Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) staged UFC Fight Night 159 last night (Sat., Sept. 21, 2019) inside Mexico City Arena in Mexico City, Mexico. The event came to an unsatisfying end after the headlining bout between Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens came to a stop just 15 seconds in after “El Pantera” poked “Lil Heathen” in the eye (see it). That forced the ringside doctor to put an end to the bout since Stephens obviously couldn’t see. As a result, you can expect the promotion to book this matchup again pretty soon, perhaps at UFC 245 on Dec. 14.
Now let’s take a look at what could be next for the rest of the main card winners.
Winner: Carla Esparza
Who She Should Fight Next: Loser of Michelle Waterson vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Esparza ruined Alex Grasso’s homecoming, though it wasn’t a popular decision by any means, as fans booed when it was announced she had won a majority decision. That is now two straight wins for “Cookie Monster,” who is bouncing back nicely after back-to-back defeats to Tatiana Suarez and Cynthia Calvillo.
Up next for Esparza, I’d like to see her face off against the loser of the upcoming match up between Waterson and Jedrzejczyk, who are set to collide on Oct. 12, 2019. While it may seem odd to put her against someone coming off a loss, in this case it isn’t because both ladies are still ranked above Esparza, so whoever comes up short will still be a good match up for “Cookie Monster.” And if she can defeat either one of them, she could be staring at a title shot sooner rather than later.
Winner: Brandon Moreno and Askar Askarov
Who They Should Fight Next: Each other
The two fought to a split draw, which means they simply need to run it back. I hate it when fights end like this (but it could be worse, just look at the main event). That said, as soon as UFC can put them back into the cage together, the better. Again, it’s one of those fights that just needs to be ran back.
Winner: Irene Aldana
Who She Should Fight Next: Marion Reneau
These two ladies were set to scrap at this event before Reneau was forced out of the fight for undisclosed reasons. Aldana Irene came out with a win in Mexico, I think it’s only right that the promotion book this fight once again. Reneau is ranked two spots above Aldana, so it’s a win Irene would love to have in order to leapfrog over her and climb the rankings. This one is another no-brainer.
Winner: Steven Peterson
Who He Should Fight Next: Kyle Nelson
Peterson snapped his two-fight skid by scoring a highlight-reel knockout by way of spinning back fist (see it again here). Not only did it buy himself a couple more fights inside the Octagon, it also scored him a nice $50,000 paycheck in post-fight bonus money. Still, Peterson has a way to go before he starts getting higher-ranked foes, so a fight against someone like Nelson seems fitting. Nelson snapped his own two-fight skid on the undercard, knocking out Marco Polo Reyes in the very first round. I like pitting guys up who fight on the same card if and when it makes sense, and this fight does. Both men are just trying to rack up enough wins and make just enough noise to catch UFC’s attention and perhaps get their shot at bigger fights down the road.
For complete UFC Mexico City results and coverage click here.