Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) completed its third event in eight days last night (Sat., May 13, 2020) as UFC on ESPN 8 went down from inside Vystar Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. The headlining act saw Alistair Overeem finish Walt Harris in the second round via strikes (see it again here). In the co-headlining act, Claudia Gadelha escaped “The Sunshine State” with a split-decision win over Angela Hill (recap), while Dan Ige earned a huge win over Edson Barboza.
Winner: Alistair Overeem
Who He Should Fight Next: Derrick Lewis
Overeem is now 3-1 in his last four UFC fights and has good reason to have his eyes on a title shot as he alluded to in his post-fight speech. Still, he’s at least one more win away before he gets there, as Francis Ngannou has already punched his ticket to the big dance. And since Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier still don’t have a date for their trilogy title fight, Overeem has to stay busy and collect another win. I’d like to see him get matched up against Derrick Lewis next. “Black Beast” currently sits at No. 5 in the rankings and is the owner of a two straight wins. The two hard-hitting big men have somewhat of a history, as Overeem criticized Lewis for his “stupid humor,” while Lewis fired back by mocking him after getting knocked out by Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
Winner: Claudia Gadelha
Who She Should Fight Next: Carla Esparza
Why not? Gadelha called for the do-over and “Cookie Monster” was quick to accept the challenge. Gadelha has a win over Esparza already, defeating her via split decision in 2018, which makes some wonder why she wants a do-over if she already beat her. Well, Esparza was quick to insinuate that the Brazilian bomber was greased up during her fight, an accusation that didn’t sit too well with Gadelha. Still, that didn’t stop Esparza from once against taking a greasy jab at her foe shortly after her win.
Winner: Dan Ige
Who He Should Fight Next: Ryan Hall
With a victory over Barboza, Ige has now won five in a row at 145 pounds. Hall, meanwhile, has won eight straight and hasn’t tasted defeat in eight years. Hall has gone on a record saying that none of the top fighters want a piece of him, though I’m positive Ige won’t have a problem signing on the dotted line. Dynamite wants Top 10 competition, but he likely won’t get it just yet. A win over Hall — who was supposed to face Ricardo Lamas a few weeks ago before COVID-19 threw a wrench into those plans — will get him there.
Winner: Krzysztof Jotko
Who He should Fight Next: Bevon Lewis
With his win over Eryk Anders, Jotko has now won three straight, putting him in a position to get bigger fights moving forward. The problem is, I don’t see him bumping Anderson Silva from his No. 15 spot in the rankings, which means he’ll have to get at least one more big win to get in. Lewis is coming off a big win over Dequan Townsend. Lewis is 1-2 so far in his young UFC career, but he has shown some promise, A fight against Jotko is a good measuring stick to see where he’s at. For Jotko, a fourth straight win could finally get him into the Top 15.
Winner: Song Yadong
Who He Should Fight Next: Sodiq Yusuff
Yadong upped his win streak to eight after defeating Marlon Vera, moving to 5-0-1 inside the Octagon. A fight against Yusuff makes sense, as “Super” is on a six-fight win streak, winning all four of his UFC fights. This will be a match up of two of the hottest prospects in the division, which means one will take a huge step forward, while the other will see his streak go down the drain and be forced back to the drawing board. But those are the breaks when you facing the best-of-the-best on the biggest MMA stage of them all.
For complete UFC on ESPN 8 results and coverage click here.