JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Khamzat Chimaev stole the present, as anticipated, at UFC 273 on Saturday evening with a unanimous-decision win over Gilbert Burns in what Dana White known as one of many best fights he is ever seen. Featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski placed on a present of his personal with a fourth-round stoppage of Chan Sung Jung. And whereas Aljamain Sterling could not have silenced all of his critics, his split-decision win over Petr Yan to defend his bantamweight belt seemingly will shift his focus to a special opponent.
So who’s subsequent for Chimaev? White had mentioned Colby Covington was on deck if Chimaev received. Is that the best battle to make?
And whereas Yan believes he deserved the choice and desires a 3rd bout towards Sterling, who received the title when Yan was disqualified for an unlawful knee on March 6, 2021, would the UFC have an interest within the trilogy?
And what about Volkanovski?
Here is who ought to be subsequent — with a wild card — for these winners, in addition to for Mackenzie Dern, who defeated Tecia Torres, by break up choice.
Alexander Volkanovski retains Chan Sung Jung guessing all through their battle and wins the bout through technical knockout.
Alexander Volkanovski, featherweight champion
Who ought to be subsequent: Max Holloway
It is a no-brainer. The trilogy battle between these two was presupposed to occur at this occasion, however Holloway needed to cope with a lingering harm. He was truly cleared in time to battle on Saturday, however the UFC had already moved on by that point with Jung as his alternative. Volkanovski is the champ — there’s nothing to debate there. However due to how shut his two victories have been over Holloway, there’s at all times been a requirement for them to finish the trilogy. Holloway has been one thing of a thorn within the champ’s aspect. Volkanovski hasn’t been capable of transfer previous him. A 3rd win would clearly enable him to try this. And if Volkanovski could make a comparatively fast turnaround, I consider it’s going to occur in August.
Wild card: Henry Cejudo
I am virtually kidding. It isn’t gonna occur. There isn’t any different battle for Volkanovski, although. No different featherweight contender who may be worthy. No room for him to maneuver as much as light-weight for any purpose. It is the Holloway trilogy and nothing else.
But when Cejudo abruptly needed to come back out of retirement (and on his previous contract, as a result of it would not appear as if the UFC needs to pay him extra to do it), this battle can be enjoyable.
Chan Sung Jung, featherweight
Who ought to be subsequent: Giga Chikadze
Jung is 35 and says he nonetheless has slightly left within the tank. Any highway to a different title shot appears unlikely, however he is nonetheless extremely ranked. He’s most undoubtedly nonetheless able to headlining a card.
Chikadze is coming off a fairly dominant loss to Calvin Kattar. Previous to that battle in January, he was wanting like a really authentic title challenger. A win over Jung would throw Chikadze proper again into the combo, amongst the highest six or seven within the division. Stylistically, it is a unbelievable battle — as many of those are at featherweight, to be sincere.
That is such a dynamic division proper now. It is a sturdy battle, and I would not thoughts seeing it as a five-round essential occasion.
Wild card: Arnold Allen
This is not an ideal choice, since Allen is coming off a win. However Allen continues to be trying to construct his profile, and a battle towards Zombie would do this. It is also only a very enjoyable battle. And although Jung is coming off a loss, he is nonetheless very extremely ranked.
The UFC is taking a look at a return to England this summer season. Jung vs. Allen in London can be a terrific battle for a large number of causes.
Khamzat Chimaev, welterweight
Who ought to be subsequent: Colby Covington
Oh my goodness, what a battle. We needed to see Chimaev examined, and we obtained it. And I will let you know what, that was a type of excellent conditions for Chimaev, as a result of defeat was staring him within the face. I believe he made some errors on this battle. I believe he in all probability took Burns evenly. He discovered invaluable classes, and he did not should take a loss. He’ll be extra harmful due to this. Covington is the apparent subsequent battle. Part of me hates to see them battle as a result of one has to lose and then you definately lose a possible title challenger. However Chimaev seemed human on this battle, and Covington is likely one of the greatest on the planet. It is such a superb matchup. Let’s go.
Wild card: Winner of Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards
That is the subsequent title battle. If Covington will not battle Chimaev, if he is not , then there’s nothing else to do however wait. Chimaev hates to attend, and perhaps he’d need to transfer up for a middleweight battle whereas he waits his flip, however that was a tricky battle he simply had with Burns. Maybe break day would not be the worst factor. Let him sit cageside for Usman vs. Edwards, and produce him into the cage to sq. off with the winner. Scenes. And an effective way to finish the yr at welterweight.
Gilbert Burns, welterweight
Who ought to be subsequent: Jorge Masvidal
Let’s reward Burns, proper? This man will battle anybody. He’ll do it every time the UFC asks. He was prepared to take the battle the remainder of the division did not need in Chimaev, and he very practically pulled it off as a big underdog. He accepted all of that, and placed on the most effective performances of his profession, even in a loss. He deserves one other large battle, coming off this one. Followers love him, as they need to. Burns involves battle, he is entertaining, he is humble, he would not stop. Masvidal hasn’t received in his final three fights, however he is obtained as large a reputation as anybody within the division, and he is nonetheless ranked. That is the one.
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) April 10, 2022
Wild card: Loser of Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards
If Edwards loses to Usman, this makes a ton of sense — though I’ll say, I believe the UFC would take an in depth have a look at Edwards vs. Masvidal, which would go away Burns on the skin. If Usman loses, he may get an instantaneous rematch, or not, with all the nice choices at welterweight. There are quite a lot of transferring components in all of this, and I do not know if Burns and Usman would ever battle once more, until there have been a title on the road. Perhaps not. However from a rankings perspective, that is the one which makes probably the most sense, if it isn’t Masvidal.
Aljamain Sterling wins his long-anticipated rematch with Petr Yan through break up choice at UFC 273.
Aljamain Sterling, bantamweight champion
Who ought to be subsequent: TJ Dillashaw
Whether or not you agree with the scorecards of Saturday or not, you may as effectively transfer past the Sterling-Yan matchup. As a result of the UFC will. Sterling already has. It was an in depth battle that would have gone both method, however the UFC just isn’t about to run it again once more. Dillashaw has been ready for the title shot since he got here again and beat Cory Sandhagen final July. Ready might be not the proper time period, he is been recovering from accidents suffered in that battle. Sterling needs to battle him. It is the most important title battle the UFC could make at bantamweight proper now. Will probably be subsequent. Dillashaw instructed me he’d love to do it on Oct. 22 in Abu Dhabi, however he’ll do it wherever Sterling needs.
Wild card: Petr Yan
If the UFC would not do Dillashaw for no matter purpose, then working this again can be the one factor that is sensible. Perhaps if outrage over the choice is excessive sufficient a 3rd assembly can be booked. However I don’t see that taking place.
Petr Yan, bantamweight
Who ought to be subsequent: Merab Dvalishvili
It would look bleak for Yan proper now after dropping to the identical opponent twice in title fights, in heartbreaking trend. He price himself of their first assembly with an unlawful knee, and he paid dearly for it. Then, to lose this one, through break up choice was powerful. However in actuality, he is not far off from the belt. And this battle makes all of the sense to me. Dvalishvili is Sterling’s teammate and shut buddy. There is a built-in story behind this battle already. I would not thoughts seeing Yan towards somebody who will strike with him, however I believe that is the one to make due to the story.
Wild card: Dominick Cruz
Cruz is likely one of the greatest names within the division and, in my view, the best bantamweight of all time. Cruz is now not in his prime, however he is deserving of an enormous battle. One that would get him one final shot at a UFC title. Yan matches that invoice. Yan is a scary opponent, and Cruz must be excellent. Is Cruz able to pulling off a recreation plan much like what Sterling simply did? Completely. Yan fights a legend of the division. Cruz fights somebody who can get him to a belt. Win, win.
Mackenzie Dern, strawweight
Who ought to be subsequent: Winner of Jessica Andrade vs. Amanda Lemos on April 23
Dern fights imply. Her fixed stress forces opponents right into a battle, and Dern believes in her chin. She’s prepared to battle in a telephone sales space. And it results in chaos, which advantages her as a result of she is harmful in a scramble or snatching a submission. She’s obtained quite a lot of profession left, and it is going to be fascinating earlier than it is all mentioned and accomplished, as a result of she continues to enhance between every contest. Andrade is coming again to the division from flyweight, and he or she’s going through an actual up-and-comer in Lemos. In an ideal world, Dern stays lively. There isn’t any rush. She would not must get to a title battle in 2022. Hold constructing. This matchup can be an actual take a look at.
Wild card: Amanda Ribas
This may sound bizarre as a result of Ribas is transferring as much as flyweight. She fights Katlyn Chookagian on Might 14. If she have been to lose that battle and determine she needs to retest 115, I believe this matchup might make a ton of sense. Ribas holds a win over Dern from 2019. If Ribas beats Chookagian, clearly she’ll keep at 125. And even when she have been to lose that bout, she might keep at flyweight. However I might see a world during which this battle occurs, and once more, it is about holding Dern lively. And there aren’t many choices proper now who’re ranked forward of her within the division.