What’s Next: UFC 269 Losers

Dustin Poirier, UFC 269
Dustin Poirier, UFC 269 Official Weigh-In Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Charles Oliveira defeated Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 269 to retain the UFC lightweight title. In the co-main event, Julianna Pena submitted Amanda Nunes in the second round to win the UFC women’s bantamweight title — and shocked just about everyone in doing so. Today we will be looking into what is next for the losing parties at UFC 269.

Dustin Poirier

Dustin Poirier was submitted via rear-naked choke in the third round by Charles Oliveira this past weekend. This was his first loss since losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2019. Justin Gaethje is in line for the next shot at the title. Beneil Dariush is currently booked to fight number four ranked Islam Makhachev in February. That leaves some pretty interesting match-ups for Poirier in 2022. He could take another fight with McGregor since his last fight ended in injury. Poirier also has the opportunity to fight a lightweight contender like Michael Chandler or Tony Ferguson. The question remains, does Dustin Poirier want to make money or make another run at the lightweight title? Maybe both, but since Poirier wasn’t even thinking about match-ups following his loss Saturday and appears to want time with his family, a McGregor match-up potentially next summer makes sense.

Dustin Poirier’s next fight: Conor McGregor

Amanda Nunes

Amanda Nunes suffered her first loss in five years this past weekend at UFC 269. Although this loss means she loses her bantamweight title, Nunes is still in possession of the UFC women’s featherweight title. Kayla Harrison has been in talks with the UFC on a potential contract in the future. If she was to be signed by the UFC, she would be looking at an immediate title shot. Since the UFC’s women’s featherweight division is rather thin, singing Harrison should be looked at as a top priority. Amanda Nunes versus Kayla Harrison will be just as big, if not bigger than Nunes versus Cris Cyborg. Of course, there’s the possibility of an immediate rematch with Julianna Pena first. It all depends which weight class Nunes wants to return to.

Amanda Nunes’ next fight: Julianna Pena or Kayla Harrison 

Santiago Ponzinibbio

Santiago Ponzinibbio lost a split decision to Geoff Neal at UFC 269. This fight was extremely close and Ponzinibbio’s stock might have even grown a little in this loss. A loss always stinks, but when you can make it an exciting close fight, you save yourself some popularity points with the UFC brass. Ponzinibbio is now 1-2 since returning to action this past year. Khaos Williams is a guy who matches up very well against Ponzinibbio. Santiago Ponzinnibbio is a great counter striker and Williams is a guy who throws power in every strike. Williams is 4-1 in the UFC and could benefit from fighting a veteran like Ponzinibbio.

Santiago Ponzinibbio’s next fight: Khaos Williams 

Cody Garbrandt

Cody Garbrandt is coming off a TKO loss to Kai Kara-France at UFC 269. Garbrandt is now 1-5 in his last six fights losing four of those five fights by knockout. He should probably fight someone outside of the top ten of the flyweight division in this next fight. Garbrandt looked good at flyweight but still showed concerns about his ability to take a punch. Manel Kape is currently the 14th ranked flyweight in the division and is 2-2 in the UFC. Kape is currently riding a two-fight winning streak and has finished 16 out of his 17 wins. He would be a perfect opponent for Garbrandt’s next fight.

Cody Garbrandt’s next fight: Manel Kape 

Raulian Paiva

Raulian Paiva entered UFC 269 off a win over Kyler Phillips, and was taking on a teammate of “The Matrix” from the MMA Lab, Sean O’Malley. Despite being a step up in competition, the “Suga Show” showed out, finishing Paiva with pinpoint accuracy. Paiva still has considerable upside, and had been on a three-fight win streak prior to Saturday’s setback. A bounce back fight against someone outside the rankings makes sense.

Randy Costa suffered his second straight defeat on the same card. Both guys still hold the prospect label, both were finished at UFC 269, and the timing works out. Book it.

Raulian Paiva’s next fight: Randy Costa