Another huge UFC event is in the books as this past weekend, with UFC 295 recorded as the second highest grossing event in MSG (Madison Square Garden) history with a gate of $12.4m.
Let’s take a look at what could be next for the winners on the night.
The former UFC middleweight champion, Alex Pereira, had already broken history before his win at UFC 295, as he was the first fighter to headline twice at MSG.
The performance that followed exemplified how much of a star the 36-year-old has become for the promotion. Following the impressive second round knockout of the returning Prochazka, the newly crowned champion had a short but poignant message for long time rival, Israel Adesanya.
In his Octagon interview, Pereira said: “Adesanya, come to daddy.”. If Adesanya hadn’t had recently lost his middleweight title, that fight would be all but guaranteed to happen at light heavyweight. Dana White also mentioned in the post fight press conference that he won’t say no to the idea, but would ideally want Adesanya to pick up a win in the division first.
Undoubtedly, Jamahal Hill will be next for the Brazilian. Hill feels hard done by that he is no longer the champion, and has claimed that the neither Pereira or Prochazka are on his level regardless.
Hill will return from his severe injury, and will have the Pereira puzzle to try and crack.
Pereira’s Next Fight: Jamahal Hill
Tom Aspinall made history by becoming the first British born fighter to win a UFC title. Of course, Michael Bisping and Leon Edwards have both won gold before, but neither of which were born in the UK.
Following his remarkable first round knockout over Sergei Pavlovich, Aspinall revealed that a day after he was offered the short notice fight, he pulled his back which prevented him from training for the two weeks he did have.
That didn’t make a single bit of difference though, as the 30-year-old still looked incredibly fast and powerful.
Aspinall has made it clear on multiple occasions that his dream fight is Jon Jones, and he now finds himself one step away from that dream. However, it is still highly unlikely that Jon Jones sticks around to fight another contender after his fight with Stipe Miocic, depending on how that goes down.
The new interim heavyweight champion has also said that he doesn’t want to wait a whole year before he fights again, and will likely defend his interim title before Jones’ return. The Frenchman, Ciryl Gane has called for a fight with Aspinall, but the Englishmen shrugged that off mentioning how he called for a fight with Gane after his win in Paris, but Gane turned him down.
Realistically, if Aspinall is to take another fight in the first quarter of next year, there aren’t many contenders.
Aspinall’s Next Fight: Ciryl Gane
“Bate Estaca” finally snapped her losing skid finishing Mackenzie Dern in round two, following an impressive striking clinic.
This fight marked Andrade’s fifth of the year, something no other female fighter has done. After an insanely active 2023, I think Andrade should take a six month hiatus to see how the strawweight division unfolds.
Depending on whether the UFC decides to give her another upcoming talent or if they give her a more favourable matchup, there are several options for the former champion.
Andrade’s Next Fight: Winner of Amanda Ribas vs Luan Pinheiro
“God of War” continues to become a European star for the UFC, and his picture perfect knockout win over Matt Frevola will only increase his star power.
The 27-year-old is now on a five fight finish streak, and since losing in his UFC debut back in 2021, has gone unbeaten. With the UFC seemingly making an annual visit to Paris, there is no doubt that the Frenchman could headline an event in the capital and blow the roof off the Accor Arena.
With Saint-Denis likely debuting in the rankings come this weeks rankings change, fans have been fantasizing over a matchup between Saint-Denis and Mateusz Gamrot. However, that matchup is unlikely considering “Gamer” weighed in as a backup for the UFC 294 lightweight title fight main event.
A more realistic next fight for Benoit, would be the winner of the upcoming fight between Dan Hooker and Bobby Green.
Saint-Denis’ Next Fight: Winner of Dan Hooker vs Bobby Green
Speaking of becoming a star, Diego Lopes once again showed why he is a future contender in the featherweight division.
After making his short notice UFC debut against the talented Movsar Evloev, Lopes went on to win his following two fights, not seeing a second round in either. Pairing his fight style with his enigmatic personality, the UFC are likely going to start pushing the Brazilian up the rankings.
There is one fight that makes a tonne of sense for him next, and it will really show where he fits in, in the featherweight picture. Bryce “ThugNasty” Mitchell should be next for the 28-year-old, in a fight that would provide everything.
Lopes’ Next Fight: Bryce Mitchell