UFC 246: What Happens Next?
The first UFC PPV of 2020 has come and gone and it has led to a lot of interesting fights that we can see later in the year. I will be writing about potential fights for the winners and losers of the UFC 246 main card.
Anthony Pettis (22-10)
‘Showtime’ lost in the opening bout of 246 against Diego Ferreira. This is a bad loss for Pettis as he may be removed from the lightweight rankings as a result of this submission loss. Personally, I thought Pettis shouldn’t have fought at lightweight and remain at welterweight but it’s far too late for that. What I think will happen next for Pettis is his release from the promotion and I definitely see him going to Bellator - I can’t see him staying in the UFC or going to somewhere like ONE and I think the lightweight division in Bellator is a great choice for Showtime as the welterweight division in Bellator is dangerous for Pettis as the champion is Douglas Lima and I can’t picture Pettis beating Lima. However, a fight against the lightweight champion, Patrício Freire would be a fantastic fight for Pettis.
Diego Ferreira (17-2)
Diego Ferreira got the win over Anthony Pettis with a second round submission as he submitted Pettis with a rear naked choke. The fight I think Ferreira should get next is a lightweight fight against Al Iaquinta sometime in the spring. I think this would be a really good fight for both men and it makes sense for both fighters.
Ode Osbourne (8-3)
Ode Osbourne is somebody I think has potential and despite losing to Brian Kelleher by a first round submission - I do see Osbourne having a future. Osbourne should fight Johnny Eduardo - Eduardo hasn’t fought since 2018 and Eduardo is a veteran so Osbourne fighting him would be a great test.
Brian Kelleher (20-10)
Brian Kelleher should fight Hunter Azure. Azure is undefeated in MMA and he’s currently 27 and 8-0 which means he’ll try and enter the top 15. Kelleher is nearing the top 15 and Azure is also trying to get to that 15 so these two having a fight would be significant to whoever enters the rankings. I think this would be a great entertaining bout and it’s something I want to see in the very near future.
Maurice Greene (8-4)
Maurice Greene lost in the third fight of the UFC 246 main card to Aleksei Oleinik. The fight Greene should have next is against Tai Tuivasa. My reasoning for this is both men desperately need a win and it’s a big fight for both men. Tuivasa is still young and at one point, he as unbeaten however he’s now on a three fight losing streak while Greene is on a two fight losing streak. I see this fight taking place on the prelims of a PPV event or in a prominent slot of prelims on a slightly disappointing fight night card.
Aleksei Oleinik (58-13-1)
Aleksei Oleinik put his submission work to good use on Saturday night. Oleinik could get a higher ranked opponent but I don’t think a win over Maurice Greene justifies a chance of being ranked higher. I think Oleinik should get a lower ranked opponent and that man should be a man who recently got a win over Greene and that man is the 14th ranked heavyweight, Sergei Pavlovich. Pavlovich is a heavyweight who’s won 11 of his 14 wins by TKO. This would be a really great fight and it’d be fascinating to see how Pavlovich deals with Oleinik’s overwhelming ground game while it’d be interesting to see how Oleinik deals with the striking.
Raquel Pennington (10-8)
Raquel Pennington lost a decision to Holly Holm marking it a second loss to Holm. I think we’ll see Pennington fight later in the year and I think we’ll see her fight the woman that just defeated the unbeaten Ketlen Vieira at UFC 245 and that is, Irene Aldana. Aldana and Pennington makes sense, Pennington is coming off a loss, Aldana is coming off a hot win and it just makes sense for both ladies. However, the two did just fight last summer so whether the UFC actually books this fight or not is up in the air but I think they should book it as the decision was a split decision so this fight could dictate a clear winner.
Holly Holm (13-5)
Let’s not give Holly Holm a title shot despite her recent win. She’s close though but I think she needs one more fight and who better than Germaine De Randamie. Yes, their first bout wasn’t the greatest however a second fight would be really interesting and the way to promote this isn’t by headline a PPV like it did at UFC 208 - god, what a card thatturned out to be, but instead co-headlining a fight night or being the third fight of a great PPV main card or to take it one step further, the first bout of an incredibly stacked PPV card - now that’s good.
Cowboy Cerrone (36-14-1 NC)
Let’s be honest, Cowboy Cerrone won’t retire after 246, even after he lost, I knew retirement wouldn’t be in his plans. I don’t know whether Cerrone will fight at lightweight or welterweight in his next outing and that’s what’s so exciting about Cowboy but I think it’ll be a fight at welterweight. The man I see him fighting is Vincente Luque. Luque and Cerrone is coming off a loss and both men consistently put on entertaining fights so a fight would be something everybody would be interested in as it would be such an amazing fight to watch and I really hope we see it later in the year.
Conor McGregor (22-4)
The notorious is back and he got a massive win in just 40 seconds. Conor McGregor wants to fight before the Summer and there’s three men I can see him fighting: Jorge Masvidal, Justin Gaethje or Nate Diaz. I think it should be Justin Gaethje purely if McGregor wants to fight at lightweight. If he wants to stay at welterweight then Jorge Masvidal and if he wants the trilogy fight against Nate Diaz - a massive fight for Conor, take the Diaz fight. It’s good to see McGregor back in the UFC and I hope we see him active.