- Chandler vs Gaethje
Loser goes tumbling down the card. There are a ton of matchups for Chandler and he has a path to a championship fight even with a loss here. Gaethje on the other hand, has had a title shot as well and fought top guys, I don’t see Dana White offering Gaethje fights that set him on a path to get another title shot. This is just how this company works, some guys get shot after shot and others wait years before they are even considered. There is no clear path for Gaethje, he has no choice but to win tonight.
- Shahbazyan vs Imovav
The loser gets his career set back, I personally think this is the make or break fight for Edmen Shahbazyan. I strongly believe that he can’t beat 90% of the people ahead of him so whether he wins or loses he isn’t going anywhere, he’ll be a gatekeeper to the top ten for his entire career. If Nassourdine Imovav wins then it would jumpstart something special for him, the win would generate a significant buzz and propel his career. I believe Imovav may have a brighter future in the UFC but I could be wrong.
- Usman vs Covington 2
I would have picked Namajunas vs Zhang but I believe it’s too soon for a rematch and Zhang has not advanced or learned enough since her defeat. Zhang believes the win was a fluke but the truth is she just wasn’t prepared nor do I think she is prepared right now; I hope I’m wrong.
There is no one that is lined up to fight Usman if he wins. If Covington wins, there are still no clear opponents, I guess there would be better opponents for Colby if he wins but Vicente Luque is the only fresh name that seems remotely interesting. Khazmat Chimaev still has a ways to go before he gets a title shot. Magny, Thompson and Edwards all stand in Chimaev’s way.
Back to Usman and Colby; the two had a great fight the first time and it ended in dramatic fashion. I think it’ll be an interesting fight but quite possible a very quick night at the office for Usman. The welterweight division will be boring if Usman remains champion because there just aren’t any intriguing fights To make with him at the top, that’s what happens when you become that good.