Next Matches To Make After UFC 238
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) invaded United Center last night (Sat., June 8, 2019) in Chicago, Illinois to stage UFC 238, which featured a Bantamweight title fight that saw Henry Cejudo demolish Marlon Moraes via third round technical knockout (TKO) to become UFC’s latest champ-champ (highlights). Also, Valentina Shevchenko held on to her women’s Strawweight title after putting Jessica Eye to sleep in rather violent fashion (recap).
Winner: Henry Cejudo
Who He Should Face Next: Wait and see...
UFC president Dana White confirmed the Flyweight division will stick around after “The Messenger” won the vacant 135-pound strap to add to his 125-pound title. Currently, there aren’t enough men at 125 pounds to fill out the rankings, so one would have thought canceling that division was inevitable. If Henry decides to drop down to defend that title next, then a fight against the winner of Jussier Formiga vs Joseph Benavidez could be in order.
In that case, I’d like to see the promotion book Aljamain Sterling vs Petr Yan in a No. 1 contender’s fight at Bantamweight, in the interim.
Winner: Valentina Shevchenko
Who She Should Face Next: Katlyn Chookagian
Both Valentina and Katlyn were successful at UFC 238, and with Chookagian defeating Joanne Calderwood, she firmly cemented her place as the No. 1 contender, as the rankings should indicate later this week. Valentina proved she is going to be a tough nut to crack at 125 pounds, winning three in a row including a dominating win over Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and the compete destruction of Eye.
It’s easy to see why “Bullet” could go on a record-setting tear at Flyweight given her track record, but she still has to stay on her toes and keep her head on a swivel, as one well-placed strike could send her championship run crumbling down.
Winner: Tony Ferguson
Who He Should Face Next: Khabib vs Poirier winner
Regardless of what Dana White said about not committing to giving “El Cucuy” a title shot with a win in “Chi-Town,” Ferguson has earned it. While his win over “Cowboy” was anticlimactic due to the broken nose and subsequent swollen eye Cerrone suffered, you can’t deny Tony’s skills and run. The man has won 12 in a row inside the Octagon and hasn’t tasted defeat since 2012. “Looney” or not, the man can fight and should get the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier. If you aren’t going to give it to him, at least let him fight Conor McGregor next for a big payday.
Winner: Petr Yan
Who He Should Face Next: Aljamain Sterling
Both Peter and Aljamain want a shot at Cejudo’s 135-pound strap next after doing their thing in Chicago; but I’d rather see them face off against one another to erase any doubt as to who is more deserving. Sterling has won four straight including his dominant win over Pedro Munhoz, while Peter has won five in a row inside the Octagon, and eight straight overall.
While the two men are separated quite a bit in the rankings (though it could change this week), I feel a fight between them should create the next title contender. Of the seven men ranked ahead of Petr (Sterling excluded), five of them are coming off defeats, so pitting him against either one of them simply doesn’t make sense. I truly believe this fight will happen if Cejudo gets the chance to drop back down to defend his 125 pound title.
Winner: Blagoy Ivanov
Who He Should Face Next: Aleksei Oleinik
Blagoy has now won two in a row after handing Tai Tuivasa his second straight defeat. Aleksei, meanwhile, is coming off a loss to Alistair Overeem a few months back. While it may seem strange to book these two big men up against one another due to their recent win/loss records, Aleksei is still ranked in the top 10, while Ivanov has done just enough to remain in the top 15. Looking further down the top 10 list, Blagoy isn’t ready for any of the other guys ranked ahead of Aleksei (No. 9), so putting him up against the submission specialist will be a good measuring stick to see exactly where he is among the best big men on the planet.
For complete UFC 238 results and coverage click here.