Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to action for UFC Fight Night 119: “Brunson vs. Machida,” which went down yesterday (Oct. 28, 2017) inside Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The Fox Sports 1 event featured a Middleweight scrap between Derek Brunson and Lyoto Machida which saw Derek knockout the Brazilian bomber out in the very first round (see it). In the co-main event, Colby Covington faced local hero Demian Maia and defeated him rather soundly via unanimous decision.
Winner: Derek Brunson
Who He Should Fight Next: Luke Rockhold
After picking up perhaps his biggest signature win to date against Lyoto Machida, Brunson is riding high on cloud nine. Afterward, he called out former 185-pound champion Luke Rockhold to a fight. And it actually makes sense. Luke recently got back on the winning track by taking out David Branch at UFC Pittsburgh a few weeks back. While Rockhold has his sights set on the title, a win over Branch doesn’t get him there just yet. Plus, the Middleweight division will be tied up for the foreseeable future, as the winner of Georges St-Pierre vs. Michael Bisping will next defend against interim champion, Robert Whittaker.
Winner: Colby Covington
Who She Should Fight Next: Mike Perry vs Santiago Ponzinibbio winner
Colby picked up a huge win over former title contender, Demian Maia, and now hehas his sights set on the title. While his five-fight win streak is impressive, his win over Maia wasn’t exactly the most thrilling performance he could’ve delivered for his championship campaign.
Plus, the winner of the Robbie Lawler vs Rafael dos Anjos has already been promised a shot at the strap, so Colby will have to win at least once more before he gets his shot. Or wait an extended period of time. Perry and Ponzinibbio are set to throw down at UFC on FOX 26 on Dec. 16, and they, too, are setting their sights on gold. I like the winner to face Covington next, as two men — Lawler and Jorge Masvidal — who are ranked ahead of Colby and would make for good scrap, are his teammates, so we can scratch that off the list. I know what you’re thinking. ‘But Colby will shoot up the rankings come next week.’ True, but so will Perry or Ponzinibbio. And as we’ve seen in the past, rankings don’t mean squat when it comes to matchmaking.
Winner: Francisco Trinaldo
Who He Should Fight Next: Michael Chiesa
Can Trinaldo get some love? Prior to losing to Kevin Lee, the Brazilian bomber had been riding a seven fight win streak and still hadn’t broken into the rankings. After getting back on track by taking out the longtime veteran Jim Miller, Trinaldo is ready to get on another roll. That said, I’d like to see him get a rematch against Chiesa. “Maverick” originally defeated Trinaldo way back in 2014. Both have improved since then, and since each of their last losses have come against Lee, it kind of fits the UFC mold when it comes to matchmaking. A win over Chiesa would not only get him some sweet revenge, but it would also certainly secure him a spot in the rankings.
Winner: Thiago Santos
Who He Should Fight Next: Brad Tavares
Santos earned a very impressive technical knockout win over Jack Hermansson (see it), giving him his third straight win inside the Octagon after suffering back-to-back defeats. Tavares also his a three fight win streak, earning victories over Thales Leites and Elias Theodorou, in the process. Both men like to bang it out on the feet, so it would definitely be a treat for fight fans. The winner gets himself four wins in a row and could possibly break into the top 10. I like this fight, a lot.
Winner: John Lineker
Who He Should Fight Next: Loser of Dominick Cruz vs Jimmie Rivera
After suffering his first loss in three years in his last outing, Lineker is back in the win column following his dominant win over Marlon Vera. Thanks to his top five ranking, the road to the title isn’t that long for John, who could very well get into the mix with one or two more dominant wins. Cruz and Rivera are set to duke it out at UFC 219 on Dec. 30., with the winner possibly getting the next title shot at Bantamweight. The winner won’t fall down the rankings too high, so a fight against Lineker makes sense. John has yet to face either of those two men, and a fight — and win -- over either of them will look good on his resume en route to the big dance.
Winner: Pedro Munhoz
Who He Should Fight Next: Thomas Almeida
The two young Brazilian prospects are looking to engrave themselves in the Bantamweight division. Almeida was close, considered to be one of the best prospects in all of MMA before he dropped two of his last three. As for Munhoz, he’s won four in a row, including his dominant first-round submission win over Rob Font in Sao Pualo. Currently, Thomas (No. 9) is ranked three spots higher than Munhoz (No. 12). In order to break into the top 10, Munhoz will have to take out Almeida.
For complete UFC Fight Night 119 results and coverage click here.