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UFC Fight Night 128 results: Next matches to make for ‘Lee vs Barboza’ main card winners

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to the hurt business last night (Sat., April 21, 2018) for UFC Fight Night 128 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, which was headlined by a barn-burner of a lightweight showdown that saw Kevin Lee dominate and eventually finish Edson Barboza after five rounds of action (video highlights here).

Also, Frankie Edgar handed Cub Swanson his second straight defeat after outscoring him on the judges scorecards during their co-main event fight (recap).

Winner: Kevin Lee

Who He Should Fight Next: Dustin Poirier

Both Lee and Poirier called for a Lightweight title fight against recently-crowned division kingpin, Khabib Nurmagomedov, after their recent wins. What they need to understand is, as long as Conor McGregor still has one foot in the door he is next for “The Eagle.” It simply is what it is. While Khabib and Conor begin “negotiations” on a title fight that could go down in December, Lee and Poirier should throw down to determine the next title challenger. If they don’t they can look at a year-long sit if they want to ride it out and hope Tony Ferguson doesn’t sneak in and get next dibs.

Winner: Frankie Edgar

Who He Should Fight Next: Holloway vs Ortega loser

Look, it was good to see Frankie get back on the winning track, especially after all of the personal losses he suffered this week, but asking for a title shot (yet, again) after just one win removed from getting his head blocked off simply isn’t in the cards. Especially from a man who hasn’t held a title in seven years. I think people tend to forget that about Frankie, for whatever reason. Yes, he always seems to be in the top five, but a title shot after edging out Swanson does warrant a title shot. It just doesn’t. I get it, shoot your shot, but a knockout loss not too long ago is not easy to overlook.

Now, facing the loser of that matchup may be more appropriate. If it’s Holloway, he has the chance to earn himself a shot at the strap by taking out the more recent former champion, one he was booked to face off against two separate time. It it’s Ortega, he gets the opportunity to avenge his first-ever stoppage loss. Either way, a win over either of them gets him back to the big dance. Then he’ll have the two wins he needs.

Winner: Justin Willis

Who He Should Fight Next: Justin Ledet

Don’t look now, but Willis is slowly starting to climb the ranks, winning seven in a row including his first three inside the Octagon. He has a ways to go before he hits the top 15. If he wants to get there, perhaps taking out Ledet -- who currently owns the No. 15 spot -- would be just what he needs.

Winner: David Branch

Who He Should Fight Next: Derek Brunson

Branch got back in the win column in a big way after knocking out Thiago Santos in the very first round (see it), and a fight against Derek, who is currently ranked one spot higher than him, seems like the logical bout to make. Derek is coming off a loss to Ronaldo Souza, and hasn’t competed since January. Neither man is on the cusp of a title shot, so it really won’t have championship implications, but it will help the victor climb the rankings either way.

Winner: Aljamian Sterling

Who She Should Fight Next: John Dodson

Sterling picked up a big win over the previously-unbeaten Brett Johns, and I very much like a showdown between he and Dodson. With Sterling sitting at No. 8 and John at No. 7, it’s a fight that makes sense seeing as how both men are coming off victories. A win would help them inch closer to the top of the championship race, though they need a bit more to actually punch their ticket. Nevertheless, this fight could be a barn-burner giving their styles.

Winner: Dan Hooker

Who She Should Fight Next: James Vick

After his win, Hooker called for a showdown against Paul Felder who was conducting his post-fight interview, but I don’t really care for that fight, next. Maybe because still want Al Iaquinta and “The Irish Dragon” to do the dance. What I really would love to see is Hooker and Vick go at it. Both are two of the brightest rising stars in the division, and are both riding great win streaks, with Hooker getting three straight and Vick winning four in a row. I highly doubt Vick would even entertain the idea, as Hooker isn’t even ranked at the moment -- which should change this week — but I want to see it for selfish purposes, as it would make for one hell of a fight and I’d rather see it now that both are hitting their stride, than risk them losing a fight and not getting to see them throw down.

For complete Fight Night 128 results, including play-by-play, click here

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