After every event, fans wonder whom the winners will be matched up with next.
With another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC 239’s key winning fighters.
Those included Jon Jones (25-1 MMA, 19-1 UFC), who defended his light heavyweight title against Thiago Santos (21-7 MMA, 13-6 UFC) in the pay-per-view headliner at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, as well as Amanda Nunes (18-4 MMA, 11-1 UFC), who knocked out Holly Holm (13-4 MMA, 5-5 UFC) to retain her women’s strawweight strap.
* * * *
Should fight: Neil Magny
Why they should fight: Chiesa remained unbeaten since moving up to welterweight when he schooled octagon legend Diego Sanchez for three rounds to take a lopsided unanimous decision in the main card opener.
After putting himself through torture to fight at lightweight, Chiesa finally opted to move up to 170 pounds in December and the results have been immediate. His size and grappling ability make him an intriguing player in he division,
Chiesa said post-fight that anything less than ranked opponent would be unacceptable next. UFC should oblige with a matchup against Magny (21-7 MMA, 14-6 UFC), who Chiesa was originally hoping to fight before the veteran was sidelined with a potential U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) issue. That happened much earlier this year, though, and with the assumption there was no intentional wrongdoing, the hope is to see Magny back in action this year.
Should fight: Dominick Reyes
Why they should fight: Blachowicz voices his desire for a light heavyweight title shot after his brutal knockout of Luke Rockhold, and with five wins in his past six fights, there’s a decent argument there.
Unfortunately for the Polish fighter, the timing is all wrong. 205-pound king Jones just fought consecutive bouts against lesser-known foes and there seems to be a greater hunger around the champ pursuing a marquee fight rather than picking off another challenger who would come in as a massive underdog.
Blachowicz is missing one more key win from his resume to put him over the hump, and if he can go out and get that, he’ll find himself in a very good position. Put him in there against an undefeated rising contender like Reyes (11-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) and see who can stake their claim at fighting for the belt.
Should fight: The welterweight champion
Why they should fight: Whether Masvidal is next for UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (15-1 MMA, 10-0 UFC) or someone else (like Colby Covington) gets the shot first, “Gamebred” absolutely, positively, undeniably has to fight for UFC gold next.
Even if it requires sitting out for a while, Masvidal needs his title shot after blitzing through Ben Askren in five shocking seconds with a flying knee knockout. It just has to happen. Masvidal will never be hotter than he is right now after brutal back-to-back finishes of Askren and Darren Till, and the UFC would be wise to capitalize on that momentum.
Fan interest around Masvidal is at a high and parlaying that into a title fight against whoever has the belt at that time is simply to logical move.
Should fight: Cris Cyborg or winner of Germaine de Randamie vs. Aspen Ladd at UFC on ESPN+ 13
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why double champ Nunes should rematch Cyborg (20-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) at featherweight to defend against the winner of the UFC on ESPN+ 13 main event between de Randamie (8-3 MMA, 5-1 UFC) and Ladd (8-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) at bantamweight.
Should fight: Winner of Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic at UFC 241
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Jones should fight the winner of Cormier (22-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC) vs. Miocic (18-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC) next.
Amanda Nunes, Aspen Ladd, Cris Cyborg,, Daniel Cormier, Dominick Reyes, Germaine de Randamie, Jan Blachowicz, Jon Jones, Jorge Masvidal, Michael Chiesa, Neil Magny , Stipe Miocic, UFC 239, News, UFC, Videos