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Power-Ranking the Bevy of Fights Booked Today, January 15th, With GIFS


(There’ll be plenty more of this after the jump. Trust me.)

It’s February 18th, 2016 (or something like that), which can only mean one thing: There dun been a whole lotta MMA fights booked today! And rather than give you some paint-by-numbers fight booking breakdown (looking at you, Goldsteen), I’ve decided to do pretty much that, but with gifs. So without further askew, let’s get to it!

#6: Matt Hamill vs. TBA — WSOF 4-Man Light Heavyweight Tournament

Oh, hadn’t you heard? Following his retirement from the sport in 2011, unretirement in 2012, firing from the UFC and signing with the WSOF in 2013, and re-retirement before ever fighting for the WSOF in 2014, Matt “The Hammer” Hamill has once again unretired! Fuck yeah, consistency!

Although he won’t be getting that rematch with Rampage Jackson in Bellator he was hoping for, Hamill has in fact signed an exclusive contract with World Series of Fighting, and is expected to make his debut as part of a 4-man tournament for the promotion’s light heavyweight belt. There’s no word on who he’ll be facing yet (our guess is another UFC veteran, which is all this tournament is made up of), but we feel confident not giving two shits about this fight regardless. Ranking:

 

#5: Thiago Silva vs. Ronny Markes — WSOF 4-Man Light Heavyweight Tournament

Remember that time I mentioned how the WSOF light heavyweight tournament is entirely made up of former UFC fighters? Well, enter Thiago Silva, who was just signed by the WSOF to a multi-fight contract despite being a reprehensible piece of human garbage.

A brief refresher on Silva’s recent past. First, he was slapped with a “lifetime ban” by the UFC following his arrest for the aggravated assault of his ex-wife and an armed standoff with police. Once his wife fled the country out of fear for her safety, Silva was then welcomed back into the organization with open arms after, and this is what Dana White actually said, “coming out of the legal process untainted.” Of course, Silva was then re-fired less than a month later after his ex-wife released some disturbing videos of him threatening her with a gun, because the UFC literally learned nothing from the Ray Rice scandal.

(*exhale*) In any case, Silva has been booked in the WSOF’s 4-man lightweight tourney opposite former UFC middleweight Ronny Markes in the semifinal round.

You see what’s happening here, right? WSOF is unabashedly setting up Thiago fucking Silva to be the face of their light heavyweight division. My reaction to this can only be summed up in the immortal words of David Caruso. Ranking:

 

#4: Rampage Jackson vs. TBA (Possibly Fabio Maldonado) — UFC 186

‘Page is back, baby! Lovers of MMA circa 2005, rejoice!!

I kid (sort of), but according to MMAFighting, Jackson’s return to the Octagon is being eyed for UFC 186 in April, with his opponent potentially being Fabio Maldonado. The Brazilian former pro boxer is fresh off a second round TKO of Hans Stringer at UFC 179, and has won 4 of his last 5 overall. Say what you want about Rampage (or Maldonado) being past his prime…

I suppose I should have finished that thought with a counterpoint, but what I’m getting at is Rampage vs. Maldonado has slugfest written all over it. In blood. Ranking: 

 

#3: Jim Miller vs. Paul Felder — UFC on FOX 15

Jim Miller is a gamer through and through, and Paul Felder kicked off 2015 with a KO of the Year-worthy spinning backfist over Danny Castillo at UFC 182. This fight will win all of the performance bonuses. Ranking: 

 

#2: Paige VanZant vs. Felice Herrig — UFC on FOX 15

Paige VanZant vs. Felice HerrigPaige VanZant. Versus Felice Herrig

 

#1: Renan Barao vs. TJ Dillashaw II — UFC 186

Although it hasn’t been officially confirmed yet, UFC Tonight is reporting that the UFC is looking to book Dillashaw vs. Barao II for the April 25th card in Montreal now that Dominick Cruz has once again gone down with an ACL injury.

This rematch makes a hell of a lot more sense now than it did when Barao and Dillashaw were originally scheduled to lock horns again at UFC 177, which as we all know, ended with Barao withdrawing from the fight on 24 hours notice following a botched weight cut. While Dillashaw went on to starch Joe Soto that night, Barao would bounce back with a third round submission win over top contender Mitch Gagnon at Fight Night 58. The scales are finally starting to even in the battle of Team Alpha Male vs. All of Brazil, so we’ll go ahead and slap this one with a Ranking of:

-J. Jones

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