Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was back at it again, as the world’s leading mixed martial arts (MMA) organization invaded Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, for the first time ever to stage UFC Fight Night 138, which aired on FOX Sports 1 last Sat. night (Oct. 27, 2018). In the main event of the evening, Anthony Smith choked out Volkan Oezdemir in the third round in a thrilling Light Heavyweight affair (see it), while Michael Johnson took out Artem Lobov in the co-headliner (recap).
Winner: Anthony Smith
Who He Should Face Next: Jan Blachowicz
Despite Jan’s four-fight win streak and being ranked No. 3 at 205 pounds, Anthony Smith (No. 10) has been getting more shine than the “Prince of Cieszyn.” That’s in large part to “Lionheart’s” quick destruction of living legends Rashad Evans and Mauricio Rua. And after Smith took out Volkan in Moncton, his shine will only get brighter. And that’s great, but Jan needs some PR love, too, and I’d like to see these two bang it out next. Smith called for a title shot shortly after submitting “No Time,” but he isn’t there just yet. Perhaps a win over Jan can get him over the hump. On the flip side, a win for Blachowicz could get him the attention from the promotion he deserves.
Winner: Michael Johnson
Who He Should Fight Next: Charles Oliveira
With his win over Artem Lobov, Johnson scored his first back-to-back wins since 2014-2015. Still, despite doing the promotion a solid by stepping in late and taking out Conor McGregor’s guy, it won’t be good enough to bump him into the top 10.
I like a fight against Oliveira, who, like “The Menace,” is riding a two-fight win streak and was last seen taking out Christos Giagos last month. Neither man is in the business to be lobbying for a Top 15 fight just yet, but another win gets him there.
Winner: Misha Cirkunov
Who He Should Fight Next: Ovince Saint Preux
Misha got back on the winning track and stopped the bleeding of a two-fight losing streak by putting on a blistering performance against Patrick Cummins, submitting him halfway through round one (see it here). Misha is that guy that has potential, but you’re just not convinced he has what it takes to let it all out. A fight against long-time veteran Saint Preux is a good test for the Russian. Sure, “OSP” got worked over by Dominick Reyes in his last outing, but at this point, Misha should be happy to take a fight against a Top 10 opponent.
Winner: Andre Soukhamthath
Who He Should Face Next: Gavin Tucker
These two were set to face off this past weekend before Tucker was forced out a few weeks prior to fight night with an injury. After defeating a very-game Jonathan Martinez, Andre should be re-focusing all of his efforts on Tucker. There is no reason not to book this fight, assuming Gavin’s injury isn’t so sever that it will keep him out for an extended period of time.
Winner: Gian Villante
Who He Should Fight Next: Gadzhimurad Antigulov
Villante escaped Moncton with a close split-decision win over Ed Herman, putting him back in the win column. After competing inside the Octagon for the last five years, Gian can’t seem to make that jump he needs to get into the top 15.
While a fight against Antigulov doesn't sound like a “sexy” fight, it’s the type of showdown Gian will probably be getting due to his up-and-down run inside the Octagon. Antigulov is no slouch, though, so scoring a win streak won’t come easy for Gian.
Winner: Court McGee
Who He Should Fight Next: Bryan Barberena
Court picked up his first win in two years by handing Alex Garcia his second straight defeat. As for Barberena, he got back in the win column by defeating Jake Ellenberger via first round knockout earlier this year. After taking out one-time rising prospects Warlley Alves and Sage Northcutt, Bryan has gone rather tepid inside the cage, going 2-2 with his losses coming against Leon Edwards and Colby Covington. While Court isn’t the biggest name out there, it’s still a good enough challenge for “Bam Bam.” And vice-versa.
For complete UFC: “Moncton” results and coverage click here.