UFC 290

Photo via MMAWeekly.com

UFC 290: What’s Next for the Winners?

UFC 290 was one of the most entertaining and shocking cards that MMA fans have seen for quite some time. Freaky fast finishes, upsets and epic title bouts made the PPV worth the viewing.

After a massive PPV like UFC 290, fans begin to start thinking about what the next steps are for the fighters involved. Win or lose, we want to see what might be next for fighters who were in action in Las Vegas on Saturday night. With that being said, here is what might be next for the fighters from the main card.


Alexander Volkanaovski

Alexander Volkanovski is at a position in his career where he can really call for what he likes. Although, following his TKO win over Yair Rodriguez, the featherweight champion does require surgery. This does mean that a lightweight rematch with Islam Makhachev is in doubt. Although he might be recovered in time for the Abu Dhabi card in October, Volkanovski might not have enough time to prepare for the massive bout. However, it is not fully ruled out yet.

Islam Makhachev, Alexander Volkanovski
Photo via MMAFightingcom

If the Islam fight isn’t possible, then it is likely Volkanovski will have enough title defense on his hands. The stand out contender in the featherweight division is Ilia Topuria. However, Volkanovski has said that he would welcome a challenge from Bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling if he were to move up.


Alexander Pantoja

Alexander Pantoja got a split decision win vs Brandon Moreno in a fight of the year contender on Saturday night. The fight was very close so an immediate rematch is not off the cards. Dana White did express some interest in running it back in the post fight press conference. “I don’t think there’s anyone on Earth who wouldn’t want to see that again.”

If Moreno does not get an immediate chance to get his belt back, then you have to start looking at the other contenders in the division. Brandon Royval weighed in as a back up on Saturday night, so there is a good chance that he is next in line for Pantoja. However, Amir Albazi might also be putting his name in the mix.


Dricus Du Plessis

Du Plessis getting a second round TKO over Robert Whittaker at UFC 290 might have been the biggest shock of the night. However, his performance all but confirmed that he would get a shot at Israel Adesanya. The two had a fierce face-off in the cage following the bout, so it is likely that these two will headline the Sydney PPV in September.

UFC 290
Photo via MMAWeeklycom

Dan Hooker

Another underdog story came from Dan Hooker. Despite taking some serious damage against Jalin Turner, Dan Hooker was able to get the split decision in Las Vegas. The Australian will likely have to take some time out. It is understood he broke his arm during the bout which could see him out of action for a decent period of time.

There is no clear opponent in the future for Dan Hooker. However, bouts against the likes of Renato Moicano or Matt Frevola could be great fights in the future.


Bo Nickal

Despite him closing as the biggest favourite in UFC history, Bo Nickal still impressed MMA fans. He didn’t need his high-level wrestling to get the job done against Val Woodburn at UFC 290. A quick knockout on the feet made his stock rise even further. However, Dana White doesn’t feel the need to rush Nickal into top 15 opposition.

It would still be good to see Nickal have a higher quality opponent for his next bout. Looking at someone who is not ranked but could still pose a threat is definitely the way to go for Nickal. Opponents along the lines of Phil Hawes or Bruno Silva could be good matchups for Nickal.

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