What’s Next: UFC 268 Winners

Kamaru Usman UFC 268
Kamaru Usman, UFC 268 Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

The UFC was back in New York on Saturday, and they brought an absolutely stacked card to Madison Square Garden. Both champions kept their titles, but they had to work for it. There were also two fights on the main card that were flat-out wars. So who should the winners of UFC 268 fight next? Check it out below.

Kamaru Usman

The heated rematch between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington has come and gone, and “The Nigerian Nightmare” bested his rival again, this time via unanimous decision. This was Usman’s fifth title defense, and his 15th consecutive win inside of the octagon- only Anderson Silva started his UFC career with a better streak. Who is going to beat this man? Everyone keeps saying it, but it’s true; he lapped the division. There are a couple of options for Usman, but I think the clear next opponent should be Leon Edwards, if he gets past Jorge Masvidal in December. Yep, another rematch for his sixth title defense.

Usman’s next fight: Leon Edwards

Rose Namajunas

The co-main event of UFC 268 saw another rematch, this time between Rose Namajunas and Zhang Weili. The first fight saw “Thug” Rose knock out her opponent in a little over a minute; this time the pair went 25 minutes, with Namajunas winning a close split decision. Want to know a wild stat? Since 2017, Namajunas has only fought in rematches. She went through Joanna Jędrzejczyk twice, then Jessica Andande, and now Weili. I don’t think think the rematches should end because Carla Esparza should be next. Esparza defeated Namajunas in her UFC debut for the inaugural strawweight title. The story is there and the fight should happen next.

Namajunas’ next fight: Carla Esparza

Marlon Vera

Marlon Vera picked up the biggest win of his UFC career by knocking out Frankie Edgar. It was a great win for “Chito” because two of the judges had him losing the fight before the knockout. It was also a great win because the last time he got a step up in competition, he lost to Jose Aldo last December. Vera will be moving up in the rankings on Tuesday and has set himself up for another big fight. Merab Dvalishvili should be on the Ecuadorian’s radar next. Dvalishvili is coming off a TKO win at UFC 266 against Marlon Moraes.

Vera’s next fight: Merab Dvalishvili

Shane Burgos

Shane Burgos defeated Billy Quarantillo via unanimous decision at UFC 268. If this fight was on any other card, it would have been a shoo-in for Fight of the Night, unfortunately the fight before it happened. Burgos snapped the first losing streak of his career, and continues to be must watch television. There is a reason the UFC keeps putting Burgos in front of a crowd instead of the UFC Apex. With the featherweight division being mostly matched up already, or the few fighters in the division that are ready to go, it is tough to match up Burgos. The fight that makes the most sense is Alex Caceres. Caceres recently got himself into the featherweight rankings and is riding a five-fight win streak.

Burgos’ next fight: Alex Caceres

Justin Gaethje

Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Chandler delivered in every aspect possible and is a front runner for the Fight of the Year. It was awesome. Gaethje ended up winning the fight via unanimous decision, getting back into the win column and handing Chandler his second consecutive loss. Gaethje most likely just punched his ticket for another shot at the lightweight title. Charles Oliveria defends the title against Dustin Poirier next month in Las Vegas at UFC 269. Gaethje should get the winner.

Gaethje’s next fight: Winner of Charles Oliveria vs. Dustin Poirier

Other fights:

Alex Pereira’s next fight: Winner of Marc-Andre Barriault vs. Chidi Njokuani

Bobby Green’s next fight: Dan Hooker

Nassourdine Imavov’s next fight: Uriah Hall

Ian Garry’s next fight: Mickey Gall

Chris Curtis’ next fight: Julian Marquez

Dustin Jacoby’s next fight: Ryan Spann