UFC 230: What’s Next
By Myles Hutton
In today’s article, I will be doing Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s job and choose who I believe the fighters of UFC 230 should be matched up with for their next fight, with a few reasons for my choice.
Main Event- (C) Daniel Cormier def Derrick Lewis (2:24, Round 2) via Rear Naked Choke
Daniel Cormier: vs Brock Lesnar
DC is currently cementing his future spot in the Hall of Fame by beating virtually everyone they put in his way. He has been through thick and thin in his 9-year career, and I believe the Two-Time Olympic Wrestler deserves the huge money fight with Brock Lesnar to finish off a truly amazing career and with a win over the former Heavyweight champion, ‘GOAT’ status cannot be argued.
Derrick Lewis: vs Winner of Dos Santos/Tuivasa at UFC Adelaide.
Everyone knows what Lewis can do with just one punch; every fight he is one punch away from the knockout. However, he didn’t get that opportunity vs Cormier, he has wrestled, controlled and eventually submitted. Lewis has fought twice in 1-month, and he has a long list of injuries that need to be looked at before getting back in the octagon. But, if I was matchmaker, I’d grant him a shot at the winner of Dos Santos/Tuivasa. Both are known for their striking, and a stand up war between the winner and Derrick Lewis would be appreciated by UFC fans.
Jacare Souza def Chris Weidman (2:46, Round 3) via TKO
Jacare Souza: vs Winner of Whittaker/Gastelum
Jacare has been in the top 5 of the middleweight division for years now, but has never been given the title shot that some believe he has earned. He has been fairly inconsistent over the years, and does have losses to both Whittaker and Gastelum, however, with a fight of the night TKO vs Chris Weidman, I believe he is next in line to fight for the title after Whittaker’s title defence at UFC 234. Some may argue he is one fight away from a title shot, but who else deserves one? Romero has failed twice, Rockhold is currently injured and is coming off a loss, the only person left is Jacare, and he demonstrated at UFC 230 why he is worthy of a title shot.
Chris Weidman: vs Luke Rockhold, at Light Heavyweight
This fight was scheduled to take place as co-main event at UFC 230, however Rockhold pulled out due to injury and was replaced by Souza. Both guys have previously admitted they wouldn’t mind moving up a division, and a rematch is long overdue. It is a fight that fans would like to see again and is bound to be a cracking fight like the first one, especially with both fighters having to cut a lot less weight. I can see Weidman giving the 205’ers a hard time in the future.
Jared Cannonier def David Branch (0:39, Round 2) via TKO
Jared Cannonier: vs Gerald Meerschaert
I have no doubts that Jared Cannonier will have a number next to his name and be in the top 15 ranked Middleweights by next week. Cannonier stepped up on short notice to face a very experienced, slick Jiu Jitsu specialist in David Branch, and shocked a few fans with a performance bonus finish. Some were questioning his wrestling and grappling going into the fight, but Jared shown that he had been working closely with his team at the MMA Lab in Glendale, Arizona to shut down Branch’s grappling offence. I believe Meerschaert, also on the verge of a top 15 spot, would test Cannonier in all areas and would be a cracking fight. The move down from Light Heavyweight seemed to work wonders for the ‘Killa Gorilla’.
David Branch: vs Antonio Carlos Junior
This fight would attract all Jiu Jitsu fans within MMA 100%. Both fighters are solid on the ground, and hold Black Belts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under highly respected practitioners. Both fighters are currently ranked, and a win over Carlos Junior would see Branch take out a talented prospect and would cement Branch’s top 15 spot.
Karl Roberson def Jack Marshman via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Karl Roberson: vs Abu Azaitar
With both having just one loss on their records, this fight makes sense in every aspect. Both guys are fairly new to the UFC and a fight between these two would have fight of the night potential. Azaitar loves the throw down and have a war, whereas Roberson manages range to get off heavy punches and kicks from his southpaw stance. With both possessing knockout power in both hands, this is a fight I’d love to see.
Jack Marshman: vs Hector Lombard
This fight could be make or break for both fighters. After coming off a number of losses, Marshman needs to ensure he gets his hand raised in his next bout, and I believe a sensible match up would be against the very experienced and durable Lombard. Lombard is on a 5 fight losing streak, but both guys have a very good chance of gaining victory and getting back to a possible winning streak.
Israel Adesanya def Derek Brunson (4:51 Round 1) via TKO
Israel Adesanya: vs Yoel Romero
In my opinion, Stylebender is the next big thing. Some say he is just a superior striker, but he showed vs Brunson that he has the tools to be classed as a world-class mixed martial artist. I believe a fight vs Cuban Olympic wrestler Yoel Romero is the best matchup to make, a Striker vs Grappler fight, but we all know Romero has astonishing power in his hands. With his outstanding head movement, accuracy and takedown defence, Adesanya could use this to his advantage to beat Romero. However, Romero is a huge test for anybody. One punch and your out.
Derek Brunson: vs Brad Tavares
Both coming off losses to surging contender Israel Adesanya, this fight would be interesting to watch as each could use tape from their Adesanya fight to find holes in each others game. With Brunson’s power and wrestling and Tavares’ grit, determination and heart, this is one fight that could help the winner go back and climb the rankings again.