Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was back at it again, as the world’s leading mixed martial arts (MMA) organization invaded Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y. to stage UFC 230 last Saturday night (Nov. 3, 2018) on pay-per-view (PPV).
In the headlining act, Daniel Cormier defended his Heavyweight title against Derrick Lewis, making easy work of “The Black Beast” en route to a second-round submission victory (see it again here). In the co-headlining bout, Chris Weidman and Ronaldo Souza put on a show before “Jacare” clipped “Al American” with a slick right hand to earn a knockout win in the third and final frame (highlights).
Winner: Daniel Cormier
Who He Should Face Next: Brock Lesnar
“DC” has had his eye on Brock for quite some time now, and since he is still the reigning 265-pound champion following his successful defense, it’s a fight the current “champ-champ” should be participating in to close out his storied combat sports career. Lesnar still has to get through all of The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) requirements, but barring any setback, there is no reason for this fight not to take place, possibly here. There is always the possibility of a Jon Jones trilogy fight, but “Bones” has his hands more than full against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232. Should “The Mauler” take out Jones, Cormier has already proclaimed he won’t be dropping back down to 205 pounds, leaving him with only the Brock fight.
Winner: Ronaldo Souza
Who He Should Fight Next: Luke Rockhold
After stepping in for an injured Rockhold against Chris Weidman, it’s only right that “Jacare” get the chance to face the former UFC 185-pound champion. The showdown would be a rematch of their title fight under the Strikeforce banner way back in 2011 which Luke won via decision. They were scheduled to fight under the UFC umbrella a few years back, but an injury derailed those plans. There really is no other fight for either man.
Winner: Jared Cannonier
Who He Should Fight Next: Brad Tavares
Jared impressed in his Middleweight debut by knocking out David Branch on a few weeks notice, paving the way for a fresh start after suffering back-to-back losses at light heavyweight.
While the win was spectacular, I don’t envision Jared getting an opponent ranked higher than the top seven or eight. Brad Tavares, who is hanging on to his top 10 ranking after getting beat down by Israel Adesanya, would be a good test for Cannonier. Both men hit like trucks and Brad is looking for a good win to bounce back after having his four-fight win streak snapped. For Jared, taking out Tavares puts him on track for bigger and better fights in a hurry.
Winner: Karl Roberson
Who He Should Face Next: Andrew Sanchez
Karl made good in his fourth UFC fight, taking out Jack Marshman in “The Big Apple,” bringing his mark to 3-1 inside the Octagon. And he did it on a pretty big stage. Still, it’s going to take a bit more for him to get on people’s radar, A fight against Andrew Sanchez, who is coming off a win over Markus Perez Echeimberg, sounds like a good pairing. Both men are trying to climb the very stacked mountain at 185 pounds, and they are fairly fresh in their Octagon careers so you’d be hard-pressed to try to get them a bigger fight at the moment.
Winner: Israel Adesanya
Who He Should Fight Next: Paulo Costa
Adesanya kept the hype train rolling by knocking out Derek Brunson fairly easily, moving him to 15-0, 4-0 inside the eight-sided cage (see it again here). Paulo Costa, meanwhile, is also undefeated (12-0, 4-0 UFC). These are two of the fastest-rising stars in any division, and their paths should definitely cross next.
Costa was rumored to be facing Yoel Romero, but “Soldier of God” isn’t at full strength at the moment. Israel is currently ranked No. 9, while Costa is sitting at No. 8. When you look at the field in front of them, no other opponent makes sense, as many are coming of losses, while the rest are either booked or ranked a bit too high, such as Rockhold and Romero. When I see two stud prospects such as Costa and Israel, I’m remembering the time when Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez were coming up together and never had the chance to trade blows inside the cage. I really don’t want this to happen to these two men, so now is the time to book this fight.
For complete UFC 230 results and coverage click here.