Following this past weekend’s ‘UFC On Fuel TV 7’ event we take a look forward to what may come next for the event’s big winners.
The plan now is for Barao to take on current bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, ideally in the summer, though that all depends on whether Cruz is back to full fitness.
That’s far from certain as Cruz has been out for the best part of two years now dealing with serious knee surgeries, and Dana White even went as far as to suggest that if he suffers another setback then he may have to consider retirement only being 27 years old.
Let’s hope that’s not the case as Cruz is a highly talented fighter and a match-up with Barao would be the biggest and best matched fight at 135lbs to date in the UFC.
Swanson’s always been a highly entertaining all-action fighter to watch, but now he’s managing to do so while maintaining a consistent winning streak, notching up his fourth win in a row on Saturday night.
That’s no mean feat and should elevate him towards the top of the featherweight ranks. Swanson was originally scheduled to fight Dennis Siver at the London show, and that’s still a fight that makes a lot of sense for him next.
There was an unfortunate end to this one with Cyrille Diabate limping out of the fight with a suspected torn calf muscle, so it’s possible there could be an immediate rematch.
Manuwa looked to be getting the better of the fight though and could be moved on to another fight next instead. James Te-Huna also fought on the main card of this show and is now on a four-fight winning streak so he’d be a good opponent for the ‘Poster Boy’.
Not quite as impressive as his debut, but Nelson is still shaping up to be a significant player in the UFC’s welterweight division.
The UFC appear to be keen to take things slowly with Nelson so he’s not going to get a huge step up in competition next time out. I’d put him in with the UK’s John Hathaway who’s on a three-fight winning streak and would provide a solid challenge for the Icelandic fighter.
Dana White made it clear after the event that he wasn’t impressed with Riddle’s tactics in this fight – relying almost entirely on wrestling and clinch work to grind out a win, so despite being unbeaten in four fights I don’t think the UFC will be looking to push him into a major fight.
It’s possible they’ll sling him into a tough match-up though, and someone like Mike Pierce, himself a strong wrestler who’s notched up a three-fight winning streak, would fit the bill nicely.