What’s Next: UFC 248 Matchmaker

Israel Adesanya UFC 248
Israel Adesanya Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

UFC 248 proved to be exactly what the UFC was promoting and more. We witnessed what is widely looked at as the greatest women’s fight in all of MMA history. That saw ex-champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk in a five-round war against Weili Zhang. Then there was Israel Adesanya defending his title opposite Yoel Romero. At the end of the night, both champions were able to retain their title. Both challengers definitely made it extremely close though. Today we will take a look at who these fighters should look to be fighting next.

Isreal Adesanya – Weili Zhang

For the two champions, it is pretty clear who their next fights should be. The only reason Isreal Adesanya fought Yoel Romero was that Paulo Costa was unable to fight until later this year. Costa already has a win over Romero making him the clear cut number one contender in the middleweight division.

The top of Zhang’s strawweight division is a little thin but it’s hard to ignore that the next in which should either be Rose Namajuans or Jessica Andrade. They will be fighting each other at UFC 249 in April. Making for an action-packed rematch between Zhang and Andrade or a chance for Namajuans to get her belt back.

Adesanya’s Next Fight: Paulo Costa 

Zhang’s Next fight: Winner of Namajuans vs. Andrade

Neil Magny

Neil Magny had an extremely impressive performance in a decision win over Li Jingliang at UFC 248. After this, he got on the mic and called out number 7 ranked Michael Chiesa. A little bit of a reach because he has been away from the sport for so long and just beat an unranked opponent. While Magny-Chiesa would be a great stylistic match-up it is more likely that the UFC gives Magny someone outside the top ten. A great candidate for that would be number 11 ranked Robbie Lawler. Lawler hasn’t fought since August of 2019 and is currently riding a three-fight losing streak. Lawler would be a great test for Magny who shown great improvements in his striking this past Saturday.

Magny’s Next Fight: Robbie Lawler 

Sean O’Malley

Sean O’Malley returned to the octagon this past Saturday with a quick first-round TKO win over Jose Quinonez. Proving in the process that he is not just hype and that he is a serious contender in the UFC’s bantamweight division. With only three wins against unranked opponents and this being his first fight back off a pretty big layoff, the UFC may want to see him fight again before they give him a top 15 opponent. With that being said Brian Kelleher has been begging the UFC to put him on the UFC 249 card in Brooklyn. If O’Malley wants a quick turnaround this would be a great fight for him. As it gives him the chance to not only prove that he is a great striker but also prove he can stop the takedown.

If the UFC wanted to give him a top 15 opponent because they feel like he is ready, the best option would be Yadong Song. Another rising star in the bantamweight division that has similar devastating striking abilities. Song hasn’t fought since December of 2019 so this fight would also fit the bill if O’Malley does return soon.

O’Malley’s Next Fight: Brian Kelleher or Yadong Song

Who do you think these fighters should be fighting next? Let us know in the comments down below.