In the main event of UFC 253, Isreal Adesanya was able to finish Paulo Costa to retain his middleweight title. In the co-main, Jan Blachowicz was also able to stop Dominick Reyes to finally get his hands on the light heavyweight title. Today we will be looking into what is next for the winners of the first event back on Fight Island.
Adesanya managed to land a variety of leg kicks and started to slow Costa down early. In the second round those leg kicks really started to hurt Costa and Adesanya was eventually able to finish the fight.
In his post-fight interview, “The Last Stylebender” said that if Jared Cannioner was able to beat Robert Whittaker, then Cannioner would be the next in line. While that could possibly be true, nobody should be sleeping on Robert Whittaker. If Whittaker wins it would seem that he too should be in line for a shot at the title again. The only other fighter that would make any sense would be rising star, Jack Hermansson who is currently ranked number four in the division.
Adesanya’s next fight: Winner of Cannioner-Whittaker
Jan Blachowicz was just too much for Dominick Reyes in their bout at UFC 253. His body shots seemed to be hurting Reyes early on which then led to Blachowicz finishing the fight in the second round.
Number two ranked Thiago Santos is set to take on number four ranked Glover Teixeira in a few weeks. Since the five and six positions belong to up and comers in Aleksandar Rakic and Jiri Prochazka, it would seem like the winner of Santos-Teixeira should probably get the next shot at the title.
Blachowicz’s next fight: Winner of Santos-Teixeira
Brandon Royval proved to the UFC that he belongs at the top of the flyweight weight class with an impressive submission win over Kai Kara-France at UFC 253. Royval came into the fight ranked number nine so it is likely that he will be looking to fight someone in the top five for his next fight.
Sitting in the number one contender spot is Joseph Benavidez. Although we all know he isn’t really close to getting a title shot. After his last loss to now-champion Deiveson Figueiredo, Benavidez is 0-4 in UFC title fights. This isn’t the end of the world for him but if he does not plan to retire he needs to get back in there with some tough opponents. Royval is the perfect opponent. Both men have something to prove with Benavidez trying to prove he is still worthy of being at the top of the division, and Royval trying to prove he is worthy of a title shot.
Royval’s next fight: Joeseph Benavidez
Ketlen Vieira made it look easy in her unanimous decision win over Sijara Eubanks this past weekend. She was able to control the grappling and even land some good shots in the striking exchanges. Vieira was fighting down in the rankings for this fight so she most likely won’t be pushed too far forward in the rankings. This weekend’s main event is Holly Holm versus Irene Aldana. With the winner of that fight likely getting a title shot, it would be interesting to see Vieira fight the loser of that fight. No matter which lady Vieira draws in that fight it would be a perfect stylistic matchup for her.
Vieira’s next fight: Loser of Holm-Aldana
Hakeem Dawodu won a split decision win over Zubaira Tukhugov this past weekend. It was a back-and-forth fight that some media members even scored a draw. Tukhugov did a great job early with his grappling which could have possibly drawn a 10-8 round. Dawodu certainly did a great job out-striking Tukhugov in the later rounds though.
Billy Quarantillo could be a great match-up for Dawodu in his next fight. Quarantillo is 3-0 in the UFC since winning his contract on the Contender Series beating guys like Jacob Kilburn, Spike Carlyle, and Kyle Nelson in his last fight. Meanwhile Dawodu is 5-1 in the UFC and is currently on a five-fight win streak. After losing his debut he went on to beat guys such as Austin Arnett, Kyle Bochniak, and of course Tukhugov at UFC 253.
Dawodu’s next fight: Billy Quarantillo