The last Fight Island show before one of the biggest fights of the year certainly didn’t disappoint. In addition to action, UFC Fight Island 6 provided plenty of interesting storylines and outcomes with real relevance to their divisions. Today, we look at the position some of the winning fighters have put themselves in.
Dana White has taken some of the wonder away from this matchmaking question. The winner was promised a title shot long before Ortega shut Korean Zombie out. Even without that fact, Ortega likely would have earned himself a shot with that performance anyways. Not only did his striking (offensively and defensively) look sharper, but he didn’t ever need to rely on his grappling. He just systematically dismantled one of the toughest guys in the division. A performance like that not only brings intrigue to the title fight, but certainly makes us all wonder what would happen if he fought Max Holloway again now.
Brian Ortega’s Next Fight: Alexander Volkanovski
In her first fight in the flyweight division, Jessica Andrade made a statement and a half. While those coming up from flyweight have fared well so far (see Calvillo, Cynthia and Grasso, Alexa), none have quite put on the show that Andrade did. Not only did she beat the number one ranked fighter, but she steamrolled her with a brutal finish. It’s absurd to imagine anything other than a title shot is next for the former champion. I’m sure nobody would bat an eye if the UFC just tried to remove Jennifer Maia and insert Andrade right into that bout now. Regardless, a date with Valentina Shevchenko is in her foreseeable future.
Jessica Andrade’s Next Fight: Valentina Shevchenko
You have to respect a man who does his matchmaking for us and, in this case, Crute nailed it. In his post-fight interview the Australian asked to be paired with Nikita Krylov, the #8 ranked light heavyweight. While that seems like a stretch for Crute, who isn’t ranked himself, he is 5-1 with a win over #14 Paul Craig. He’s showing constant improvement on the feet and demonstrated that on Modestas Bukauskas’ dome. The grappling stylings of both Krylov and Crute would also make for some interesting exchanges.
Jimmy Crute’s Next Fight: Nikita Krylov
James Krause put on yet another of his signature performances on zero notice. Stepping in for Muslim Salikhov on just about a week’s notice, he stormed on to Fight Island and took away Claudio Silva’s ‘0’. Although there were some lightweight and even a middleweight match-ups squeezed in there, this gives Krause four straight victories at 170lbs. It’s time to match him with some of the other names knocking at the door of the top 15. Jake Matthews is one that presents an interesting physical challenge. The much younger Matthews is huge for the division and has some of the same attributes that Trevin Giles gave Krause trouble with.
James Krause’s Next Fight: Jake Matthews
In a masterful performance in his first featherweight bout, Jonathan Martinez showed that he could handle himself on the feet with a worthy striking foe. However, the real question with him moving up a class is whether he’ll be able to fend off the larger grapples that the division has. A good foray into those waters would be Gavin Tucker. Tucker is a hard hitter who is known to get drawn into a slobber-knocker or two. However, lately he’s shown the ability to mix it up and show off his complete game. This bout would give Martinez the chance to test his grappling, while offering him another formidable foe on the feet.
Jonathan Martinez’s Next Fight: Gavin Tucker