UFC 231: Holloway vs. Ortega ended up being another great card which featured a stellar main event as well as some excellent performances on the undercard. So now, let’s look ahead to the future at some interesting matchups that could arise following UFC 231.
Conor McGregor vs. Max Holloway 2
Max Holloway put on a tremendous performance in the main event versus the very dangerous Brian Ortega and almost made it look easy. This performance, as well as his reception in Toronto, proves that Holloway is ready for the big fights now and a rematch with Conor fits the bill. Holloway is a different fighter now than the first time they fought and they could do this one at 145 or 155. Given Conor’s last fight against Khabib, doing this one at 145 for the belt makes some sense and would be a fantastic matchup.
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jessica Eye
Shevchenko pretty much dominated her opponent tonight, winning 49-46 on all judges scorecards. While the newly minted women’s flyweight division will need some time to develop, Jessica Eye (now 3-0 at 125) is the clear top contender who should be next in line for Shevchenko.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Nina Ansaroff
Joanna Jedrzejczyk had a very tough fight versus Valentina Shevchenko and while she didn’t get the win, she still fought admirably and went the distance so the loss shouldn’t hurt her too much. She belongs back at 115 though and a good next fight for her would be versus Nina Ansaroff. Ansaroff looked great at 231 versus top-ranked Claudia Gadelha and survived some early trouble and ended up pulling off the upset victory. The winner of this fight could find themselves in the title picture in no time at all.
Thiago Santos vs. Volkan Oezdemir
Speaking of ‘no time’, Oezdemir would be a great next opponent for Thiago Santos who picked up an excellent win tonight in a fantastic slugfest versus the heavy hitting and always tough, Jimi Manuwa. Santos has found a new life for his career at 205 and it seems moving up in weight is the thing to do nowadays to reinvigorate your career instead of going down like it used to be. Both these guys share a knockout victory over Jimi Manuwa and this one has slugfest written all over it.
Gunnar Nelson vs. Mike Perry
Another guy who looked great tonight was Gunnar Nelson, who was out of action for a while. ‘Gunni’ survived some early trouble versus Oliveira to come back and finish him with a choke after opening him up with a brutal elbow. Mike Perry would be a very fun fight for Nelson and although he has been linked to a fight with Mickey Gall, it doesn’t look like that’s official and this one would be more interesting in my opinion.