Afterwards, we’re stuck asking ourselves… what’s next for the victors? Well I’m here to try to play matchmaker for our main card winners and see what fights could (and should) be on the horizon!
Colby Covington vs. Usman/Burns Winner (WW)
Colby Covington dominated former champion Tyron Woodley for four rounds before finishing him (due to an injury) in the fifth. This is Covington’s first win since his failed title bid last December, but it seems like the title could be next for him as well. Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns are set to fight for the Welterweight title in December, so Colby could simply wait to fight the victor. Given Colby and Usman’s Fight of the Year candidate in their first meeting, I can’t imagine the promotion being too opposed to giving Covington another crack should another contender not present themselves.
Niko Price vs. Donald Cerrone ends in a Majority Draw
This was an amazing fight and there isn’t really a loser in this bout. Cerrone proved he still has what it takes to compete and that his chin is still intact, while Price once again showed off his warring style and would have won, if not for the point taken for eye pokes.
Khamzat Chimaev vs. Demian Maia (WW)
Khamzat’s winning streak and hype train continued to even further heights tonight as he knocked Gerald Meerschaert out with the very first punch he threw. Chimaev’s wrestling was on display in his first two bouts, but this time needed just seventeen seconds and not a single takedown to notch another fantastic victory. In an unusual circumstance, my work is already done as Chimaev was promised a meeting with Demian Maia at Fight Island if victorious tonight, although a date has not yet been announced. Look forward to another Chimaev fight in October, this time back at Welterweight!
Johnny Walker vs. Volkan Oezdemir (LHW)
Johnny Walker scored a fantastic turnaround knockout over Ryan Spann, his fourth first-round knockout (and victory) in the UFC. After Spann had him rocked and dove for a takedown, Walker unleashed hellacious hammerfists and finished his opponent while defending the takedown. This puts Walker back on the winning track after two straight defeats and secures his position in the rankings. Volkan Oezdemir looks like a prime opponent, as the Swiss power puncher has not competed since his KO defeat to Jiri Prochazka in July. His surging striking and short range power pose a thrilling stylistic challenge for Walker that would be sure to produce a Fight of the Night!
Mackenzie Dern vs. Tecia Torres (SW)
Mackenzie Dern secured a fantastic first-round armbar over Randa Markos, once again displaying her elite jiu-jitsu skills that saw her take the world championship. With her lone defeat coming to rising star Amanda Ribas, Dern is still a true prospect who will likely jump a few more spots after this victory. A bout against veteran and #11-ranked Tecia Torres would be perfect, as it gives her an ability to showcase her striking as well as having a fellow grappler willing to tango on the mat.
Kevin Holland vs. Eryk Anders (MW)
Kevin Holland emerged victorious over Darren Stewart in a split decision, but himself saying he was not confident in the result. He showed acceptance if the promotion wanted to run the fight back, but I doubt that will be a priority in the current landscape of unpredictability. The Trailblazer once again showed his unique striking, throwing hammerfists in the pocket while showing a mastery of the clinch over a skilled combatant in that arena. I like a bout with Eryk Anders, who is similarly ranked just outside the top 15 and most recently narrowly secured a decision over Krzytszof Jotko.
We head over to Abu Dhabi for five weeks at Fight Island, kicking off with UFC 253 and two titles on the line in one night next week!
Until next time, Freaks!