UFC Fight Night 148 has come to a close after the ESPN+ card went down from inside Bridgestone Arena last Sat. night (March 23, 2019) in Nashville, Tennessee. In the headlining act, Anthony Pettis knocked out Stephen Thompson in the second round in what marked his Welterweight debut (see it again here). In the heavyweight co-main event, Curtis Blaydes got back in the win column with a dominant victory over the streaking Justin Willis (recap).
Winner: Anthony Pettis
Who He Should Fight Next: Justin Gaethje vs Edson Barboza winner
Pettis did say he wasn’t done competing at Welterweight following his impressive debut against “Wonderboy,” but he also said he has plenty of business to finish at 155 pounds. While he looked great against Thompson, I’d really like “Showtime” to drop back down to face the winner of Gaethje vs Barboza, which takes place next week at UFC Fight Night 149.
“Showtime” has vowed to please fight fans by keeping with his “never back down” and “entertain at all costs” attitude. Facing either “Highlight” or “Junior” is sure to produce a potential ”Fight of the Year” candidate given each fighter’s preference to stand and bang. I honestly get goosebumps just thinking about either one of those bouts. If not, I wouldn't mind if UFC revisits the idea of booking Pettis against Aldo.
Winner: Curtis Blaydes
Who He Should Fight Next: Stipe Miocic
I think the sooner Stipe realizes that a rematch between he and Daniel Cormier simply isn’t going to happen, the better for all parties involved. “DC” is holding out for Brock Lesnar, and Dana White is determined to make it happen. Unless Miocic plans on waiting out for a year or longer, he needs to fight again and “Razor” is a good option. Francis Ngannou and Junior dos Santos seem to be on a collision course, leaving Stipe as the only good choice. There is always Derrick Lewis, but he is going to be out of action by way of surgery. I really don’t see anyone else that makes sense for either man at the moment. Maybe Cain Velasquez?
Winner: John Makdessi
Who He Should Fight Next: Charles Oliveira
Makdessi picked up his third straight victory after defeating Jesus Pinedo via unanimous decision. Oliveira, meanwhile, has won four straight, all via submission (choke). Charles is currently hanging on to the No. 15 spot in the official rankings, somewhere John would love to be. A matchup between the two would be an interesting one and give the victor a big boost in the division.
Winner: Jussier Formiga
Who He Should Fight Next: Henry Cejudo title fight
After handing Deiveson Figueiredo his professional defeat, Jussier called for a shot at the title. And it’s well-deserved, as he currently hold the No. 1 spot in the Flyweight division. The problem? The future of the division is still up in the air, with Dana White recently saying he wants Cejudo, the champ, to go up to Bantamweight to compete for the vacant strap against Marlon Moraes. If that happens and UFC doesn’t do away with the 125-pound weight class, then Jussier definitely needs to get first dibs against “The Messenger” once he goes back down. It’s long overdue.
Winner: Maycee Barber
Who She Should Fight Next: Randa Markos
Why not? Maycee has been talking the talk non-stop and she’s backed it up so far, going 2-0 inside the Octagon including her latest win over J.J. Aldrich via second round knockout. Markos, meanwhile, submitted Angela Hill in an outstanding performance. Despite Randa’s 11 UFC fights to Maycee’s two, she is still on the Prelims while UFC is obviously trying to get behind Maycee by putting her on the main card. A win here for Markos will be huge, as she will not only stop Barber's momentum, but also earn some respect. As far as Maycee is concerned, a victory over the longtime veteran will give her another notch on her belt.
Winner: Luis Pena
Who He Should Fight Next: Shane Burgos
Pena’s Featherweight debut was successful, but he missed weight by three pounds. I’m sure he can’t wait to get back into action to prove he can hit the 145-pound mark, and not lose 30-percent of his purse. A showdown against Burgos, who recently got back into the win column after defeating Kurt Holobaugh at UFC 230, sounds about right. While Burgos has a bit more experience than “Violent Bob Ross,” Pena is more than up for the challenge in order to speed up the progression of his UFC career.
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