Matchmaker Monday following UFC Vegas 35

Matchmaker Monday following UFC Vegas 35

UFC Vegas 35 may have been an eye opener to some people.

In the main event, Giga Chikadze put on a striking clinic to finish veteran Edson Barboza.

For those who haven’t taken stock on Chikadze, they definitely will now as he proven that he is indeed one of the best featherweights on the planet. Following the fight, Chikadze called for a fight with former featherweight champion Max Holloway, which created a lot of buzz around the MMA world.

Meanwhile, Barboza drops to 2-2 at 145 pounds, but he might not be in that bad of a spot as people might think.

Let’s break down the next move for both men on this edition of Matchmaker Monday

Giga Chikadze
Result: defeated Edson Barboza by third-round TKO at UFC Vegas 35
Next: Chan Sung Jung

Chikadze is absolutely one of the best fighters in the world at 145 pounds and the win over Barboza puts him in prime position for a huge fight. That big fight will most likely not come against Holloway.

In a few months, Holloway will fight Yair Rodriguez in a epic fight that will likely give the winner a title shot. Chikadze’s only chance of getting Holloway is if the Hawaiian loses or if Alexander Volkanovski defeats Brian Ortega and the UFC denies Holloway the shot due to the fact that he’s down 0-2 on the scoreboard against Volkanovski.

Given all of that, Chikadze will draw another big name in the division in The Korean Zombie. The fight makes sense due to the rankings and due to the draw as the winner will end up in serious title contention.

Edson Barboza
Result: lost to Giga Chikadze by third-round TKO at UFC Vegas 35
Next: Bryce Mitchell

Barboza is in an interesting spot. He’s 2-2 at featherweight, but his loss to Dan Ige was controversial and you can make the case that he should be 3-1.

Nonetheless it’s going to go one of two ways for Barboza. He can absolutely still get someone ranked in the top 10, but that’s going to come down to timing and availability .

Likely his next move will come against someone right outside the top ten with the winner getting a big fight so cue in Mitchell who fights that bill as he’s undefeated and currently ranked at No. 11.

While the loss sets Barboza back, he’s not in a terrible spot in the division.

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John Eric Poli