Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was back on pay-per-view (PPV) last night, as the world’s largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion staged UFC 209 from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Headlining the event was a Welterweight title fight rematch, as Tyron Woodley successfully defended his strap against Stephen Thompson, winning the bout via majority decision after a rather lackluster five-round affair (see it). In the co-main event, David Teymur stopped Lando Vannata’s momentum, defeating the up-and-coming prospect after three rounds of back-and-forth action (recap).
Winner: Tyron Woodley
Who He Should Fight Next: Demian Maia vs Jorge Masvidal winner
It’s really a no-brainer that the winner of the upcoming bout between Maia and Masvidal -- which is slated to go down at UFC 211 on May 13, 2017 -- should be in line for a shot at the welterweight title. Maia is currently ranked No. 3, while Masvidal is sitting comfortable at No. 6. Everyone in between them is either on hiatus, coming off a loss or hasn’t stringed together back-to-back win in order to get title consideration. Don’t make it difficult, UFC, make this fight a No. 1 contenders bout.
Winner: David Teymur
Who He Should Fight Next: Evan Dunham
Teymur made the most of his unexpected co-main event slot after Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson was cancelled, stopping Lando Vannata’s momentum with an impressive performance to earn a unanimous decision win. Up next for David, I’d like to see him face another streaking Lightweight, as Dunham, who is ranked No. 13, could provide a stiffer challenger for the up-an-coming brawler.
Winner: Daniel Kelly
Who He Should Fight Next: Krzystof Jotko
I like this fight a lot, as both men are currently on a role, with Jotko winning five straight and Kelly the proud owner of four wins in a row. What I like about it even more, is that unlike a bout between Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis, you’re not exactly pitting two potential title contenders against one another just yet. That said, the victory could be in line for a bump in the rankings, perhaps even top 10.
Winner: Cynthia Calvillo
Who She Should Fight Next: Nina Ansaroff
Calvillo dazzled in her UFC debut, choking out Amanda Cooper in the very first round via rear-naked choke. But, as she will realize soon enough is that the fights only get tougher inside the Octagon. That said, a showdown against a UFC veteran like Ansaroff would be a good test for Calvillo, who remained undefeated at 4-0. Nina is coming off a win over Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger, also via rear-naked choke.
Winner: Alistair Overeem
Who He Should Fight Next: Cain Velasquez
Overeem wouldn’t mind a fight against Francis Ngannou or Derrick Lewis, but Dana White confirmed that the promotion already has plans for Ngannou, which I believe is a showdown against Lewis. Alistair also wouldn’t mind taking on the winner of the upcoming title fight between Stipe Miocic and Junior dos Santos, but that would mean another championship bout for “The Reem,” which I don’t think he should get just yet. That said, there is a certain heavyweight out there that could be getting back into the swing of things pretty soon in Cain Velasquez. Cain and Overeem are currently ranked at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, and are both coming off impressive wins. And since Fabricio Werdum is already booked to face Ben Rothwell, it only makes sense to book this matchup.
For complete results from UFC 209: "Woodley vs Thompson 2," including play-by-play updates, click here.