Matchmaker Monday following UFC 268

Matchmaker Monday following UFC 268

UFC 268 was a fantastic night for the fans as every single fight was amazing from top to bottom.

In the main event, Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington put on another classic as the two went back-and-forth for 25 minutes. In the end, it was Usman who retained his title by edging Covington on the scorecards for a unanimous decision win.

In the co-main event, Rose Namajunas snuck out a very narrow split decision win over Zhang Weili and now sits pretty go forward in a crowded division.

Finally, the fans saw a war between two studs with iron jaws in Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler. The two traded bombs over 15 minutes and Gaethje picked up a unanimous decision victory.

Now that the event is over, let’s see what the future as in store for the people involved in the championship fights and Gaethje, who pled for a title fight next year.

Kamaru Usman
Next: Leon Edwards

Usman is best in the world in current day 2021 and his toughest opponent is now behind him as his UFC 268 victory gives him two wins over Covington.

His next opponent will most likely come in a rematch with Edwards as the two fought early into their UFC careers.

Edwards currently has business with Jorge Masvidal next month and Masvidal can spoil the Usman vs. Edwards plans, but a Edwards victory secures him a shot at the current pound-for-pound king.

Colby Covington
Next: Jorge Masvidal

Covington is stud. Love him or hate him he’s the real did. Dana White said it best in his UFC 268 post-fight press conference when he stated that if Usman didn’t exist, Covington would be the welterweight champion.

Covington has options out there for his next fight, but the obvious one is Masvidal.

Whether Masvidal wins or loses, these two will still fight as neither one of them can fight Usman since they both lost to him twice.

These two have a lot of bad blood. The fight and the lead up to it will be must see TV.

Rose Namajunas
Next: Carla Esparza

The strawweight division has 3 stars on top. Namajunas, Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Namajunas has a first-round knockout win and a narrow decision rematch win over both Weili and Jedrzejczyk.

That means the hard work is done. Esparza does have a win over Namajunas many years ago, but Namajunas will be a big favorite whenever they square off.

The Namajunas victory in a way is sad thing for this division. Yes, Namajunas is a star and a fan favorite, but Weili and Jedrzejczyk are now out contention. While division is stacked and deep, the rest of the division doesn’t appear to be on the level of the big three, or at least as of right now they don’t appear to be.

Zhang Weili
Next: Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Both of these ladies are in the same boat. They also fought in what was the 2020 Fight of the Year and what is most likely the greatest women’s MMA fight of all time.

Question now is Jedrzejczyk’s motivation. She wants to return for a big pay day. Weili fits that bill, but Jedrzejczyk is a star who makes money outside of the octagon and at this point in her career, if a championship isn’t in the future she might not fight again.

If the UFC wants to watch Namajunas, Weili and Jedrzejczyk just keep fighting one another like the fans probably wouldn’t mind seeing, then we have something going here. If Weili and Jedrzejczyk ever want a third crack at the title, their best bet is too rematch.

Justin Gaethje
Next: winner of Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier

Gaethje is next. He’s earned it.

Plus, not to look ahead, but if Poirier wins, it sets up an epic rematch between him and Gaethje.

Lightweight is stacked. It’s deep. There’s a number of guys that make sense of a title fight. However, Gaethje seems to be the front runner. His resume has more value than the rest of the division.

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John Eric Poli