Following last night’s ‘UFC on Fuel TV 3’ event we take a look at what’s likely to come next for the show’s main card winners.
The Korean Zombie:
Jung is now a certified star in the featherweight division after his latest win, having organically become a fan favorite thanks to his consistently entertaining fights (including a ‘Fight Of The Year’, a ‘Submission Of The Year’, and last night another bout that could rival anything we see this year), all-action style and the all-important catchy nickname.
That’s going to help propel him into the title mix quicker than he would do otherwise, but though he looks a vastly improved fighter from his time in the WEC I still think he could do with another fight under his belt before being lined up with Jose Aldo.
Ideally, if Hatsu Hioki defeats Ricardo Lamas in June then that would be the fight to make next, with the victor facing the winner of July’s Aldo Vs Erik Koch fight.
Truth be told last night wasn’t a great showcase of Sadollah’s skills and he was lucky to emerge with a victory. I don’t think it does much for his chances of moving up the welterweight ladder so he looks to be fitting into the role of a gatekeeper now.
With that in mind I’d put him up against the UK’s John Maguire who’s notched up two wins since joining the UFC, has a victory over DeMarques Johnson in common with Sadollah and could use a fight against a notable name without being thrown in against some of the division’s tougher talents just yet.
Cerrone got back on track last night with a win over Jeremy Stephens, helping him bounce back from the loss to Nate Diaz and putting him at a very solid 5-1 in his time with the promotion so far.
No need to put on the thinking caps here as Cerrone has already suggested an excellent opponent for his next fight in the shape of another ex-WEC star Anthony Pettis. Both fighters have an exciting stand-up style and a good ground game to back it up, so this seems like a no-brainer and could put the winner firmly into the title mix.
Jabouin is always fun to watch with his eye-catching striking style and he’s actually now 3-0 on the UFC so he’s due to a meaningful fight next time out.
He needs to prove that he’s well rounded enough to make it to the upper ranks of the division though, so a fight with a veteran like Ivan Menjivar, who also happens to be on a three fight unbeaten run, would be a solid next step for him.
I felt Pokrajac was a little lucky to get his hand raised last night against Fabio Maldonado, but it was a close fight and he’s a tough, hardy competitor who’s now on a three-fight unbeaten run at 205lbs so he’s not someone that can be overlooked.
Honestly, I feel Pokrajac would be a better choice to welcome Chad Griggs down to the light-heavyweight division, freeing Phil Davis up to take on a bigger name opponent, but I guess that’s probably not going to happen so let’s get a battle of Europe going with the Croat taking on Bulgaria’s Stanislav Nedkov who TKO’d Luiz Cane in his debut last year and was in fact the UFC’s original plan for Maldonado.
Lawlor showed off his heavy hands with a quick KO win over Jason MacDonald last night that bolsters his highlight reel, but it’s still worth keeping in mind that he’s won just two of his last five fights as we ponder what might come next for him at 185lbs.
Brad Tavares also fought on the card last night and got back to winning ways, leaving him 3-1 overall in the UFC so let’s put these two former TUF contestants in the Octagon together and see who comes out on top.