With UFC 191 now in the rear-view mirror let’s look ahead to what may come next for the event’s big winners.
John Dodson was about as challenging an opponent as Johnson could face in his division and he made him look ordinary on Saturday night, just as he has with pretty much everybody else he’s faced during his seven successful title defenses to date.
His next opponent is almost certain to be the winner of Jussier Formiga (ranked No.3) and Henry Cejudo (No.5) which takes place in November.
Formiga has a three fight winning streak built up heading into that fight, but it’s former wrestling gold medalist Cejudo that’s got people excited right now with a 9-0 record to date and three victories inside the Octagon.
He’s a real talent, but ideally he could use a few more fight under his belt before facing the champion and unfortunately it doesn’t look like he’ll get that chance as there’s simply a lack of other contenders out there for ‘Mighty Mouse’.
Arlovski’s unlikely ascent up the heavyweight ranks continues with a fourth straight victory since joining the UFC, but like his first win in that series over Brendan Schaub, Saturday night’s decision win over Frank Mir was underwhelming.
With that in mind perhaps it’s for the best that the title rematch between Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez has been delayed until March as it gives Arlovski time to get another fight under his belt to really prove that he’s worthy of a shot at the belt.
Timing wise it looks like it’ll be best to pair him up with the winner of Stipe Miocic Vs Ben Rothwell as that takes place next month.
Johnson showed off his beastly knockout power once again on Saturday night against Jimi Manuwa and that means he’s going to remain firmly lodged in the No.1 spot on the top light-heavyweight contenders list.
However, after a disappointing display in his title shot against Daniel Cormier back in May he’s unlikely to be getting another crack at the belt in short order, and indeed UFC President Dana White confirmed as much post-fight at the weekend, saying he’d need to win a few more fights.
With that in mind, another heavy hitter, the No.3 ranked Glover Teixeira, looks like it would be a fun fight for him next, though the Brazilian would have to get past Patrick Cummins in November first.
With a decision win over Jan Blachowicz now under his belt the 25 year-old TUF 19 winner Anderson has a 3-1 record under his belt in the UFC so far.
It’s a solid run and a fight with the No.15 ranked Ilir Latifi would a logical next step for him.
Another win for PVZ on Saturday night and another chance to witness the fact that she has an unlimited amount of potential, while also observing that at just 21 years-old she’s still far from the finished article as a fighter.
VanZant has all the ingredients to be a big star and with that in mind the UFC really needs to be very careful not to blow that by putting her in against the best the division has to offer to soon as she’s not ready for that yet.
She’s already ranked No.7 in the division though and is likely to step up again after her performance at the weekend, so it’s already getting more difficult to keep her away from the wolves.
Perhaps the best option then is just to put her in with Randa Markos who’s ranked No.6, yet like VanZant is still relatively green at this stage in her 5-2 career.