Fifteen fights certainly gave the fans plenty to talk about Saturday at UFC Fight Island 3. It gave the UFC brass more to talk about as well with Dana White and co. awarding a rare six Performance of the Night bonuses. While a big ticket purchase might be in the future for those six fighters, we’re looking at what’s next for those who didn’t even pick up their win bonus.
Till’s in a weird place in the middleweight division. Only two fights in and at just 1-1, he just had a razor close fight with a former champion and a number one contender. The whole loser-fights-a-loser mentality probably shouldn’t apply here, but we know how the UFC matchmaking can be. So if we’re hell bent on giving him someone off of a loss, how about the loser of Yoel Romero and Uriah Hall next month? I like this especially if it’s Romero, but both fighters present interesting style match ups for Till.
Darren Till’s Next Fight: Loser of Romero/Hall
It certainly wouldn’t surprise me if Gustafsson walked away here. He did, after all, already retire once and after a quick submission loss, I’m not sure where his head it at. If he still is planning on putting together a run, I’d like to see him get a more classic welcoming to the heavyweight division with somebody who has a bit less experience. I also wouldn’t mind seeing a style match-up that allowed Gustafsson to show what his striking looks like at heavyweight. For those reasons I’m going with Yorgan de Castro who seemed to have all the makings of a hot prospect before his ugly loss to Greg Hardy.
Alexander Gustafsson’s Next Fight: Yorgan de Castro
After a four-fight unbeaten streak, Rodriguez was given the top ten opponent she had been looking for. Now that she fell short in that endeavor, it’s time for her to be the step up for a fellow fighter. Yan Xiaonan has quietly rattled off five straights wins at strawweight and deserves to see what she’d do against a striker like Rodriguez. Not only does this make sense from a rankings perspective, but just imagine the striking output between these two.
Marina Rodriguez’s Next Fight: Yan Xiaonan
Despite the one sided optics of the fight, McKee is very deserving of his UFC contract. His debut was far from standard in the way it was rushed and the prospect they had him set up with. For his second fight, it would make all the sense in the world to give him a more typical debut opponent. Anthony Ivy would do just fine in this case. It would be a better check on McKee’s ability to avoid the ground game and allow us to see him work his hands in a more comfortable situation.
Rhys McKee’s Next Fight: Anthony Ivy
A win over Cowboy Oliveira in his return to the octagon seemed to have Dalby short tracked for the top. A submission loss to Jesse Ronson undoubtedly undoes a lot of that. However, knowing the talent is there, it isn’t time for a big step back. Let’s pair him with another fighter who was looking hot before he got stopped by a late replacement – Alex Morono. Both guys come to bang and Morono would be a fun test to see Dalby’s defensive wrestling as well.
Nicholas Dalby’s Next Fight: Alex Morono