Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) kicked off its venture with the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” last Sat. night (Jan. 19, 2019) by staging UFC on ESPN+ 1: “Cejudo vs. Dillashaw” in Brooklyn, New York.
The event featured a Flyweight title fight that saw division kingpin Henry Cejudo knockout Bantamweight champion, T.J. Dillashaw, in just 32 seconds (watch it again here). In the co-main event, Greg Hardy’s UFC debut went south after he was disqualified in the second round for delivering an illegal knee to the head of Allen Crowder (watch it), who was clearly a downed opponent when the fight-ending blow landed. Now, it’s time to see what could be on the horizon for all of the main card winners:
Winner: Henry Cejudo
Who He Should Fight Next: TJ Dillashaw
I get it, a lot of you don’t want to see it again for the simple fact you didn’t want to see it in the first place. But during the post-fight interview, Cejudo was adamant he would run it back against Dillashaw, this time at Bantamweight. Unfortunately, if that fight gets booked again, it will tie up both divisions for a bit unless they book it right away.
Marlon Moraes and Rafael Assuncao may not want to hear that, and neither does Joseph Benavidez, who should be the No. 1 contender at 125 pounds. Assuming the weight class doesn’t go up in smoke. But having the fight end with so much controversy left everyone dissatisfied, sans Cejudo.
Winner: Allen Crowder
Who He Should Fight Next: Chris de La Rocha
Crowder got a big opportunity on the brightest stage due to Greg Hardy’s name. His next fight, unfortunately, won’t be getting so much public relations love. Prior to getting the disqualification win against “The Prince of War,” Crowder came up short in his UFC debut to Justin Willis, ending his impressive four-fight win streak.
Facing someone like Chris de la Rocha sounds like a good matchup for Allen. Chris is 1-3 so far inside the eight-sided cage, and was last seen getting worked by Juan Adams last month. It’s a good fight for both men, who are trying to work their way up the ladder.
Winner: Paige VanZant
Who She Should Fight Next: Lauren Murphy
Paige VanZant made her way back to the Octagon after a year away from action, taking out Rachael Ostovich to end her two-fight losing streak. A fight against Lauren Murphy may not have the name-grabbing headline feel to it, but it’s a good test for Paige, who is looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since 2015.
Murphy was last seen getting worked by Sijara Eubanks in June, and has been sidelined with a foot injury ever since. Now that she should be getting close for a return, “12 Gauge” would be a good test in her comeback venture.
Winner: Gregor Gillespie
Who He Should Fight Next: Paul Felder vs James Vick winner
Gregor continued his rise up the 155-pound mountain with a dominant performance over Yancy Medieros. That is now 13 straight wins for the wrestler, six inside the Octagon. It’s bigger and better things moving forward for Gillespie, who should face the winner of the upcoming bout between Felder and Vick.
The two are set to tango in a little less than a month, so he won’t have to wait too long to find out who his next possible foe will be. Both men are ranked ahead of Gillespie and would be a huge step up for him.
Winner: Joseph Benavidez
Who He Should Face Next: Henry Cejudo
If an instant rematch between Cejudo and Dillashaw doesn’t come to light, Benavidez should get next crack at “The Messenger,” this time for the flyweight title, assuming it’s still in the mix. This is the frustrating thing for the whole division, as no one knows what will happen to the weigh class, if a rematch will be booked, nothing.
Granted, we are only a few days removed, so UFC has a lot to think about in the coming days. Still, Benavidez should get the next title shot at 125 pounds, even if it means waiting for the outcome of a possible rematch between Cejudo and Dillashaw.
Winner: Glover Teixeira
Who He Should Fight Next: Mauricio Rua
Glover survived an early scare against Karl Roberson to score a submission win in Brooklyn. Afterward, he called for a showdown against “Shogun,” which I for one have been wanting to see for quite some time now. And now is as good a time as any, as both are coming off huge wins. Rua was last seen taking out Tyson Pedro a few months back, and since Glover disposed of Karl rather swiftly, booking them against one another seems right. The two were in talks to face one another years ago but for one reason or another, contracts were never issued. I envision a hard-hitting standup war between the two heavy-handed Light Heavyweights which has “Fight of the Night” written all over it.
For complete UFC Brooklyn results click here.