UFC Fight Night 48: 3 Fights for Tyron Woodley to Take Next

Riley Kontek@@BigRIlesMMAFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2014

HONG KONG - AUGUST 20:  UFC welterweight fighter Tyron Woodley at the Macao UFC Fight Night Press Conference at the Four Season Hotel on August 20, 2014 in Hong Kong.  (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

The UFC returned to China Saturday morning with UFC Fight Night 48. Headlined by Michael Bisping and Cung Le, the event held a largely regional card with fighters from neighboring Asian countries.

However, the co-main event had two high-level welterweights square off in the form of Tyron Woodley and Dong Hyun Kim. When it was all said and done, Woodley leveled Kim with a massive punch and finished him on the ground with follow-up shots for the win.

With the win, Woodley is back in the title picture, but who should he take on next? Here are three options.


Matt Brown

Matt Brown might be the best option. The Top Five welterweight is coming off a top contender's bout opposite Robbie Lawler in which Brown, although he lost, showed great toughness and determination.

Brown has the striking to give Woodley problems. However, Woodley has the wrestling to give Brown problems. It's a great complement.

Both men are toward the upper-middle part of the 170-pound division, so it really makes sense. It could also headline a Fight Night card that's either on Fight Pass or Fox Sports 1.


Demian Maia

Demian Maia is an interesting matchup for Tyron Woodley. While Woodley is a power wrestler with knockout power, Maia is a world-class jiu-jitsu practitioner with improved technical ability on the feet.

Woodley could take down Maia, but he would be playing with fire against a guy who can sweep, transition and submit anybody in the world. On the feet, he could knock him out or get hit-and-run by the in-and-out of Maia.

Either way, both men are at the top of their class. That's why this fight makes the most sense.


Jake Ellenberger

Think about Rory MacDonald's latest fights against Jake Ellenberger and Woodley. Both were very timid and got outpointed in a poor showing.

Now, that alone may not warrant a matchup between Ellenberger and Woodley, but their respective styles would.

Both men are wrestlers who have come to be known for their heavy leather. Both have extreme knockout power, though Ellenberger has been more shy about it lately.

Styles make fights, and I have a good feeling that this would be an interesting affair.