Matchmaker Monday following UFC 251 - What's next?

Matchmaker Monday following UFC 251 – What’s next?

UFC 251 was insane! The UFC made the best of their historic card on “Fight Island,” as they spoiled the fans with a rare three championship fight card. The event was just the sixth one in UFC history to have three title fights and whenever it happens it’s always a great night.

The main card was absolutely stacked from top to bottom and even with the main event being a somewhat boring fight, the other two championship fights definitely delivered. Due to the amount of awesome fights from last Saturday, we’re going to focus on the winners from the championship fights on this Matchmaker Monday.

Kamaru Usman
Result: defeated Jorge Masvidal by unanimous decision at UFC 251
Next: Gilbert Burns

Give it up for Usman. Boring fight or not, the dude doesn’t seem to be going anywhere at 170 pounds. As far as his next fight, I feel like there’s a few options out there.

Kamaru Usman shuts down Masvidal to defend welterweight title
Kamaru Usman lands an elbow on Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251.

A rematch with Colby Covington would be epic and personality that’s number one on my list. Will Covington get the opportunity to go out there and run it back with in Usman in his next fight is the question. I know he wants to and he has been vocal about it on social media, but I just see the UFC making him take another fight first.

Leon Edwards is also an option here. Only problem with Edwards is that he’s been out for awhile now. I doubt he’s going to get a title shot when his last win came nearly a year ago.

So with that being said, I’m going with Burns here. Burns would have fought Usman this past weekend, but unfortunately he tested positive for COVID-19. I’m perfectly fine with Burns getting a title shot. He’s red hot in the division and I think him and Usman is a hell of a matchup.

Alexander Volkanovski
Result: defeated Max Holloway by split decision at UFC 251
Next: Zabit Magomedsharipov

Volkanovski does it again. This one was definitely controversial. I thought Holloway won the fight, but I don’t think he was ripped off. The fight was really close and could have went either way. I really wish we got to see this fight when Holloway got an actual training camp, but hey I guess those are the breaks.

As for Volkanovski’s next fight, I feel like this is an easy one. Magomedsharipov is clearly the next contender. I would love to see and elimination fight between Magomedsharipov and Yair Rodriguez, but if I’m Magomedsharipov I would sit out and just fight Volkanovski later this year.

I don’t feel like a breakdown is necessary here. Magomedsharipov is next at 145 pounds.

Petr Yan
Result: defeated Jose Aldo by fifth-round TKO at UFC 251
Next: Aljamain Sterling

We no longer has a vacant bantamweight championship. Yan is now the king of 135 pounds and now everyone within the division looking up at him and for good reason too. Yan has been nothing but impressive in his UFC career.

As far as what’s next, here’s another easy one. Sterling as earned the shot fair and square. He’s currently on a five-fight winning streak and he’s won seven of his past eight fights. Oh, not to mention he just made easy work of Cory Sandhagen in June.

Let’s book it now. Yan vs. Sterling for late 2020.

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