Looking Ahead: Fights to Make Following UFC 217
Three title fights.Three new champions. The insanity that was UFC 217 is officially in the books and what a god damn night it was. I’m here to give my uneducated opinion on who I think the main card winners should fight next.
Paulo Costa def. Johny Hendricks via second-round TKO.
You can say this was Paulo Costa’s coming out party; fighting a big name and former champion in Johny Hendricks. Costa made it look easy as he battered Hendricks en route to a dominant TKO victory. After the fight, he proceeded to call out Derek Brunson, and even though I think it’s time for Costa to fight a ranked opponent, I don’t think he gets that fight just yet. However, I think a fight with Thiago Santos would make sense next. Not to mention, that fight has all the makings of an all-out war.
Stephen Thompson def. Jorge Masvidal via unanimous decision.
2017 has been a little bit of a rough year for the man they call “Wonderboy”. He challenged Tyron Woodley for the welterweight title twice and came up just short in both outings. This was definitely a must-win situation for Thompson if he wanted to stay at the top of the division. Although it was a dominant win, I don’t think we will see Wonderboy in another title fight anytime soon. If we are going strictly by the rankings, and who is currently available, Colby Covington makes the most sense here. Covington is coming off the biggest win of his career against Demian Maia and if he does not get the title shot that he is calling for, a fight with Wonderboy would be the next best thing.
Rose Namajunas def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk via first-round KO.
Wow wow wow. Honestly, who saw that coming? Going into this fight I thought that people were not giving Rose enough credit, but never did I think that she would dethrone Joanna by first round KO. This fight is right up there for one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. With all that said, I think we see an immediate rematch. In the past, when a longtime-reigning champion loses their belt, even in dramatic fashion like Joanna, history as shown them to get an immediate rematch. It happened with Anderson Silva, BJ Penn, and Frankie Edgar; just to name a few. I think it’s almost safe to say Rose Namajunas vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk 2 should be happening sometime in 2018.
TJ Dillashaw def. Cody Garbrandt by second-round KO.
TJ Dillashaw put the feud with former-teammate Cody Garbrandt to rest for the time being with a brutal second-round KO. Right now, four out of the top-five bantamweight fighters are currently booked, with the only available fighter being John Lineker, who Dillashaw just handily defeated last year. I think this opens up the door for TJ to drop down to 125 and challenge Demetrious Johnson for the flyweight title. The UFC tried to make this fight earlier in the year, but DJ was not up for it. Citing that he was fighting to break the all-time title-defense record, he didn’t want to risk it against someone who has never made the 125lb weight limit. But now that Demetrious Johnson has broken the record, and neither weight class has no clear number one contender at the moment, there is little-to-no reason that this fight shouldn’t happen.
Georges St. Pierre def. Michael Bisping via third-round submission.
4 years away from the cage. Moving up a weight class. Winning the belt. GSP pulled off the impossible on Saturday night. Although he was the slight betting favorite going into the fight, I don’t think many people expected him to get the finish against Michael Bisping. As far as what is next for Georges? Robert Whittaker. Even Dana White said that since Georges is now the middleweight champion, he will defend the middleweight title. It’s not up for discussion according to Dana. Now I know Dana White says a lot of things that never end up happening, but I believe this time. Whittaker is the Interim Champion. The belts must be unified.