Fights to Make Next after UFC Brooklyn

By Cole Henry, mmatorch Contributor

January 19, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Henry Cejudo meets with T.J. Dillashaw following his victory during UFC Fight Night at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Henry Cejudo def. TJ Dillashaw (UFC Flyweight Championship)

Well, this one is going to be easy. I have read the arguments against TJ Dillashaw getting a rematch against Henry Cejudo at flyweight and I agree with them. But I do think that Dillashaw and Cejudo should be booked again and I think it should be next for both fighters. TJ Dillashaw was given a golden opportunity when he dropped down to flyweight and was given an immediate title shot despite having never competed in the division. He was not successful, and I think he should now return the favor. Henry Cejudo has gone from a relatively unknown fighter best known for his accomplishments outside of the sport, to one of the best fighters alive, a world champion, and the conqueror of two of the greatest lighter weight fighters the UFC has ever seen. He should now be given the shot and the opportunity to move up to bantamweight and become a two-weight world champion.

Fight to make next: Henry Cejudo vs. TJ Dillashaw 2 (UFC Bantamweight Championship)

Allen Crowder def. Greg Hardy

Well, Allen Crowder ended the hype train, or curiosity train, or whatever you want to call it. Greg Hardy had smashed his way into the UFC with several consecutive KO performances in a row, but Crowder exposed him and while the win came via DQ it was clear throughout the fight who the more skilled fighter was. Crowder was able to counter Hardy’s superior athleticism with his skills. Now while nobody is mistaking Crowder for a contender right now, he is at least getting some recognition for his performance even if it’s just for exposing Hardy. Now where he goes from here isn’t exactly clear. The Greg Hardy fight might be the biggest opportunity that he has for some time but with a few wins, anything could happen. Going forward a fight with Juan Adams makes some sense. Crowder being used as the debut opponent for Hardy is likely a good indicator of how they view him. Juan Adams is an up and comer and until Crowder proves he deserves better he will likely be matched up against young prospects looking to gain experience.

Fight to make next: Allen Crowder vs. Juan Adams

Greg Hardy is clearly passionate about MMA but unfortunately for him, it would seem that MMA is not so passionate about him. Hardy gained quite a bit of a negative following well before his UFC career began but he has done nothing to improve his image since. In his first official fight on the main roster, in front of the largest audience he has competed in front of since his NFL days, Hardy did nothing to silence his critics. His performance was mediocre and on top of that his fight ended via illegal strike and he will now have to wait even longer before he can hope to start changing people’s minds. Despite his poor performance UFC president Dana White stated that Hardy will be given another fight with the promotion and that’s where things get interesting. Hardy showed so many holes in his debut that we will have a great opportunity to gauge his improvement in his next fight. Now as for his next opponent things will not get any easier. Michel Batista is an Olympic caliber wrestler, but he has a limited amount of MMA fights and he is in the same realm as Hardy right now. They both have potential, but the loser here could potentially find himself in the unemployment line.

Fight to make next: Greg Hardy vs. Michel Batista

Gregor Gillespie def. Yancy Medeiros

Gregor Gillespie has been building up an impressive string of victories since his UFC debut and that trend continued this past Saturday. Gillespie smothered Medeiros with his wrestling and eventually earned a stoppage victory in the final second of the second round. Of course, it made the news that Gillespie was robbed of his wallet and gym bag post-fight, but aside from that, it was a very successful night for the surging contender. Moving forward into 2019 it is likely that we will start to see him matched up with higher ranked competition as he moves towards a title shot. Things have not been great lately for Kevin Lee, and while he has been campaigning for a fight with just about any big-name fighter that will listen, I think its time that Lee takes a step back and gives an opportunity to somebody else. Lee had his day as the next big thing and it hasn’t worked out up to this point. A win for Gillespie would be big while a win for Lee could be a way for him to prove that he remains a serious threat in the division in 2019.

Fight to make next: Gregor Gillespie vs. Kevin Lee

Yancy Medeiros has been fighting for over a decade and in that time, he has competed from light-heavyweight all the way down to lightweight and usually with success. But Saturday night was definitely a bump in the road for the Hawaiian fighter. He was beaten from the beginning of the fight until the end and he just never seemed to find his footing. Now suffering from the effects of two straight losses it is safe to say that he will need a win in his next fight if he wants his UFC career to continue. Medeiros has a habit of standing and trading with those willing until either he or his opponent goes down. A guy with a similar mindset is Dan Hooker. Hooker is coming off a loss to Edson Barboza and will be looking to get things back on track himself. This fight has the potential to be a fight of the night candidate on any card that its placed on and it should also propel the winner back onto the right track.

Fight to make next: Yancy Medeiros vs. Dan Hooker

Joseph Benavidez def. Dustin Ortiz

If Demetrious Johnson had decided to be a professional gamer as opposed to a professional fighter it is very possible that Joseph Benavidez would be considered the greatest flyweight fighter ever. Aside from his two losses to Johnson, Benavidez has been almost perfect as a flyweight. But he has never held the championship and that’s surely something that still means something to him. Unfortunately, it’s possible that he might have to wait out the rematch between Cejudo and Dillashaw in which case he may be forced to take another fight before receiving his shot. Alexandre Pantoja would be a risky fight for Benavidez to take but he hasn’t been opposed to risk in the past. Its possible that Benavidez gets the shot before we see a rematch between Cejudo and Dillashaw but if not, this is the fight to make.

Fight to make next: Joseph Benavidez vs. Alexandre Pantoja

Dustin Ortiz was in the midst of his most successful win streak since his UFC career started but now, he finds himself back to the drawing board. Ortiz for as talented as he is seems to always struggle with the top-ranked fighters and he’s now lost twice to Benavidez. John Moraga is a sped down from Benavidez, but he is a former title challenger and longtime veteran of the UFC. Perhaps a fight with Moraga will allow Ortiz to get back into position to finally get over the hump.

Fight to make next: Dustin Ortiz vs. John Moraga

Paige VanZant def. Rachael Ostovich

Paige VanZant ran into a bit of trouble rarely on in her fight with Rachael Ostovich but eventually found her way to an armbar victory in the second round. In doing so she became just the second female fighter in the UFC to have earned more than one stoppage victory via armbar. Despite the victory though Van Zant still has a ways to go before becoming a true contender in the division. She has been very inconsistent and would likely benefit from taking more fights and fewer distractions from outside of MMA, but we’ll have to see if that happens. Up next for VanZant is Yanan Wu. It’s not exactly a marquee fight but it provides VanZant with a quality yet beatable opponent and most of all she will have the opportunity to gain more experience.

Fight to make next: Paige VanZant vs. Yanan Wu

Rachael Ostovich had a good showing but ultimately succumbed to an armbar in what was the biggest fight to date of her young MMA career. Ostovich attacked VanZant with takedowns in the first round and won with her top control and positioning. The second round was going in the same direction when Ostovich gave up an arm and VanZant capitalized. Still, though Ostovich has surely gained enough of a following through the promotion of this fight that her next booking will have some attention. A fight with Lauren Mueller would be a fight between two very young fighters who are both less than ten fights into their careers. Both have a lot to prove, and both are coming off of recent setbacks and sometimes those two things can combine into a good fight.

Fight to make next: Rachael Ostovich vs. Lauren Mueller

Glover Teixeira def. Karl Roberson

Glover Teixeira is a long-time veteran of MMA and was at one time, a huge signing for UFC. While he never was able to capture the world championship, he has still managed to put together a spectacular career and we witnessed another example of his greatness this past weekend. Teixeira, likely in an attempt to avoid striking with his opponent altogether, shot for a takedown on Karl Roberson almost immediately. It was a good decision to try to take the young striker down until it backfired… Roberson blasted Teixeira with elbows behind his left ear and hurt the Brazilian badly. But Teixeira fought on, kept his composure, and eventually earned a submission win in the first round. It was a classic comeback performance for Teixeira, a heart-breaking loss for Roberson, and a fantastic fight for those watching. But one thing was clear and its that Glover Teixeira is no spring chicken. He looked old despite his victory and its clear that Teixeira’s best days are likely behind him. The same can be said for Rogerio Nogueira but that hasn’t stopped him from having some great performances as of late. Both of these guys are legends of Brazilian MMA and they have never competed. Now seems like a good time before its too late.

Fight to make next: Glover Teixeira vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

Karl Roberson has had some ups and downs so far in his MMA career, but he has certainly shown potential even when faced with defeat. Roberson was just an elbow or two away from the biggest win of his career but instead, he is dealing with a great big “what if”. Still, though his victories over Ryan Spann and Darren Stewart have shown that he posses well rounded skills and his improvements will likely come with time. I usually am not a fan of matching up two prospects and prefer matching them up with veterans but in this case, I’ll make an exception. Khalil Rountree is another guy who has had some spectacular highs and lows so far in his UFC career. Neither guy can seem to really get much momentum going though as they have both mostly alternated wins and losses since coming into the UFC. Perhaps matching them up can spark the winner towards finally gaining that momentum.

Fight to make next: Karl Roberson vs. Khalil Rountree

Undercard (ESPN)

Donald Cerrone def. Alexander Hernandez

Normally I don’t go into much detail with the preliminary card fights but I though that this one deserved some attention. Donald Cerrone made a case for a fight with Conor McGregor following his KO victory over Alex Hernandez and the Irishman promptly agreed. We have seen that up to this point what McGregor wants he usually gets so it seems likely this fight comes to fruition. I don’t want to beat a dead horse but a potential McGregor vs. Cerrone fight in Ireland would be huge and it would give Cerrone a massive pay day which he likely desires more so now than ever. He has stated that he has a new perspective on life since the birth of his son and has been revigorated to chase the title. I am sure he wouldn’t mind a massive pay day either on his way to a title shot.

Fights to make next:

Donald Cerrone vs. Conor McGregor

Alexander Hernandez vs. Clay Guida

Joanne Calderwood def. Ariane Lipski

Fights to make next:

Joanne Calderwood vs. Alexis Davis

Ariane Lipski vs. Roxanne Modafferi

Alonzo Menifield def. Vinicius Moreira

Fights to make next:

Alonzo Menifield vs. Gian Villante

Vinicius Moreira vs. Marcin Prachnio

Cory Sandhagen def. Mario Batista

Fights to make next:

Cory Sandhagen vs. John Lineker

Mario Batista vs. Martin Day


Undercard (ESPN+)

Dennis Bermudez def. Te Edwards

Fights to make next:

Dennis Bermudez (Retired)

Te Edwards vs. Allan Zuniga

Geoff Neal def. Belal Muhammad

Fights to make next:

Geoff Neal vs. Zak Ottow

Belal Muhammad vs. Emil Weber Meek

Chance Rencountre def. Kyle Stewart

Fights to make next:

Chance Rencountre vs. Jessin Ayari

Kyle Stewart vs. Julian Erosa

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