With the dust settling on Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 63 event in Virginia, let’s take a look at what might come next for some of the shows biggest winners.
A strong performance from Mendes against Ricardo Lamas demonstrated his formidable punching power in the featherweight division and solidified his spot as the top contender.
He’s in an awkward spot though as Aldo has already beaten him twice, although admittedly their second encounter was closer than the first. Still, the best scenario Mendes can hope for is that Conor McGregor lives up to his word and defeats Aldo convincingly in July as he would then be next in line to face him. The operative word there is “convincingly” though as if the fight is relatively close then an immediate rematch is a strong possibility.
If that scenario did play out then The back-up plan for Mendes would be to fight Frankie Edgar, though that would be dependent on ‘The Answer’ defeating Mendes friend and training partner Urijah Faber first, affording him the opportunity to seek payback on ‘The California Kid’s’ behalf.
Iaquinta may not have won over many fans with his post-fight outburst after a narrow split decision win over Jorge Masvidal, but nonetheless he’s now racked up four victories in a row.
Ideally I’d like to have paired him up with another former TUF fighter on the rise in the lightweight rankings, Tony Ferguson, but he’s expected to face Josh Thomson next.
Instead, let’s put him in with Bobby Green next who’s a few places higher in the rankings and is looking to get back to winning ways after his own winning streak came undone late last year.
Chiesa continues to be a tough customer to deal with for a lot of fighters with his relentless, grinding work ethic and it’s taken him to a 5-2 record overall in the UFC so far.
Chiesa is likely to face one of a number of fighters just out of reach of the top 15 rankings at the moment, with a fight against another former TUF winner in Ross Pearson a chance for one of them to climb to the next level on the ladder.
Despite her long injury lay-off, the same raw talent we saw from Pena during her TUF run was still evident on Saturday. She’s definitely an exciting prospect, though still rough around the edges.
With that in mind I’d resist the urge to fire her up the rankings too fast and give her time to polish her skills. Let’s see how she copes with a dangerous striker like muay thai specialist Germaine de Randamie next.
After going back to his roots with a strong display of grinding wrestling, Guida kept his options wide open by indicating he’d be happy to fight at either featherweight or go back up to lightweight.
I don’t see a real need to call him back up to 155lbs right now. Keep him at featherweight for now and see how he does against another classic grinder in Nik Lentz who’s a few positions higher than him in the rankings.
Poirier showed that he’s more than capable of handling himself at 155lbs with a dominant display against Carlos Diego Ferreira.
There’s lots of fun fights for someone of Poirier’s caliber in the division. Apparently he’s already earmarked for a Louisiana card on June 15th and I’d like to see him up against Brazilian Adriano Martins who’s one of a number of fighters eyeing the top 15 rankings after recent back-to-back victories.