What’s next for the stars of UFC 238?
Last night, the Octagon returned to Chicago, Illinois with the stacked UFC 238. There, two titles were on the line while Tony Ferguson was taking on Donald Cerrone in a key lightweight contender bout.
Ultimately, Henry Cejudo became the fourth person to hold two UFC titles at the same time, as he TKO’d Marlon Moraes. In the co-main event, Valentina Shevchenko knocked out Jessica Eye with a head kick to retain her flyweight belt. And, Ferguson TKO’d Cerrone via doctor stoppage at the end of the second round.
Here is what we think should be next for the stars of UFC 238.
Henry Cejudo has a decision to make. Does the Olympic gold medalist want to defend his flyweight title or bantamweight title first? Whichever he decides he has options.
If he decides to defend the flyweight title, a logical fight would be taking on the winner of Joseph Benavidez and Jussier Formiga fight which happens later this month. If he prefers to defend the bantamweight title, fighting Aljamain Sterling who beat Pedro Munhoz last night, should be his first title defense. No matter what, Cejudo should be able to get another title defense in by the end of the year.
Marlon Moraes looked unstoppable at bantamweight ever since his UFC debut. However, after a solid first round, Cejudo took over as Moraes’ cardio seemed to fade. Now, taking on UFC 238 undercard fighter Pedro Munhoz makes some sense for him. Marlon Moraes will still be at the top of the division, just like Munhoz, and the winner could then be one win away from a title shot.
Valentina Shevchenko had a dominant win over Jessica Eye, as she continues her reign at women’s flyweight. The 31-year-old has options for her next fight but it should be against Katlyn Chookagian who got past Joanne Calderwood in the curtain jerker at UFC 238. The fight was widely considered the number one contender fight and given they fought on the same card the fight can happen later this year.
The women’s flyweight division is still shaking out, and now Jessica Eye will need to win a couple of fights to get another title shot. The 32-year-old needs to take time off after the knockout she suffered at UFC 238, but could return in late 2019.
A logical next opponent is taking on the loser of Roxanne Modafferi vs. Liz Carmouche which takes place at UFC San Antonio in July. The timing would work out for November or December fight.
Tony Ferguson needs to be fighting for a UFC title, no if and or buts. “El Cucuy” is now on a ridiculous 12-fight winning streak and hasn’t lost since 2012.
Ferguson should fight the winner of Dustin Poirier vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title next. And, not only that, but it could make some sense for the Las Vegas-based promotion to bring Ferguson there as a backup fighter in case anything happens.
However, UFC President Dana White says he is looking to set up a rematch which could complicate this.
If Donald Cerrone were to beat Tony Ferguson, there was no question he would be getting that title shot he so desired. Now, “Cowboy” will need to take a step back and string together a few wins in a row to possibly get that shot.
Although he lost, Cerrone is still at the top of the division and a logical next fight would be against Justin Gaethje. Gaethje is looking for a fight, and pairing the two would be an entertaining affair that could easily headline a Fight Night card.
Who do you think these six fighters should fight next?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/9/2019.