UFC Vancouver Aftermath: What’s Next For the Key Players?

Nikita Krylov, UFC Vancouver Ceremonial Weigh-In Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

Nikita Krylov’s Second Stumble in his Second Run

Next opponent for Nikita Krylov: Ilir Latfii

His return to the UFC has not gone as planned. Nikita Krylov is now 1-2 since returning to the UFC, after spending all of 2017 and part of 2018 outside the promotion. He left, not because he was run out of town, but to fight closer to home. When Fight Nights Global closed up shot, his return was the only thing that made sense. However, he’s lost to both Teixeira and Jan Blachowicz.

What’s next? Ilir Latifi has also struggled lately, and is on a two-fight losing skid. Booking a bout between Krylov and Latifi, somewhere in Europe, makes a whole lot of sense.

Cowboy Isn’t Passing the Torch Just Yet

Next opponent for Cowboy Cerrone: Kevin Lee, Anthony Pettis

Cowboy Cerrone lost, and lost hard at UFC Vancouver. Finished in the first. Yet he held his head high, because he’s Cowboy Cerrone. Cowboy has ascended to near-living legend status in the sport, and wins and losses barely seem to matter for him. He puts on a show, and is beloved by fans everywhere. Another big fight is the only thing that makes sense.

Cerrone is talking about a December return. If Kevin Lee is returning to lightweight, that works. A rematch with Anthony Pettis could be fun, if Pettis returns, or at welterweight. There are a ton of options for Cowboy, really. The loser of the BMF belt at UFC 244?

Justin Gaethje Deserves Khabib-Tony Winner, but Deserves Got Nothing to Do With It

Next opponent for Justin Gaethje: Conor McGregor

Justin Gaethje made it three wins in a row at UFC Vancouver. Seven bonuses in six UFC fights. Rarely has a hype train paid off so well for any fighter entering the UFC, but the WSOF champion was exactly what we all thought he was: a killer.

Gaethje deserves the winner of Khabib-Tony, but the timing is all wrong. Khabib just fought. He could be taking some time off. Ferguson can wait, but that could see Gaethje waiting a year (if not more) for his title shot. Not a great idea.

So, if Conor McGregor is coming back, that’s the fight. It was supposed to happen, until a McGregor hand injury. Gaethje said post-fight Saturday he does want it. He no doubt wants the title fight more, but a fight with McGregor might actually be bigger.


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