UFC Columbus provided fight fans with an exciting night of fights last night (Sat., March 26, 2022) inside Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, featuring a Heavyweight fight between Curtis Blaydes and Chris Daukaus. When it was all said and done, Blaydes walked away with an emphatic technical knockout win (see it again here). In further action, fight fans were treated to a spectacular 15-minute showing between Matt Brown and Bryan Barberena.
Winner: Curtis Blaydes
Who He Should Face Next: Interim title fight? If so, against who?
After taking out Daukaus, Blaydes called for an interim title fight against Ciryl Gane, which isn’t a bad idea seeing as how Francis Ngannou will be on ice for the remainder of 2022 and we’re barely about to hit April. But, there is a better option out there, and that’s facing Jon Jones for the interim belt. Dana White has gone on record to say its Jones’ interim title fight if he wants it, and Blaydes has proven more than worthy to be the other half of the equation. That said, something tells me that’s not a fight Jones would take if the possibility of facing Stipe Miocic or Gane is there, first. If Jones isn’t ready just yet, taking on Miocic could be another great option for “Razor,” assuming the former champion doesn’t end up getting booked against Tai Tuivasa, which is the rumor at the moment. One thing is certain, Blaydes will have plenty of options if the other doesn’t work out.
Winner: Alexa Grasso
Who She Should Face Next: Lee vs. Araujo winner
Grasso picked up her third straight win, choking out Joanne Wood in the first round, her second straight win in that fashion. Slowly but surely, Grasso is starting to find her groove and is working her way up closer to the Top 5. Up next, a fight against the winner of the upcoming bout between Andrea Lee (No. 8) and Viviane Araujo (No. 6), who are scheduled to throw down on May 14, 2022, is a solid option. Indeed, a win over one of those ladies will surely get her into the Top 5.
Winner: Kai Kara-France
Who He Should Fight Next: Figueiredo vs Moreno winner
After Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno fight for the fourth straight time in the coming months, a fifth fight should be out of the question regardless of the result. That means there will finally be some new blood fighting for the 125-pound title, and that should be France, no question. He is on a three-fight win streak against top-level competition and just took out the No. 2-seeded Flyweight in the world. He will likely take that spot later this week, setting him up for his first-ever shot at UFC gold.
Winner: Bryan Barberena
Who He Should Face Next: Niko Price
For the first time in six years, Barberena earned back-to-back wins after defeating Matt Brown via a razor-thin split decision. As entertaining and impressive as his victory was, “Bam Bam” won’t be breaking into the Top 15 anytime soon. That means facing the cream of the crop at 170 pounds isn’t in the cards at the moment. A fight against Price, however, very well could be. Price is coming off a win over Alex Oliveira, which took place in Oct. 2021. Both men are exciting in their own right and do not shy away from a barn-burner, which is exactly what this will be.
Winner: Neil Magny
Who He Should Face Next: Stephen Thompson
Winner of two straight and five of six overall, Magny is still hanging around the Top 10 and is determined to work his way to a title shot. There aren’t a ton of people who Magny hasn’t faced in his UFC career, but Thompson is one of those few. As it stands, “Wonderboy” is ranked three spots ahead of Magny at No. 6, but he is on a two-fight losing streak. That said, if Magny wants to take his spot, he needs to take him out, it’s that simple. The two were set to collide way back at UFC 195, but the fight was canceled and never rescheduled.
Winner: Marc Diakiese
Who He Should Face Next: Joel Alvarez
Diakiese snapped his two-fight losing streak by scoring a win over Viacheslav Borschev. In doing so, he earned a new lease on his UFC life, which could have come to an end with another loss. Up next, a fight against Alvarez sounds appealing. Alvarez had his four-fight win streak snapped by Arman Tsarukyan. He is 4-1 so far inside the Octagon, so he is still trying to work his way into the Top 15 conversation, which could take a lot of work. For Diakiese, defeating Alvarez gives him his first back-to-back wins in three years, and gives him a huge shot of confidence to keep the momentum going, as well.
For complete UFC Columbus results and coverage click here.