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UFC ‘Orlando’ results: Next matches to make for ‘Emmett vs Stephens’ main card winners

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UFC 215: Nunes v Shevchenko 2 Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to the hurt business last night (Sat., Feb. 18, 2018) for UFC on FOX 28 inside Amway Center in Orlando, Florida featuring a a featherweight scrap between Josh Emmett and Jeremy Stephens that saw “Lil Heathen” knockout Emmett in controversial fashion (see it again here).

In the co-main event, Tecia Torres and Jessica Andrade went to war in a women’s strawweight bout that saw Jessica outlast her foe to win a unanimous decision (recap here).

Winner: Jeremy Stephens

Who He Should Fight Next: Jose Aldo

When you look at the 145-pound landscape, things are a bit complicated when it comes to matches to make. Yes, Stephens should get a huge jump up the rankings following his latest win. But as it stands, three active fighters ahead of him, Ricardo Lamas, Emmett and Cub Swanson are coming off losses. Brian Ortega is set to face Frankie Edgar for a title shot, leaving Aldo as the odd man out. Sure, he’s coming off a loss, as well (two, in fact), but he is the former longtime division champion, so if Jeremy is going to face someone coming off a loss, it may as well be the No. 1 ranked fighter that can get him closer to a championship bout. I really just don’t see another way. That said, don’t be surprised it he gets lined up to face Darren Elkins next, as he is on a hot streak, as well. Why didn’t I choose Darren vs Stephens from the jump? Well, “Lil Heathen” wants a title shot, and come next week, he will be far apart from Elkins in the rankings. While rankings don’t really mean much these days, I’d like to think if Jeremy has the option, he’d face Aldo over Darren.

Winner: Jessica Andrade

Who She Should fight Next: Rose Namajunas vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Without a doubt Andrade deserves to to fight for the 115-pound title next. Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk are set to run it back on April 7, 2018 at UFC 223 in Brooklyn, giving Jessica plenty of time to study and prepare for the victor. Andrade is the No. 2 115-pound female fighter in the world, so it’s really a no-brainer. In Joanna, she has a chance to avenge her loss to her at UFC 211, while a bout against Rose offers something fresh. Either way, it’s a win-win situation for Jessica and fight fans.

Winner: Ilir Latifi

Who He Should Fight Next: Mauricio Rua

Latifi looked great against “OSP,” and event went as far as to call out current division champion Daniel Cormier. Slow your roll there, “Sledgehammer.”

Cormier has bigger fish to fry at the moment against heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, so you, as well as everyone else at 205 pounds, has to wait their turn. In the meantime, I’d like to see Ilir face off against “Shogun.” They are only a couple of spots apart on the rankings, and Rua hasn’t competed in over a year, so it’s about time he steps back into the Octagon. “Shogun” is on a three-fight win streak, while Latifi has won two straight. I like this fight for both men, and a win for either gets them closer to the front of the pack.

Winner: Max Griffin

Who He Should Fight Next: Alan Jouban

Both men proved victorious in Orlando, with Griffin upsetting Mike Perry and Jouban knocking out Ben Saunders with a vicious one-hitter quitter. Neither Max or Jouban are near the top 15 at the moment, so this fight makes sense for them, as they both have that goal — and much more — in mind. Both are 2-2 in their last outings, and since they’ll need the same amount of recovery time having competed the same night, I don’t see any other fight that makes sense for either of them.

For full UFC on FOX 28: “Emmett vs Stephens” play-by-play updates and results click here.