UFC Vancouver Aftermath: Is Justin Gaethje Next?


UFC Vancouver did not disappoint. From somersaults to Peruvian neckties, we got a little of everything. Now, it’s time to see what is next for our favorite fighters after their wins and losses!

Augusto Sakai might be a problem at heavyweight

Next opponent for Augusto Sakai: Alexey Oleynik, Shamil Abdurakhimov

Since joining the UFC in August of last year, Augusto Sakai has racked up a list of names in such a short time. With wins over Chase Sherman, Andrei Arlovski, and now Marcin Tybura, Sakai has established that he belongs in the UFC. The Brazilian dispatched Tybura in 59 seconds. It’s time to see what Sakai is really made of. His next fight could be a potential top ten after such a convincing win. With minimum damage, Sakai can have a quick turnaround. Alexey Oleynik is coming off of two losses but is also an incredible challenge for anyone. Maybe Sakai can avoid the Ezekiel choke. Shamil Abdurakhimov lost a week before at UFC 242. He could be another option if Sakai wants to wait a little while and have some time off.

Michel Pereira is exciting until he’s not.

Next opponent for Michel Pereira: Sergey Khandozhko, Mike Perry

Judging by social media, you would have thought Michel Pereira won his fight at UFC Vancouver. Look at the UFC’s tweet after the fight was over:

Yeah, he lost. As a matter of fact all these acrobatics were in the first round and he was noticeably gassed in rounds two and three. Now, Pereira might not have becoming a UFC champion in mind when it comes to career goals. He might be happy to make $50,000 a night in bonuses. To do that he’ll need to make weight first. So what is next for Pereira? He has momentum regardless of losing. There’s always Sergey Khandozhko, who Pereira was supposed to fight this night. Another option, even though Pereira isn’t there yet, is Mike Perry. This is just wishful thinking on my part, but can you imagine the fireworks if these two lock themselves in a cage with each other?! Give it to me.

Next opponent for Tristan Connelly: Erik Koch, Zak Ottow

Tristan Connelly came into his fight with Pereira on 5 days notice and for the most part, was expected to be a punching bag. Connelly was able to survive all the “ooh’s” and “ahh’s” from the crowd in the first round and implemented his game plan with ease. After having Pereira miss weight, Connelly got a full $100,000 for Fight of the Night, both his and Pereira’s cut. If people think Pereira’s stock grew, Connelly’s grew ten fold. It’s time for him to rise the ranks. Two fighters that would be good for Connelly would be Erik Koch, who is coming off of a win at UFC 240, and Zak Ottow if he’s looking for a big step up.

Glover Teixeira shows sign of his former self against Nikita Krylov

Next opponent for Nikita Krylov: Tyson Pedro, Sam Alvey

Nikita Krylov has had a tough ride in the UFC. Having now gone 1-2 with losses to Jan Błachowicz and Glover Teixeira, Krylov is struggling in his second stint in the promotion. He’ll likely be fighting for his job in his next outing. Picking the right opponent will be paramount for Krylov and his team. Tyson Pedro is on a 2 fight skid and is looking for a fight. He and Krylov would entertain the fans as well. Sam Alvey is also on some bad luck. He is another fan favorite that would put on a show with Krylov.

Next opponent for Glover Teixeira: Anthony Smith, Walker/Anderson winner

After going 5-5 in the UFC from his title fight with Jon Jones, Glover Teixeira is now riding a three fight streak and is showing his age might be up there, but his experience is his bread and butter now. Teixeira won the split decision and in the light heavyweight division, he might be on the way to a title shot in 2020. Glover, who is 39 years old. So what to do now? Light heavyweight is pretty stacked up with fights already. It might be a good time for Teixeira to take some recovery time. Anthony Smith is sitting out there and a win over him would put him in the top three in the division. Another option would be to take on the winner of Johnny Walker and Corey Anderson, another win that would put him in the top three or four in the division.

Justin Gaethje puts his name in the Khabib hat


Next opponent for Donald Cerrone: Paul Felder, Diaz/Masvidal winner

Donald Cerrone’s lightweight career revival appears to be short lived. After losing to Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje back to back, it seems as if Cowboy will never taste UFC gold. It’s time for him to decide what’s next. He can simply become a fighter for the sake of fighting, or continue the roller coaster of beating who he should, and losing to those he should. For now, he’ll continue to fight. Paul Felder would be a fun fight to make in the lightweight division. Another good fight would be a rematch to whoever wins the BMF belt between Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal. Both fighters beat Cerrone and he’s sure to want to tangle for the BMF belt, if it’s ever a real thing.

Next opponent for Justin Gaethje: Khabib/Ferguson winner, Conor McGregor

Justin Gaethje completely killed Donald Cerrone, who is a Muay Thai monster. He’s made leaps and bounds worth of improvements and is showing much more patience instead of being a brawler as we’ve thought him to be for some time. Now he’s in the midst of a 3 fight win streak and in a spot for the biggest fight of his career. He has two giant options. If he wants to scrap soon, Conor McGregor is begging to come back. He and McGregor would be a giant fight that could even headline its own PPV. If Gaethje wants to wait it out, you could make every case he gets the next shot at the title after Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson bang it out, that is if the UFC makes that fight. Either way, Gaethje is something special and deserves both fights after UFC Vancouver.

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Blaine Henry

Just your friendly neighborhood fight fan!

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