Amanda Nunes, probably the most dominant lady in fight sports activities historical past, added one other line to her résumé on Saturday, as she defended her featherweight title in opposition to Felicia Spencer.
The 2-weight champion has now received 11 bouts in a row, and defeated a number of the most completed ladies of all time in Ronda Rousey, Cris “Cyborg” Justino, Valentina Shevchenko, Miesha Tate and Holly Holm. This subject comes up loads round dominant champions, however in Nunes’ case, it is onerous to dispute. She’s working out of individuals to battle.
However, she’s not retiring both. So, who’s it going to be? And what in regards to the different huge names of UFC 250? This is ESPN’s take.
Amanda Nunes (defeated Felicia Spencer by unanimous determination)
Who must be subsequent: Megan Anderson
I imply, I suppose. And to be clear, that is not a knock on Anderson in any respect. She’s a legitimately proficient featherweight, with professional wins on her document. However she’s nonetheless fairly inexperienced to be taking a battle in opposition to the best feminine fighter of all time. I do not like her possibilities. And admittedly, I feel it may find yourself being dangerous for her profession if she fights Nunes.
That is the form of sport through which while you lose very badly, generally there is no coming again. And Anderson would possibly lose very badly in opposition to Nunes. I really feel the identical method about bantamweight prospect Aspen Ladd, who fights later this month. She’s supremely proficient however not prepared for Nunes.
However once more, Nunes is not retiring. And he or she’s already on the 145-pound weight. Anderson has nobody else to battle. She makes as a lot sense as anybody.
Darkish horse: Valentina Shevchenko
Dana White instructed me Saturday he is not into the concept of this battle, nevertheless it’s definitely higher than many others I can provide you with. I assumed Shevchenko really beat Nunes the second time they fought, in 2017.
For the document, I might really wish to see this battle occur down the street. Let each of them proceed to dominate after which give it a full highlight in 2021. Make it for the title of pound-for-pound greatest feminine on the planet. I am down to attend for this one, and I actually do not assume it is going to occur subsequent, however given the dearth of choices for Nunes, I additionally would not rule it out.
Cody Garbrandt (defeated Raphael Assuncao by second-round KO)
Who must be subsequent: Marlon Moraes
Why fiddle? Why do the rest? The one argument in opposition to this battle is, “Ought to we actually throw Garbrandt straight right into a battle in opposition to some of the confirmed finishers within the division, simply because he had one good efficiency on Saturday?” And it is a honest level. Let’s not neglect, coming into this battle, Garbrandt had been knocked out in three in a row. However my reply to that query is, sure, they need to.
I by no means actually thought Garbrandt utterly misplaced his mojo, even throughout that three-fight skid. I simply thought he wanted to refine some issues and discover a true head coach. Sure, I used to be a bit frightened in regards to the harm he’d taken in these losses, however that skid performed out over almost three years. The expertise by no means went wherever. The velocity by no means went wherever.
His confidence is again. Why deal with Garbrandt with child gloves? Moraes is the battle.
Garbrandt needs Petr Yan or Jose Aldo, and it isn’t onerous to grasp why. He needs the bantamweight title again. I am unable to see that taking place in his subsequent battle, although, not after the efficiency Aljamain Sterling had Saturday. So Garbrandt is just not going to slip right into a 135-pound title shot.
However how a few 125-pound title battle? Benavidez and Figueiredo are anticipated to battle on July 18. The winner would be the new champ, and there is not an apparent 125-pound contender to face the winner. Garbrandt has mentioned he could make the load and he’d instantly be the largest identify to ever battle at 125 kilos. If he can the truth is make it, then why not?
Aljamain Sterling (defeated Cory Sandhagen by first-round submission)
UFC hasn’t introduced an official date for Yan vs. Aldo for the vacant bantamweight championship, however I am anticipating it to happen in early July. There are a whole lot of complaints about this title battle — and I am unable to argue any of them. Aldo is a legend, however he is coming off a loss and is 2-Four in his previous six contests.
If the battle occurs in early July, although, and Sterling will get his title shot within the subsequent 135-pound championship bout, all’s effectively that ends effectively. It is enjoyable to see Sterling go right into a title alternative on such a excessive. He has regarded pretty much as good as any 135-pounder within the division for some time.
Darkish horse: Yan. Or Aldo.
I might counsel Sterling keep prepared. Touring around the globe in 2020 is just not as straightforward because it was in 2019. Issues fall via, plans are scrapped. I may very a lot envision a world through which Sterling’s quantity will get known as one month from now. And one hopes he’ll be in form and able to reply the decision if that chance comes.
Sean O’Malley (defeated Eddie Wineland by first-round KO)
Who must be subsequent: Marlon Vera
This battle was initially speculated to occur in July 2019, earlier than O’Malley was flagged for an unlucky doping violation — which america Anti-Doping Company finally mentioned was unintentional. Since then, O’Malley missed time due to a suspension and now has burst again onto the scene with back-to-back finishes over Jose Quinonez and Wineland.
Vera has received two of three contained in the Octagon, and the one he misplaced — a call loss to Track Yadong — was a bit controversial. O’Malley vs. Yadong can be a terrific battle as effectively, however stylistically, I just like the Vera battle a bit extra. And Vera has an air of confidence to him that can rival what O’Malley brings to the desk.
Darkish horse: Track Yadong
I really urged Yadong as an opponent for O’Malley after he beat Quinonez in March. Truthfully, possibly this is able to make extra sense than Vera, as Yadong is on a roll and hasn’t misplaced since 2016. It is a terrific battle, nevertheless it’s not as if it makes that rather more sense than a battle in opposition to Vera.