Well, UFC 229 is officially in the books and while the post-fight antics are going to be what most remember about this event, let’s not forget that we were treated to some excellent bouts which set up some great matchups down the line like the ones we see below.
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson
This fight needs to happen! While this fight has already been made several times over and fallen through, I think we can all agree there is something special about this matchup which will most likely turn into a classic fight. Tony has a unique skill set which can give Khabib some problems as, unlike McGregor, he has a wrestling background and is also very slick on the ground, slick enough to threaten Khabib and, not only that, has excellent striking skills on the feet along with insane cardio. Now, with Khabib officially holding the lightweight title and Tony previously holding the interim belt, this fight makes more sense than ever and needs to happen. Hopefully, Khabib doesn’t get in too much trouble and we see this fight happen sooner rather than later.
Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 3
Well, McGregor took on the toughest fight of his career and came up short and although he definitely has the financial means to ride off into the sunset and retire, I don’t think he’s going to want to go out like that. The great thing about a trilogy fight with Nate Diaz is they can literally make it whenever they want and fans will still be interested as it’s a classic rivalry. Diaz could lose or win vs. Poirier in his next bout and you can still make this fight. McGregor has already been clamoring for a rematch with Khabib on social media but he may need to get a few big wins back under his belt after that Khabib fight and a third fight with Diaz fits the bill.
Derrick Lewis vs. Oleksiy Oliynyk
‘The Black Beast’ put on another classic performance last night after withstanding an early onslaught from the very talented Volkov before coming back in the third and blasting him out like he’s done in so many of his previous bouts. While Lewis himself has certainly established himself as being one of the best heavyweights in the world, with the logjam at the top of the division (Stipe, Brock, DC), he may need to fight a few more times before getting that title shot and a fight against the tough Russian submission specialist, Oleksiy Oliynyk, who’s been on a tear lately makes some sense.
Michelle Waterson vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Michelle Waterson further cemented herself as a top dog at women’s strawweight with a unanimous decision win over the tough Felice Herrig, but she is still missing that big career win that could hurl her into title contention. A win over former champion and all-time great Joanna Jedrzejczyk could do just that. Due to her karate style, Waterson makes for an interesting match vs Joanna on the feet and with Joanna looking so-so in her last few fights, the time is now to push for this fight with hopes of getting that much-coveted title shot.