Well after another big UFC PPV done its time for another What's Next for the winner's and losers!
Well that was certainly unexpected, in what I thought was going to be a routine cruise control to victory performance from Jones we actually seen him pushed further than he ever has been previously in a fight and for the first time, I thought he lost. The judges gave Jon the nod however but the collective outcry from the fans and media and even Jones himself seem to be aware that this dubious decision needs to be run back. Especially when you consider who else is left at Lightheavyweight, the winner of Anderson vs. Blachowicz? Anthony Smith if he can beat a 40 year old Glover? The Reyes rematch is without a doubt the fight to make.
Next Opponent: Dominick Reyes
Valentina went out and showed everyone why she was the biggest favourite on the card with what can only be described as a one sided beatdown of Chookagian. In just three defences and in less than two years Valentina has become recognized as one of the most dominant champions in the division with really nobody in her division even appearing to be close to the same level as her especially on the feet. Nobody stands out as a clear cut contender just now but simply because she's the highest ranked fighter she hasn't faced yet and the fact Valentina mentioned her I think in all likelihood Calderwood is up next for her.
Next Opponent: Joanne Calderwood
The black sheep fight of the card, pretty sure most people rubbed there heads in confusion when they seen this was on the main card which meant there wasn't that much to gain for either man but more a hell of a lot to lose. This very much felt like a loser leaves town, ufc trimming the roster sort of deal and in that sense well done to Tafa he's surely earned himself one or two more fights in the ufc, only issue is Heavyweight is really thin so getting him a similar leveled opponent isn't easy. Crowder is similarly ranked and in need of a win himself.
Next Opponent: Allen Crowder
This marks a fifth straight win now for Ige with Bektic being the first real test against top level competition, while a win over Bektic itself likely won't be enough to get him in to the top 15 it should at the very least now get him a fight where he has a chance to win that opportunity. He's called out Korean Zombie but personally I think that's maybe being a bit overly ambitious as KZ is one away from a title shot. There are plenty of top 15 guys without a match-up booked right now though and a perfect fit for Ige I think would be against Shane Burgos.
Next Opponent: Shane Burgos
If this had went any other way than a Lewis win the Houston crowd may have rioted, thankfully however Derrick got the UD nod over Latifi. Despite now being the 5th ranked guy and ona two fight winning streak he's in a odd spot. Firstly that was Latifi's first fight at Heavyweight and his other win is over Ivanov who is tough as nails but not a top 10 guy. The fact that Derrick has an ongoing medical issue makes me wonder if we will see him back quickly or not. If it is a relatively quick turnaround he wants than I don't see how it can be anyone other than Curtis Blaydes. Granted its a fight he won't be the favourite but if he wants to get a crack at the belt again he will need to beat some top guys.
Next Opponent: Curtis Blaydes
I don't know about all of you but I didn't really rate Reyes chances of beating Jones, didn't think it would be an exciting fight but more another strategic dominant performance we've become accustom to but Reyes came closer than anyone has before of dethroning the Lightheavyweight GOAT and really should have got the decision. Reyes should in all likelihood now get a chance to run it back with Jones in a rematch in the next few months. Reyes obviously wants it, the fans want it, even Jones said he is up for it and with other competition so thin I don't see how they cant make the rematch between Reyes and Jones.
Next Opponent: Jon Jones
Katlyn Chookagian has a great chance to beat any women's flyweight in the world not named Valentina Shevchenko. Here however it just seemed like a case of sheep in amongst the wolves as Katyln and the rest of the girls in the division don't look to be anywhere near on the same level as her. What sucks for her is unless Shevchenko completely clears out the division or Katyln manages to put together a streak that makes it undeniable then I doubt you see her get a crack at the belt again. Modafferi is a good fresh match-up and her popularity has arguably never been higher.
Next Opponent: Roxanne Modafferi
The fight between two Heavyweights who aren't even quite at the prospect level was an odd one to have on the main card to begin with. For Adams even more was on the line as he was already on a two fight skid and now after this latest loss moves to three losses in a row. This is the kiss of death for many established fighters higher up in the rankings and despite Heavyweight being historically one of the thinnest divisions I don't really see that saving Juan here as I imagine we will here he has been given his walking papers in the next few days.
Next Opponent: Bellator/PFL/Rizin/ONE FC
After being a consensus top 15 fighter for so long it looks as though Bektic is starting to slip. This time two years ago he only had one loss in his whole career now he's had three and lost three of his last five. He definitely needs to win his next fight unless he wants to be seen as potentially entering his decline already. Riding two losses he isn't as appealing a name as before so I reckon his next fight will be against someone else not quite in the rankings who's approaching that undesired title of journeyman. Cub would make for a good fight since breaking that skid against Gracie.
Next Opponent: Cub Swanson
One of the oddest fights of the night from the very first moment I heard Latifi moving to Heavyweight I was left scratching my head. The fact that he was given such a high ranked opponent in Lewis despite being on a two fight skid further confused me. Even though he lost to Lewis here im left feeling much better about his future at Heavyweight. Let's be honest he was never gonna be a guy challenging for the title anyway but I think he can pick up plenty of wins in that 15th to 9th positions of the rankings. Pavlovich is a prospect who needs testing and Latifi is the type of guys who will give you hard gruelling fight.
Next Opponent: Sergei Pavlovich