As the dust settles on Saturday night’s UFC 186 event in Montreal, we look ahead to what may come next for the events main card winners.
It’s getting harder and harder to pick out legitimate opponents for Johnson since he’s already handily defeated almost everyone of any note in the division!
Right now I still think current No.1 contender John Dodson is the most credible threat to Johnson even although he lost out to him by unanimous decision back in January of 2013. Dodson is set to face former Bellator bantamweight champion and current No.8 ranked UFC 125lb’er Zach Makovsky next month at UFC 187, so the winner of that fight is most likely to emerge as Johnson’s next opponent.
Further down the line the No.9 ranked former Olympic wrestling gold medalist Henry Cejudo could also be a possible challenger to Johnson’s belt, though hopefully he’ll be given more Octagon experience first as he’s still developing as a fighter.
Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson:
‘Rampage’s’ immediate future is still in doubt due to his contract wranglings with Bellator, but let’s put that to one side for now and work on the assumption that he is staying with the UFC.
Talk is already emerging about a possible rematch with Rashad Evans, but ‘Rampage’ also expressed interest post-fight about a rematch with Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua who he lost to back in the PRIDE days.
Both men prefer to strike so it’s a match-up that would appeal to both fans and the fighters themselves. ‘Shogun’ is currently set to fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 190, so that gives ‘Rampage’ time to get his legal issues sorted out and then fight the winner.
Bisping is still talking up the idea of getting a title shot one day, though at the age of 36 and with a record that’s been alternating between wins and losses for three years that seems unlikely.
The UFC can still make good use of him though and a fight with the winner of next month’s Gegard Mousasi (No.7) Vs Costas Philippou (No.12) bout would make sense next.
Makdessi showcased his striking prowess en-route to a first round TKO stoppage on Saturday night and has now won four of his last five fights in the UFC.
He’s still got a ways to go before having a chance to break into the lightweight rankings though. There’s plenty of potential match-ups in the middle of the lightweight roster out there, but it’s hard to resist putting him in with another exciting striker like Paul Felder who’s logged two victories in a row so far and turned heads with a spinning backfist KO last time out.
Hard not to be impressed with Almeida on Saturday night with the showcase of his hard-hitting striking skills he put on against Yves Jabouin and he could well prove to be a much needed breath of fresh air in the bantamweight ranks.
Despite being relatively young at 23 years of age I could see the UFC being eager to boost an exciting talent like Almeida into the 135lb rankings sooner rather than later, though not necessarily against a big name just yet. As such, former King Of The Cage champion and current No.13 ranked Frankie Saenz, who’s 2-0 to date in the Octagon, looks like a solid next step for the Brazilian.