The UFC has returned to action, and their return was just as good as we anticipated. Justin Gaethje won his Fight of the Night bout with Tony Fergurson. Meanwhile, Henry Cejudo defeated Dominick Cruz and promptly retired in his post-fight interview. Today we will take a look at what is next for some of the standout fighters of UFC 249.
Justin Gaethje was able to stop Tony Ferguson in the fifth round in the main event this past weekend. Making him the UFC interim lightweight champion. Meaning his next fight should undoubtedly be for the title against Khabib Nurmagomedov. While there is still a bit of fan excitement over the Tony-Khabib fight, it will have to be put on hold for the time being.
Gaethje’s Next Fight: Lightweight title fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov
After Henry Cejudo defended his bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz, he retired from MMA. Which raises the question of what is next for the bantamweight division. Since Cruz was just fighting for the title and in some people’s eyes that fight was stopped early, it could be possible for Cruz to fight for the vacant title next. Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan have been waiting patiently for their shots at the title. The same could be said for Cory Sandgagen. This means the top five of the bantamweight division seems to be Sterling, Yan, Sandahagen, Marlon Moraes, and Cruz.
With this being said it was hard enough for the UFC to give Cruz a title shot after being away from the sport for a few years. It will only be harder to give him another shot after losing this most recent one. However, he has two very interesting fight options to get him climbing back in the top 15. Those options would be Cory Sandhagen, who he was slated to fight earlier this year before that fight fell through, or a rematch with Cody Garbrandt. The UFC is at a point right now of trying to put on the most exciting fights for the fans, which out of those two options seems to be the Garbrandt fight.
Cruz’s Next Fight: Rematch With Cody Garbrandt
Bryce Mitchell put on an incredible performance this past weekend. By dominating every second of every round against Charles Rosa. On top of dominating Rosa, he did it while being on the ground for 90% of the fight. Mitchell was relentless with his takedowns and submission attempts. Proving how good he really is going up against a BJJ black belt in Rosa. It would be great to see Mitchell go up against another talented jiu-jitsu fighter next. Maybe the UFC should take a look at Kron Gracie. Through all of UFC history the Gracies have dominated the jiu-jitsu game. This would be the perfect test to see if Mitchell is ready for the top 15 of the division.
Mitchell’s Next Fight: Kron Gracie
Who do you think these fighters should be fighting next? Let us know in the comments down below.