Wouldn’t it be interesting to see fights featuring fighters with the same name in the Octagon? We thought so too.
The matchmakers in the UFC have a tough job. They have to take into account a fighter’s skills, win/loss record, call-outs, and much more when making fights. What if they didn’t need to look at all of that and instead just match people up by name?
Recently a fight was announced that features Rafael dos Anjos and Rafael Fiziev. It has been dubbed “the battle of the Rafaels” on Twitter. These men have been boasting that they will prove to be the best Rafael in the UFC, so what are some other same name matchups that could work?
Michael Chandler vs. Michael Johnson
Battle of the Michaels. Both men fight in the lightweight division and could feasibly fight each other one day based on weight class alone. Johnson is coming off a huge second-round TKO over Alan Patrick on May 14. This was his first win in his last four and although it was a great performance, Johnson is still sitting outside the top 15, and with Chandler at number five and potentially in the title mix, it is unlikely we would see these two face off.
Askar Askar vs. Askar Askarov
So many Askars, so little time. So these two men are not exactly in the same weight class, but their names are so similar we can let that slide, right? Askarov fights at flyweight and has been tearing it up there since joining the UFC back in 2019. He has hit a setback with his last unanimous decision loss to Kai Kara-France, but he is still sitting in the top five of the division.
Askar fights right now in LFA, he quickly had a UFC call up in February of last year but was not able to fight and then was released from the organization. He is back in the winning column with two wins at LFA now and could get another chase at the UFC soon. he fights at bantamweight but maybe a move down by him or a move-up by Askarov and we can see a battle of the Askars.
Brandon Moreno vs. Brandon Royval
This matchup might be the most likely of the bunch. Both men are currently fighting in the UFC flyweight division and both are currently in the top five and have faced off before. They were matched together in Nov. of 2020 before Moreno began his trilogy against Deiveson Figueiredo. In the first meeting, Moreno got the best of Royval by first-round TKO. However, while Moreno has been busy with Figueiredo, Royval has been working his way back up to the top. He has two wins in a row against Rogério Bontorin and Matt Schnell and could make a case for another shot at Moreno.
Dan Hooker vs. Dan Ige
Dan Hooker has been having a rough go of it lately. he has only one win in his last five fights. He gave his best try at featherweight in his last outing but came up short to Arnold Allen in London. Although he has announced that he no longer wants to pursue fights at 145 pounds if he were to give it one more try, why not try his luck at another Dan.
Ige is currently holding the No. 10 spot in the featherweight rankings. He is coming off two losses to top-ranked opponents, Josh Emmett and Chan Sung Jung. Both men off losses, both trying to make their way back to the top and near a title shot, both named Dan, sounds like a match made in heaven.
Jessica Eye vs. Jessica Andrade
Jessica Andrade is one of the most active fighters on the UFC roster. She has fought twice a year constantly for the last four years and has been able to bounce between strawweight and flyweight. She is now back at strawweight where she once held the title but has dropped a bit in the rankings. She is currently sitting in the number three spot and should most likely face a top contender next, but what if she faces another Jessica.
Jessica Eye is the next closest to Andrade in terms of rankings. She is 11 in the ranks but has been on a bit of a losing streak lately. Eye has her next matchup already set when she takes in Maycee Barber this summer, but if for some reason if Barber needs a replacement, Andrade could be a nice fit.
Alexander Gustaffson vs. Alexander Volkov
Alexander Gustaffson is making his return to the UFC. After a two-year retirement, Gustaffson is ready to give his MMA career another go, but this time is trying out a heavyweight. He will be making his comeback at UFC London on July 23 and will face Nikita Krylov. If Gustaffson can get the win he will most likely find himself in the top ten of the heavyweight division. If that is the case he would set himself up nicely for a potential bout with Alexander Volkov.
Volkov will also be on the UFC London card as the headliner. With a win, he could be looking at a top-five opponent next time out, but with a loss, Gustaffson could be the right fit. The beauty of them both fighting on the same London card is that they could potentially be on the same schedule in the future and perhaps a battle of the Alexanders will happen the next time the UFC heads to Europe.
Chris Weidman vs. Chris Curtis
Chris Weidman was at one time the middleweight champion. Unfortunately for him, his career has taken a bit of a turn and with his most recent injury, another title shot seems a ways away at this time. Weidman is on the mend however and working to make his way back to the Octagon. When he returns to the cage perhaps he might want to welcome a new up and comer in Chris Curtis.
Curtis now has two wins in the UFC. He holds two TKO wins and already has his next assignment. He will be taking on Rodolfo Vieira in June and if he can win again in an impressive fashion he could find himself in the top 15. With Weidman currently sitting in the number 14 spot, it could be a perfect Chris-cross of talent.
Jake Matthews vs. Matt Brown
So, this next one is a bit of a reach but let’s just go with it—Jake Matthews against Matt(hew) Brown. Brown has been a staple in the welterweight division for years. He is a veteran of the spot and now at 41 years old shows no sign of slowing down. He is a big name and rightfully so since he has been matched up with the likes of Robbie Lawler, Carlos Condit, and others over the years.
Matthews is a talented fighter who may need the bump that he could get format a win over a guy like Brown, although it would be a difficult task. Matthews does not fight often and this makes it difficult to rise up the rankings. He certainly holds the talent to be in the top 15 but maybe name recognition is not there yet. A fight with Brown could yield main card placement and the stage both fighters need at this point in their career.
Josh Culibao vs. Josh Emmett
A featherweight division match-up of the Joshes? Why not? Josh Culibao was brought into the UFC and faced with a very difficult task. he was pitted up against Jalin Turner on short notice and paid the price. Then he won against Shayilan Nuerdanbieke and put himself right in a good position in the division. Josh Emmett could be a good test to see if Culibao is ready to take his game to the next level.
Emmett is ranked seventh and inching closer to a title shot. he returned to the UFC after a layoff to prove that he belongs in the top ten with a win over Dan Ige.
Amanda Ribas vs. Amanda Lemos
Amanda Ribas and Amanda Lemos are so close to each other in the UFC strawweight division rankings it is a shock that they have never fought before. They both had similar beginnings coming up in MMA. They both fought for Jungle Fights around the same time and were both champions of different divisions in 2015. Now they are both in the UFC and both have title aspirations. Eventually, these two will probably meet.
Right now Ribas is just coming off a loss against Katlyn Chookagian at flyweight but maybe a return to strawweight could be in her future. Lemos has her next assignment all set. She will face Michelle Waterson in July.
There are plenty of opportunities for the UFC to play the name game, which matchup is your favorite?