UFC 241 has come and passed. Fight fans around the world can never stop asking themselves, “What’s next?” So we will do just that in this week’s aftermath of UFC 241.
Nate Diaz had a triumphant return. Stipe Miocic reclaimed the heavyweight title. Paulo Costa got one up on rival Yoel Romero. UFC 241 offered a ton of action, and in its wake are left a lot of questions. Let’s tackle what’s next for the stars of the show.
Romero and Costa Steal the Show
Next opponent for Yoel Romero: Jacare Souza, Anthony Smith at light heavyweight
On paper, it was the most intriguing match-up. Styles make fights and this was tailor made for a Fight of the Night bonus. It was all that and more. While Yoel Romero lost the fight, many people thought that fight was Romero’s win.
Regardless of the outcome, Yoel Romero continued to defy Father Time at UFC 241. He continued his bull in a china shop fighting style with great success against a very talented Paulo Costa. While Romero is top of the division, there are two or three fights that take precedence over him getting another title shot at 185. If he’s keen on fighting at middleweight, the rematch with Jacare Souza is a good fight that can get Romero in the win column. If Romero wants to beat Father Time and win a title as fast as possible, light heavyweight is the way to go. Matching up with Anthony Smith is a realistic fight and one that puts both fighters in great spots should either win.
Next opponent for Paulo Costa: Whittaker/Adesanya winner, Hermansson/Cannonier winner
Paulo Costa is at the mercy of other fights. While he stamped his way into the elite of his division, the top of the division is all booked up. If the title fight between Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya is pretty one sided, Costa could get the winner of the fight. But, if it’s a competitive fight, the UFC might opt for a rematch. In that case, a number one contender fight would be optimal for Costa and the winner of Jack Hermansson and Jared Cannonier.
Nate Diaz Triumphantly Returns
Next opponent for Anthony Pettis: Robbie Lawler, Kevin Lee
Unfortunately for Anthony Pettis, his body is his own worst enemy. In the first round, Pettis broke his foot. It was downhill for there. Pettis had no answer all night for Diaz’s pressure and phone booth fighting. Anthony Pettis might have found a good home at welterweight. Robbie Lawler and Anthony Pettis provides a great fight between two former champions. Kevin Lee is another great fight between two former lightweights at 170.
Next opponent for Nate Diaz: Jorge Masvidal
Nate Diaz returned and got a great win over Anthony Pettis. Now, he wants to take the fight to Jorge Masvidal. In his post fight interview, Diaz called out Masvidal, who was in the crowd. Masvidal was grinning from ear to ear, and as far as anyone is concerned, this is the fight to make. A pure, fan service, great scrap. I’m not even going to suggest a different fight, that’s the only fight that should be made at this point.
Stipe Miocic Returns The Belt To Ohio
Next opponent for Daniel Cormier: Stipe Trilogy, retirement
Daniel Cormier came out and dominated the rematch with Stipe Miocic with the exception of round 4. He was put down by Miocic after a series of crippling body shots. Cormier is on the end of his ropes. He might want one last fight before the sun sets on his illustrious career. The only fight to make is Stipe Miocic. The Jon Jones ship has sailed. If DC decides to fight again, the Stipe Miocic trilogy is absolutely the fight to make after UFC 241.
Next opponent for Stipe Miocic: Daniel Cormier, Francis N’Gannou rematch, Jon Jones super fight
Stipe Miocic has options now. After getting his belt back, he’s on high and will get to pick what happens in his career next. The rematch with Cormier makes a ton of sense. We might need a rubber match for that one. Another heavyweight option is Francis N’Gannou. The first fight was complete domination by Miocic. But N’Gannou has been on a tear, knocking out wrestlers and strikers alike. He is in line for a title shot, and he’s first in line at that. The third option is a super fight with Jon Jones. The two have been rumored to fight multiple times in the past and fans love it. If Jones wants to move up to heavyweight, he could challenge Miocic for the belt in the biggest fight of both of their careers.