Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) put on quite the show for a raucous crowd in Pittsburgh, Pa. last Sunday night (Feb. 21, 2016), as UFC Fight Night 83: "Cerrone vs Oliveira" provided a thrilling evening of mixed martial arts (MMA) action from inside the CONSOL Energy Center.
Donald Cerrone proved to be the true "Cowboy" in the main event of the evening, submitting Alex Oliveira via a beautiful mounted triangle early in the first round (highlights here). The finish was Cerrone's 10th inside the Octagon, and earned him yet another $50,000 bonus check for "Performance of the Night."
The co-main event featured a critical Middleweight affair pitting Derek Brunson against Roan Carneiro. In the end, Brunson earned his fourth straight victory and third straight knockout by finishing "Jucao" in just over two minutes.
Check out the highlights here.
With that quick recap of last night's marquee bouts, it's now time to play matchmaker with our "Next Matches To Make."
Winner: Donald Cerrone
Who Should He Fight Next: Dustin Poirier, Thiago Alves, or Matt Brown
Does it really matter who Donald Cerrone fights next? You will be watching regardless!
Trying to guess who "Cowboy" will fight next is nearly impossible considering his penchant for taking short notice fights.
The task became even more difficult this weekend following Cerrone's impressive debut in the 170-pound division.
If "Cowboy" opts to return to the Lightweight ranks, a fight against Dustin Poirier could serve as a PPV co-main event, or a FOX Sports 1 headliner.
If a Welterweight fight is in Cerrone's future, a tussle against Thiago Alves could provide fireworks.
One extra fight I must note is "Cowboy" vs. Matt Brown, as suggested by MMAmania reader, suitepotato. If that fight is even remotely feasible, it should be booked immediately without question.
Winner: Derek Brunson
Who Should He Fight Next: Robert Whittaker or Rafael Natal
Four straight victories and three straight finishes, have earned Derek Brunson a top 10 Middleweight bout.
The question is, against who?
Brunson has previous losses to Yoel Romero and "Jacare" Souza, but I find it unlikely he will rematch either one of those men next.
Instead, Brunson should face the winner of the UFC 197 bout pitting Robert Whittaker against Rafael Natal.
Winner: Cody Garbrandt
Who Should He Fight Next: John Lineker
Cody Garbrandt made no excuses when John Lineker pulled out of their scheduled Bantamweight tilt just six days prior to UFC Fight Night 82.
Instead "No Love" battled the feared Augusto Mendes, and knocked out "Tanquinho" late in the first round.
At the post-fight press conference, the Team Alpha Male veteran noted his next fight would be against Lineker, whenever the Brazilian is healthy enough to fight.
Winner: Dennis Bermudez
Who Should He Fight Next: Charles Oliveira
After two very difficult losses in a row, Dennis Bermudez put in a workmanlike performance to defeat Tatsuya Kawajiri via decision at UFC Fight Night 82.
It may not have been the prettiest fight, but "The Menace's" dominant performance should not be overlooked.
The No. 8 ranked Featherweight deserves another crack at an elite fighter next, so we may potentially see Bermudez clash with the always exciting Charles Oliveira.
Winner: Chris Camozzi
Who Should He Fight Next: Roan Carneiro
The Middleweight division is absolutely stacked, so even though Chris Camozzi is coming off a sub-30 second finish over Joe Riggs, don't expect him to skyrocket up the rankings.
Camozzi has proven to be a solid gatekeeper over the years, so he deserves a slight step up in competition.
Why not match him up against the formerly ranked Roan Carneiro?
Winner: James Krause
Who Should He Fight Next: Evan Dunham or Leonardo Santos
Speaking of stacked divisions...
The Lightweight division is one of the deepest in MMA today, and James Krause looks poised to make a run up the 155-pound ladder.
With two straight victories, Krause could be slated against a name fighter his next time out.
With Evan Dunham expected to battle Leonardo Santos in May, Krause could very well fight the winner.
For complete results from UFC Fight Night 83: "Cerrone vs Oliveira," including play-by-play updates click here.