After each occasion, followers marvel whom the winners will probably be matched up with subsequent.
With one other night time of UFC motion within the rearview mirror, it’s time to look ahead, placed on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s footwear, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC 249’s key profitable fighters.
These included Justin Gaethje (22-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), who claimed the interim light-weight belt with a fifth-round TKO of Tony Ferguson (25-Four MMA, 15-2 UFC) in the principle occasion at VyStar Veterans Memorial Area in Jacksonville, Fla., Henry Cejudo (16-2 MMA, 10-2 UFC) who defended bantamweight gold in opposition to Dominick Cruz (22-Three MMA, 5-2 UFC) within the co-headliner, in addition to Francis Ngannou (15-Three MMA, 10-2 UFC), Greg Hardy (6-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Anthony Pettis (23-10 MMA, 10-9 UFC).
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Pettis’ mission assertion going into struggle night time was to get his confidence again to he can put collectively a run and constructed the shape that when made him a UFC champion. He had a strong first step, however the subsequent one must be an even bigger problem.
Within the quick aftermath of his win, Pettis acquired a callout from dos Anjos (30-13 MMA, 18-11 UFC), who took the light-weight title from him in March 2015. Each males have been by means of rather a lot since, however a rematch can be compelling. “Showtime” simply gained a rematch the place he gained the primary struggle, and now it’s time to see how he performs in a single the place he misplaced.
Ought to struggle: Maurice Greene
Why they need to struggle: Early adversity didn’t stop Hardy from getting an important profession win as he outpointed Yorgan De Castro to take a unanimous resolution.
The leg kicks have been an enormous situation for Hardy early, however he was capable of flip the tide and snap his two-fight skid. The previous NFL standout is certainly a controversial determine in MMA as a consequence of his checkered previous, however he’s proving himself struggle over struggle, and it doesn’t seem he’ll be going anyplace anytime quickly.
Hardy’s most up-to-date loss to Alexander Volkov appears to have served as a studying expertise. He shouldn’t leap again as much as that degree instantly, however placing himself someplace within the center between that and De Castro looks like a superb match.
Greene (8-Four MMA, 3-2 UFC) may be on a two-fight skid, however he’s received a trio of UFC wins to his credit score and is an individual who suits proper into the wheelhouse of what Hardy wants.
Ought to struggle: Winner of Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier
Why they need to struggle: Though he was already the highest contender, Ngannou solidified his spot with a 20-second knockout of Jairzinho Rozenstruik to enhance his profitable streak to 4.
The heavyweight division is a little bit of a large number in the mean time. Rising discontent between UFC president Dana White and champ Miocic over the timeline for his subsequent protection in opposition to Cormier has led to discussions of stripping the belt. If that occurs, Ngannou will come into the fold.
In the end, cooler heads ought to prevail, and we’ll get the Miocic vs. Cormier trilogy. Ngannou ought to completely struggle for the belt after that, it simply stays to be seen if he’s prepared to attend for it or decide to take one other struggle to maintain busy within the meantime.
Ought to struggle: Nobody
Why: Cejudo retired from MMA following his TKO win and profitable title protection in opposition to Cruz, and until the UFC actually makes it value his whereas from a monetary perspective, “Triple C” isn’t coming again.
UFC president Dana White stated post-fight that he’ll give Cejudo about 9 days to mull it over and both stroll again his resolution or make sure of it. If it’s the latter, the 135-pound belt will turn into vacant and two new names will compete for it later this 12 months.
Watch the video above for extra.
Ought to struggle: Khabib Nurmagomedov
Why they need to struggle: Watch the video above to see why Gaethje ought to meet champion Nurmagomedov (28-Zero MMA, 12-Zero UFC) in a title unification bout subsequent.