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UFC 265 Aftermath: Booking Next Fights For Winners

UFC 265
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

UFC 265 Winners Get Their Next Fights

Man, what a night this past Saturday was. We saw it all: fantastic submissions, absolute wars, and sensational knockouts. While my picks for UFC 265 did not exactly pan out, the night had fights that the fans absolutely loved. In this article, we are going to take a look at the fights the winners from the main card should be getting next. If you want to take a look at a previous article for UFC 264, you can check that out here.

Song Yadong (Bantamweight)

Song Yadong came into this fight as the slight betting underdog against Casey Kenney and proved that he is still among the rising prospects at 135lbs. While one can argue that the fight could have gone either way (the fight was decided by split decision), the nod went to Yadong and he improved to 6-1-1 in the UFC. Currently sitting outside the top 15, I would expect to see him mixing it up with someone near the bottom of the 15 or someone just outside. A few names that come to mind are Marlon Vera and Ricky Simon, with Raphael Assuncao being a bigger-name option as well.

Tecia Torres (Women’s Strawweight)

Admittedly, this writer did not have faith in Tecia Torres going into her fight with Angela Hill, but boy did she prove me wrong. Torres went out Saturday night and simply outclassed Hill for 15 minutes, looking like the more well-rounded and complete fighter. The only opponent that makes sense for Torres is Carla Esparza. Both fighters are on 3+ fight win streaks, and their fight could be viewed as a title eliminator. I know that Weili Zhang is still waiting in the wings, but coming off a first-round KO, I do not believe she should get an immediate rematch.

Vicente Luque (Welterweight)

Another fight I was dead wrong about. Maybe I let my appreciation for Michael Chiesa cloud my judgment on this pick, but Vicente Luque looked incredible at UFC 265, picking up a submission win over a fighter known for his wrestling and submission work. You could make an argument that Luque could be in the title contender conversation now, but I think he needs one more fight. Currently, we have Kamaru Usman defending against Colby Covington, so Luque’s next fight should set up as a number one contender’s fight. I will still pound the table for Leon Edwards to get his shot, so Dana White should book him against Luque and make it known the winner gets to fight Usman next after he demolishes Covington.

Jose Aldo

Jose Aldo surprised a lot of people Saturday night by looking eerily similar to the Aldo of old. Many people were writing off Aldo after a tough four-fight stretch, but we forget he is only 34 and can still get it done. Pedro Munhoz did not have an answer for anything Aldo threw at him. As far as where this puts Aldo in the Bantamweight rankings, I think he should move into the top five. The fight I would book next is Aldo against Petr Yan, despite the controversy surrounding Yan’s most recent fight. That being said, I do not have a ton of sympathy for fighters who get DQed after throwing something dirty, and this fight would also give Aldo a chance to avenge a loss at the hands of Yan.

Ciryl Gane

Francis Ngannou.

I should have just ended it there and called it a day because we all know the only fight to make now is one that will unify the UFC Heavyweight Championship (we should not even be in this situation, but I digress). Any other fight makes zero sense.

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