UFC 210 is in the books, who should some of the winners and losers face next?
Buffalo hosted what could be referred to as a wild event last night. We saw multiple retirements in the cage, and one full-fledged debacle in the co-main event. Bottom line is, MMA never sleeps and it’s time to start looking down the road and who could be next for some of the key fighters at UFC 210.
The Main Card Winners
Daniel Cormier: The champ is here! DC had one hell of a night in Buffalo last night. Despite having his nose badly twisted via a head-kick from Rumble, everything came up aces for the AKA product. He defended his title, definitively, and had a captive audience of Jon Jones and Jimmy Manuwa post-fight. His next fight will likely be against Manuwa, but the showdown on the horizon with Jon Jones is the fight everyone wants.
Gegard Mousasi: Gegard was part of what can only be described as a complete debacle. He landed a pair of knees to Weidman, and referee Dan Mirgliatta thought they were illegal and halted the action. He gave Weidman five minutes to recover and then things got weird. Big John informed Dan that the knees were in fact, legal. They used the replay to check them out. Only thing is, replay isn’t allowed in New York. Next thing you know, officials are waving off the fight and awarding Mousasi the TKO victory. Mousasi was fighting the last fight of his UFC contract. He has also been veery clear about his disappointment with his pay grade. If he’s resgined, his next fight should be a rematch with Weidman.
Cynthia Calvillo: Let me first just say, damn, she can grapple! Calvillo is a grappling machine and is dangerous in every phase of the game. She’s a bit of a pit bull too, and her attitude will catch on and land her fans in droves. She’s a mix of Diego Sanchez, Diaz brothers, and Team Alpha Male. She performed on the big stage and looked like a future star in the process. I’d love to see her in next with the winner of the Justine Kish vs. Felice Herrig fight. Someone in that top 15 range. We don’t need to push her too quickly, let her continue to develop into a star.
Thiago Alves: Thiago looked really sharp at Welterweight and looked as comfortable as I’ve seen him in a long while. He was in there with a tough competitor in Patrick Cote and looked great in winning the fight. I’d like to see him fight perhaps Matt Brown or the winner of Jake Ellenberger vs. Mike Perry next.
Charles Oliveira: This kid is slick with submissions. He’s also not too shabby standing. He’s a natural and could be a threat at Lightweight, but he’s already said he wants to move back to Featherweight for his next fight. I wish someone close to him would convince him 155 is his natural home. At Featherweight, I’d like to see him fight Brian Ortega. He’s an undefeated prospect and it would be a good test for both fighters. A fight with Dennis Bermudez could be fun.
Shane Burgos: This kid has a ton of upside. He is a future star for the UFC, and he could face any number of fighters in his bout. I’d like to see him face either Darren Elkins or perhaps another undefeated Featherweight in Brian Ortega. We don’t need to push him too fast, let him get a couple more wins before we introduce him to a top ten opponent.
Kamaru Usman: It’s time for Usman to get a boost in competition. I could see him fighting someone like Niel Magny or Gunnar Nelson. It’s time to find out exactly what Usman can do at Welterweight. He’s a talent, and his wrestling game is smothering and dominant, but he needs to face someone with a well-rounded game to see if he has weaknesses that can be exposed. Time for the training wheels to come off.
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson: Rumble lost the fight and immediately retired from MMA. He said he has another business opportunity and is expecting to cash in on it. Whatever it is, good luck to Anthony Johnson who has always been a great fighter. Nothing to be booked for him, but congrats for going out in the prime of your career on your own terms.
Chris Weidman: The losing fighter in the aforementioned debacle, Chris has now lost three in a row. Regardless of how it happened, it happened. Also, let’s be honest, Weidman oversold the knee because he thought it was going to be a disqualification victory for him. Part of that sales job convinced the officials he couldn’t continue. If he can’t land the rematch with Mousasi, a fight with the winner of Daniel Kelly and Derek Brunson might make sense.
Will Brooks: Not sure where to go with Will Brooks from here. First things first, his management shouldn’t let him fight anyone named Oliveira for awhile. He’s dropped two fights in a row after winning his UFC debut. He could go up against Francisco Trinaldo in what could be an interesting fight between two fighters who need victories.