting Championship banner in May 2012. Brunson will square off with Kelly at UFC Fight Night 110 on June 11 in New Zealand.

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