A card somewhat pale in terms of name value certainly came through by way of performances, with numerous finishes and high-octane firefights all over the card.
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!
Holly Holm vs. Germaine de Randamie (BW)
Two for one here as both fighters in this matchup fought tonight.
Holly Holm dominated Irene Aldana over twenty-five minutes, putting a full striking and wrestling clinic on her Mexican opponent. This is two straight for the elite kickboxer after a KO loss to the champ-champ, Amanda Nunes.
GDR stunned with a third-round submission over jiu-jitsu ace Julianna Pena, the first of her career. The Muay Thai expert showed off her striking skills in the first round, but used her well-rounded and much improved defensive BJJ to get the finish.
Their first meeting was for the Featherweight championship, but I would love to see a Bantamweight rematch. The first bout was marred by controversy as well as De Randamie’s disappointing title reign which saw her stripped. As both loss to Nunes just last year, this seems like the perfect matchup for two veterans looking for that one last title shot.
Carlos Felipe vs. Ilir Latifi (HW)
Carlos Felipe earned his first UFC win with a decision over Yorgan de Castro that was a thorough scrap. Felipe showed his excellent pacing and boxing fundamentals, mixing up his shots better than most Heavyweights. Felipe wants to get back in there before the end of the year and I like Ilir Latifi. Latifi’s move to Heavyweight was unsuccessful against top ranked Derrick Lewis and though he rides a three-fight losing streak, he is still a fairly big name with a fantastic skillset. This match between hard-hitting close range Heavyweight bombers would be fantastic.
Kyler Phillips vs. Eddie Wineland (BW)
Kyler Phillips’ second UFC bout went off even better than his first, securing a G&P finish in the second round (just like Dusko). His high amplitude striking was on display against Cameron Else, but he also showcased his grappling skills, easily slicing through Else’s guard. Phillips is one to keep an eye on, both in terms of a prospect and for pure entertainment value. I like a bout opposite veteran Eddie Wineland next, who was knocked out by Sean O’Malley almost four months ago.
Dusko Todorovic vs. Darren Stewart (MW)
Dusko came out victorious in the second round, stopping Dequan Townsend with furious ground and pound. Todorovic once again displayed his elite striking, showing off his head movement and power, seriously damaging Townsend on the feet prior to his takedown and subsequent stoppage. At 10-0, Todorovic is a hot prospect and deserves a step up against Darren Stewart, who most recently lost a narrow decision to Kevin Holland.
Next weekend, our Fight Island vacation continues, with a Bantamweight feature between knockout artist Marlon Moraes and the always entertaining Cory Sandhagen.
See you then, Freaks!