This past weekend’s UFC main card action brought a nice mixture of finishes and back and forth decisions. Regardless of how they came out on top, the winners undoubtedly put themselves in line for a big fight next (all 4 of them). Today, we look at who they should be fighting next.
**NOTE: With the draw between Ion Cutelaba and Dustin Jacoby, we have limited this article to just the 4 main card winners**
Jiri Prochazka did wonders for his stock, and not even just because he KOed Dominick Reyes. He brought a style to the fight that was just wild enough to get the job done and make a ton of fans in the process. He can be tabbed as can’t miss every time he fights from here on out. While his hands-down style of defense may be concerning against someone like the current UFC champion Jan Blachowicz, he shouldn’t need to prove himself any more than he already has. Sign him up for the winner of the next shot sometime towards the end of the year, and have him ready should Glover back out with an injury.
Jiri Prochazka’s Next Fight: Blachowicz/Teixeira Winner
Giga looked phenomenal with the KO of Cub Swanson. Technical, nuanced, and powerful – he clearly is near the top of the UFC featherweight division with the striking he brings. With that being said, it’s time to test him against another top striker. While he may not yet have earned a Max Holloway fight, he has earned one against perhaps the the next best pure striker in the division Calvin Kattar. Assuming Kattar has recovered from his last fight, seeing him test himself another top striker like Chikadze would be fun to watch and really tell a lot about both fighters.
Giga Chikadze’s Next Fight: Calvin Kattar
Since coming up to middleweight, not only has Strickland been wildly successful, but he’s also looked much better with his boxing. He seems fixated on making fights as fun to watch as possible. If that’s the case, let’s pair him with somebody who also enjoys an entertaining scrap. Kevin Holland has been outgrappled in back-to-back fights and doesn’t seem all that happy about it. I’m sure he’d be willing to oblige Strickland in a Rock’em Sock’em Robots reboot and I don’t think anybody would mind watching that.
Sean Strickland’s Next Fight: Kevin Holland
Merab is in a very tough spot as a fighter. He is an incredible wrestler who seems to take the vast majority of fighters at will. He’s a difficult stylistic matchup for everybody in the whole division. With his ranking where it is, there isn’t a lot of higher ranked fighters who want that fight. One I think would both take it and would be the appropriate level of step up is Pedro Munhoz. He’s just 1-2 in his last 3, but still sits inside the UFC’s bantamweight top 10. That leap would be a good one for Dvalishvili. Also, Munhoz’s submission skills would at least give him something to think about when hitting all those takedowns.
Merab Dvalishvili’s Next Fight: Pedro Munhoz