Valentina Shevchenko retained, Luque vs. Perry was a war, and Volkan Oezdemir returned to the win column. UFC Uruguay left MMA fans with a lot of digest.
UFC Uruguay is all said and done. Being headlined by a title fight, plus other major players in the UFC, there’s plenty to speculate on. So let’s do just that.
Ciryl Gane Makes His Debut
Next opponent for Ciryl Gane: Greg Hardy, Cyril Asker
Ciryl Gane was one of the best signings that the UFC can make. A 13-0 kickboxer came in and shocked the world with an arm triangle finish. Gane has loads of potential, but at only 4-0 in his MMA career, he needs a few more fights before taking on elite talent. One good match-up for him to build his star power would be a fight with Greg Hardy. With all the controversy around Hardy’s name, Gane will grow exponentially with a win all while getting good cage time. Another good prospect with octagon experience is Cyril Asker. Both fights would be incredibly beneficial for Gane in different ways.
Volkan Oezdemir Bounces Back
Next opponent for Volkan Oezdemir: Anthony Smith rematch, Reyes/Weidman loser
Volkan Oezdemir had a rough lead in to UFC Uruguay. After dropping a title shot to then-light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, Oezdemir dropped two more fights after that and looked on the brink of being cut after such a great start in the octagon.
Now, Oezdemir will look to win another and get his name moving in the direction of a title shot again. He has two ways he can go at it. If he wants to fast track the process, a high ranked opponent would work well. Anthony Smith is likely not fighting Jon Jones anytime soon. A rematch would be a good idea for Volkan Oezdemir to get his confidence and that win back. If he chooses to go the slow route, Oezdemir could pick a fight with the loser of Dominick Reyes and Chris Weidman. A rematch with Reyes would also help, especially seeing as many thought he won the first fight. Chris Weidman would be a good test for the light heavyweight as well.
Vicente Luque Takes A Win And Mike Perry’s Nose
Next opponent for Mike Perry: Michael Chiesa, Niko Price
This was arguably the best Mike Perry has looked in the UFC. While he didn’t get the win, he surely had his stock rise after UFC Uruguay. Perry is dying to get into the top 15, but keeps coming up short. Perry isn’t ready for a top 15 opponent yet, but he’s certainly improving. Michael Chiesa is an interesting match-up stylistically. Plus, it’s a name fans will recognize. Should Perry beat Chiesa, he’d be back in the contender spot for a top 15 fight. Niko Price is another exciting match-up, but for different reasons. Both fighters would put on an absolutely monster show. Of course, Perry will be waiting for his nose to heal up first.
Next opponent for Vicente Luque: Geoff Neil, Neil Magny
Vicente Luque is absolutely in a prime spot right now. He looked good in a tough fight, and managed to grit out a win. He will be fighting for that top 15 spot that Perry wants. Now riding six straight wins, Luque has arrived. Both Neil Magny and Geoff Neal are ranked, 14 and 15 respectively. These two fighters would be a fantastic test for Luque and could be a perfect skill check to see if he’s ready for the cream of the crop.
Shevchenko and Carmouche Don’t Live Up to Fans Expectations
Next opponent for Liz Carmouche: Roxanne Modafferi, Lee/Calderwood winner
Liz Carmouche got her second shot at UFC gold and unfortunately came up short again. This time, it was a longer fight than the Ronda Rousey bout. Carmouche had no answer for Shevchenko. She had her fight with Roxanne Modafferi rescheduled and fans would like closure on that match-up. In order to sort out the women’s flyweight division even more, the UFC might be keen on seeing how a contender does against Carmouche. Andrea Lee and Joanne Calderwood are fighting for a top five fight and a bout with the winner would be a good test to see where the division heads.
Next opponent for Valentina Shevchenko: Amanda Nunes, Kaitlyn Chookagian
Valentina Shevchenko looks unstoppable. She avenged her loss to Liz Carmouche from 2010. While it wasn’t the exciting, head kick knockout everyone wanted from UFC Uruguay, Shevchenko went in and did exactly what she needed to do to win the fight. As I mentioned in the last Aftermath piece concerning Shevchenko, the division is still sorting itself out. Amanda Nunes is the biggest name in women’s MMA. Going for a third match after giving Nunes hell in the last fight makes sense in more ways than any other option. If Shevchenko wants to stay in division, more power too her. There are plenty of contenders on the rise, but nothing that’ll move the needle like Nunes. Next in line would be Kaitlyn Chookagian.