After a week off, the UFC returned to the UFC Apex, and they brought a fantastic card with them. Jose Aldo continued his run to get another title shot, Chris Curtis upset Brendan Allen, and Clay Guida put himself in the comeback-of-the-year conversation at UFC Vegas 44. So who should they fight next? Keep reading.
The legend of Jose Aldo continues. In his 19th UFC fight, he beat No. 4 ranked bantamweight Rob Font, snapping his opponent’s four-fight win streak while winning his third straight fight. With the top of the bantamweight division tied up, matchmaking is a little tricky. Aldo fought for the bantamweight title last year in July, so he is still a fight or two away to get the rematch. TJ Dillashaw makes a ton of sense; however, Dillashaw has made it known he is fighting for the title next. If the UFC forces Dillashaw to fight again, then Aldo vs. Dillashaw is the fight. The other fight floating out there is Dominick Cruz. Imagine an Aldo vs. Cruz fight. A fight that we never thought was possible. If Cruz wins this weekend at UFC 269, that is the fight to make next.
Aldo’s next fight: TJ Dillashaw or Dominick Cruz (with a win at UFC 269)
Former training partners Rafael Fiziev and Brad Riddell went to war on Saturday, with Fiziev coming out on top. Fiziev knocked Riddell out with a spinning wheel kick in the third round. Since losing his UFC debut, “Ataman” has won five straight, receiving either Fight of the Night or Performance of the Night in four fights. The UFC has a potential massive star on their hands with Fiziev. However, in the shark tank that is the lightweight division, there is not an easy fight. Gregor Gillespie and Rafael dos Anjos are the two options I see for Fiziev. I lean towards RDA a little more because of the name and timing. Plus Rafael vs. Rafael? Come on now.
Fiziev’s next fight: Rafael dos Anjos
After losing for the first time in his professional career in his last outing, Jamahal Hill got back into the win column by knocking out Jimmy Crute in under a minute, receiving Performance of the Night in the process. In his post-fight interview, he called out Paulo Costa and Johnny Walker. Both fights make sense, and it makes my job easier. I pick Walker, who is coming off his first main event, a loss to Thiago Santos.
Hill’s next fight: Johnny Walker
Guida survived a first-round onslaught to come back and finish his opponent Leonardo Santos in the second round. The UFC veteran has put himself in the conversation for Comeback of the Year. “The Carpenter” went 2-1 in 2021 and doesn’t look to be slowing down at all. He offered Nate Diaz a rematch in his post-fight interview but knowing Diaz; he probably won’t fight him. How about a Tony Ferguson vs. Clay Guida fight? Both men are UFC veterans and are grappling aces. It would give Guida a last chance to get into the rankings before his career is over.
Guida’s next fight: Tony Ferguson
Chris Curtis did it again. Short notice, a significant underdog — and knocks out his opponent. Curtis had a fantastic 2021, and who knows if he’s done. The man could honestly hop on UFC 269 or UFC Vegas 45 the following week. Curtis was snubbed back in 2018 on Dana White’s Contender Series and is showing everyone why he should have been in the UFC all along. Oh, and he’s been doing it up a weight class at middleweight. He should drop to welterweight for his next fight and fight someone on the fringe of the top 15, like Khaos Williams, and make a run for the top.
Curtis’ next fight: Khaos Williams
Alex Morono defeated Mickey Gall via a unanimous decision to keep his win streak alive. He is riding a three-fight win streak since losing to Anthony Pettis last December. “The Great White” went 3-0 this year and is close to the welterweight top 15. Randy Brown, who is coming off a unanimous decision win, would be an interesting fight for Morono, and the winner could get into the rankings.
Morono’s next fight: Randy Brown