UFC 268 saw two champions retain their belts and have their hands raised. Kamaru Usman defeated Colby Covington by decision in the main event, while Rose Namajunas got the better of Weili Zhang in the co-main. Today we will be looking into what is next for the losers of UFC 268.
This loss makes Covington 0-2 against Kamaru Usman. Covington is still one of the top welterweights in the world and should be looking to fight another top-five opponent in his next fight. He has already gone to social media to call out his former training partner, Jorge Masvidal. That is a fight that fans have been wanting to see for a long time due to their long-standing rivalry. Masvidal is currently ranked seventh in the division which would be a slight step down for Covington. He’s also booked against Leon Edwards at the moment. Instead, Covington should be looking to fight someone like Gilbert Burns.
Gilbert Burns had an amazing run to the title and only lost to Usman since moving to lightweight. He stands just one or two wins away from getting another shot at that title. Burns is also a better match-up for Covington stylistically.
Covington’s next fight: Gilbert Burns
Weili Zhang has just lost back-to-back fights against the champion, Rose Namajunas. Carla Esparza is the most deserving fighter for the next title shot. That leaves just a few options for Zhang in her next fight. The best option for her would be up-and-comer Marina Rodriguez. Rodriguez is on a three-fight winning streak with wins over Mackenzie Dern, Michelle Waterson, and Amanda Ribas. The winner of Zhang versus Rodriguez would be in line to fight the winner of Namajunas versus Esparza as long as the timelines matched up, though in Zhang’s case it might be dependent on “Thug” Rose losing the belt.
Zhang’s next fight: Marina Rodriguez
Marlon Vera knocked out Frankie Edgar in the third round of their bout at UFC 268. Edgar now has a record of 1-4 in the last two years and has been knocked out in three of those four losses. Marlon Moraes is coming off a loss a few weeks ago against Merab Dvalishvili. Moraes is now on a three-fight losing streak and is falling in the rankings. With both of these men being in similar situations, it would be good to match them up to decide who still belongs in the top 15.
Edgar’s next fight: Marlon Moraes
Billy Quarantillo lost a close decision against Shane Burgos this past weekend. This loss brings Quarantillo to 4-2 in the UFC. He should be looking to fight another exciting up-and-comer in his next fight. His fight against Burgos was a banger. Although it did not win the Fight of the Night (with Gaethje-Chandler on the card, no one really had a chance to), Dana White said he would give both of these guys some kind of bonus just because of how good their fight was. Quarantillo is a draw because of his exciting nature. The same could be said about Danny Roberts. Roberts has fought for the UFC 11 times and has only been to a decision in three of those fights. He is currently riding a two-fight win streak and would be a good match-up for Quarantillo in the near future.
Quarantillo’s next fight: Danny Roberts
Michael Chandler lost a decision to Justin Gaethje this past weekend. This loss makes him 1-2 in the UFC, losing to Gaethje and Charles Oliveria and beating Dan Hooker in his debut. Chandler has shown to be a very exciting fighter in the lightweight division. He has great grappling and power in his strikes. He went to war with Gaethje and even hurt Gaethje on multiple occasions this past weekend. In his next fight, Chandler should fight someone like Gregor Gillespie. Gillespie has dominant grappling and has shown that his striking is developing very well.
Chandler’s next fight: Gregor Gillespie