Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) made its way to Curitiba, Brazil, yesterday (Sat., May 14, 2016) with UFC 198: "Werdum vs. Miocic," which showcased a bevy of hometown talent as Fabricio Werdum vs. Stipe Miocic, Vitor Belfort vs, Ronaldo Souza as well as Mauricio Rua and Cris Cyborg.
Stipe Miocic stunned the Brazilian crowed by knocking out Werdum in the very first round, knocking him down from the top of the Heavyweight pedestal in the process (see it). Ronaldo Souza also gave the hometown crowd something to talk about, as he put a beating on another local favorite, Vitor Belfort (video replay 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: Stipe Miocic
Who Should He Fight Next: Alistair Overeem
Despite Werdum's unwarranted calls for an instant rematch against Stipe, no one in the heavyweight division is more deserving of a shot against Stipe next than Alistair Overeem. "The Reem" has now won four straight, including three knockout wins.
And with Stipe and Overeem both picking up important wins a week apart, it gives both men the same amount of time to recuperate and prepare for an eventual showdown. Sorry, "Vai Cavalo," but this is the fight that makes sense.
Winner: Ronaldo Souza
Who Should He Fight Next: Title shot against winner of Luke Rockhold vs. Chris Weidman
Sure, "Jacare" lost in his previous fight to Yoel Romero at UFC 194, but since "Soldier of God" failed his post-fight drug test, that likely went out the window. And despite the fact that Souza's loss wasn't overturned to a no-contest (NC), he was won nine out of his last 10.
The title shot, give it to him.
Winner: Mauricio Rua
Who Should He Fight Next: Ryan Bader
It wasn't exactly a vintage performance, but "Shogun" won his second straight by squeaking out a split-decision victory over Corey Anderson in Curitiba. Sure, "Darth" is coming off a loss, but he is the only top-ranked 205-pound fighter with no fight lined up at the moment.
And if Rua wants to keep climbing the rankings to maybe work himself into another title shot, a win over Bader -- who sits at No. 5 -- will be a good step forward.
For complete UFC 198 results, including play-by-play updates and much more, click here.