Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to the hurt business last night (Sat., June 9, 2018) for UFC 225 from inside United Center in Chicago, IL, which was headlined by a Middleweight bout which saw division champion Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero go to war for 25 minutes in a non-title fight (highlights). In the co-main event, Colby Covington defeated Rafael dos Anjos to claim the interim Welterweight title (recap here).
Winner: Robert Whittaker
Who He Should Face Next: Kelvin Gastelum
While some were calling for a trilogy fight between the two men following an epic five-round battle that many felt should’ve gone to “Soldier of God,” UFC president Dana White isn’t interested, saying he’d rather like to see Yoel move up to Light Heavyweight after missing weight for the second straight time. Hi, “DC.” So if were going strictly by the 185-pound landscape, Whittaker should be facing Kelvin Gastelum next. Kelvin has won two in a row over Michael Bisping and Ronaldo Souza. And while he is ranked number four, of three men in front of him, two -- Rockhold and Romero -- are coming of knockout losses. Weidman is just in front at No. 3, who was the last person to defeat Kelvin, but he is having issues with his hand so there is no telling when he will return. Plus, his win over Kelvin was just his first in last four outings after getting knocked out in three previous fights; hardly championship fight worthy. Kelvin, meanwhile, is good to go and is at least on a two-fight win streak with a win over a former champion.
Winner: Colby Covington
Who He Should Face Next: Tyron Woodley
This one is pretty much a given, as the winner of the interim title fight was in line for a title unification bout against “The Chose One.”
Plus, after seeing “Chaos” win the strap last night, Woodley finally addressed his longtime rival, saying he wants to get into the cage to settle the beef with Covington as soon as possible, preferably at UFC 227 on Aug. 4.
Winner: Holly Holm
Who He Should Face Next: ???
Holly dispatched Megan Anderson rather easily, showing improved technique and poise. I hope Holly stays in a weight class and sticks with it, instead of going up and down from Bantamweight to Featherweight as she’s done over the last few years. Since there aren’t any true 145-pounbd contenders for her just yet, I’d like to see what happens after filming of the latest Ultimate Fighter (TUF), which will usher in the new crop of women who will fill out the 145-pound division. Still, I can’t see Holly facing a newcomer in her next fight, so don’t be surprised if someone moves up to 145 pounds to make a fight for “The Preacher’s Daughter” in the meantime.
Winner: Mike Jackson
Who He Should Face Next: Chad Laprise
From the sound of it, Jackson won’t be stepping into the Octagon anytime soon, if ever, as UFC president Dana White wasn’t too thrilled by seeing “The Truth” toy with CM Punk in their Welterweight scrap.
To hear White tell it, he’d rather see Mike go back to covering the sport instead of competing in it. But, I’d like to think the promotion will give him another fight after winning in “Chi-Town,” and a fight against Chad Laprise sounds about right. Chad is coming off a loss to a knockout loss to Vicente Luque, and since he is nowhere in the vicinity of the top 15, I don’t see why a fight like this doesn’t get booked.
Winner: Tai Tuivasa
Who He Should Fight Next: Junior dos Santos vs. Blagoy Ivanov
Tai continued to climb up the 265-pound ladder after outscoring Andrei Arlovski in a hard-hitting Heavyweight affair. He now moves to 7-0, 3-0 UFC, and should be closer to cracking the top 10 with his latest win. That means his challenged will only get tougher, which is why I’d like to see him face off against the winner of the upcoming showdown between Junior dos Santos and Blagoy Ivanov, who are set to collide at the upcoming UFC Fight Night 1333 event on July 14. There are several notable names out there whom I’d like to see Tai face such as Cain Velasquez, Fabricio Werdum and Josh Barnett, but Cain isn’t even talking about fighting, while Werdum and Barnett are still ironing out the details of their USADA beefs and future career plans before the talk comeback.
For complete UFC 225: “Whittaker vs Romero 2” results, including play-by-play updates, click here.