#UFCBrasilia Aftermath: No Crowd, No ProblemTweet
UFC Brasilia went through regardless of the COVID-19’s sweeping panic across all sports. With several big fights, the card had major implications on a few divisions. It’s that time of the week to dive in to some of the big fights and see what’s next in this week’s Aftermath!
Check out the podcast for UFC Brasilia below!
Brandon Moreno Makes His Statement
Next opponent for Jussier Formiga: Kara-France/Perez winner, Askar Askarov
Jussier Formiga was in a great spot. He was arguably one of the best flyweights in the world and next in line for a title shot after Joseph Benavidez and Dieveson Figueiredo settle the top of division. Now, Formiga has dropped two straight and is likely looking in the top five of the flyweight division.
Formiga had no answer for Moreno all night. He was on his back foot and Moreno was simply the better fighter. Formiga will have to put together a decent win streak for his shot at a title. He will have to rebound big time in his next fight.
Kai Kara-France and Alex Perez are scheduled to face off in May at UFC San Diego. The winner will be on the way up and Formiga will be the logical next step for them. For Formiga, it’s a great starting point for a win streak to get his trajectory back towards a title shot.
Second option is one of flyweights best prospects, Askar Askarov. It would give Formiga the level of competition he’s accustomed to and would be an incredible fight with Fight of the Night potential.
Next opponent for Brandon Moreno: Figueiredo/Benavidez 2 winner, Alexandre Pantoja
Brandon Moreno is now in prime real estate. He is solidly in third place behind the two best flyweights, Figueiredo and Benavidez (not counting Cejudo). Moreno has been around for a while and has finally peaked as a fighter. With wins over Formiga, Kara-France and Dustin Ortiz, Moreno is without a doubt the next in line for a shot at the title.
The obvious choice for Moreno following his UFC Brasilia win is a shot at the Figueiredo/Benavidez winner. The two fought at UFC Norfolk and while Figueiredo won, he missed weight so the title fight was nulled. So a rematch is likely. Moreno, should he want to wait, would be the obvious next choice for a crack at the belt.
If Moreno is keen on getting in the cage again soon, he can face off with Alexandre Pantoja in a rematch. The two fought in 2018, a fight in which Pantoja won via unanimous decision. With Pantoja being the last man to beat Moreno, avenging that loss could be something high on Moreno’s list.
Nikita Kryvlov Dismantles Johnny Walker
Next opponent for Johnny Walker: Tyson Pedro, Jimmy Crute
Last Saturday was not a good look for the once hyped Johnny Walker. He was dismantled by Nikita Kryvlov, a fight that was supposed to be a rebound after being knocked out by Corey Anderson at UFC 244. Instead, Walker threw some pretty cool strikes, including a 50 foot high flying knee that missed, and he never had Kryvlov in any real danger. Walker showed very little improvement since moving to TriStar after his last loss.
Walker was on the fast track to fight Jon Jones but now, that’s been set back by several years. Walker showed major holes in his game, being wrestled by Kryvlov at will. His next fight could be fighting for his job. Walker might not even be top 15 in a shallow light heavyweight division. One option for his bounce back would he to fight Tyson Pedro. Pedro is a great fighter and a winnable fight for Walker but not a Gimmie fight.
One other option is Jimmy Crute. Crute is a ranked light heavyweight and if the UFC wants to keep the the rankings in the mix for Walker, it would be the only option for a ranked option for Walker.
Renato Moicano Looks Phenomenal at Lightweight
Next opponent for Renato Moicano: Paul Felder, Jim Miller
Renato Moicano struggles looks to be behind him for now. Moving up from featherweight to lightweight seems to have been the right move for Moicano. After dropping two fights to Jose Aldo and The Korean Zombie, Moicano and his camp decided the weight cut was too much. He is taking the long way to the top, and he completely destroyed Damir Hadzovic at UFC Brasilia. A quick rear naked choke had him in and out of the cage in 44 seconds. Moicano will look at a quick turnaround after his win.
Moicano’s next fight depends on what approach he wants to take at lightweight. If he wants to take. It seems as if the fast approach is where he wants to go. His call out of Paul Felder is the perfect fight. Felder is a top 10 fighter and would put him within striking distance of a top five fight with a win. The only issue is that Felder took a bit of damage in his fight with Dan Hooker last month and will likely be out for a little while.
If Moicano wants a quick turnaround, Jim Miller is the man. Miller is violent and tough and would give Moicano the tough fight he wants. Plus, Jim Miller and Moicano is a match made in heaven. Make these two fight. It is perfect.
Gilbert Burns Starches Demian Maia
Next opponent for Demian Maia: Robbie Lawler, Rafael Dos Anjos
We saw some fantastic grappling throughout Demian Maia’s career. Especially in his last fight with Ben Askren in Singapore, Maia is an exciting fighter when matched up correctly. Maia and Burns put on a good show on the ground. Then Maia let Burns get up and that was his undoing. After a left hook and some ground and pound, Maia’s 3 fight win streak was finished.
Maia has only one fight on his contract. It’s presumed that it will be Maia’s last. It’s time for a swan song in Brazil for the best grappler the UFC has ever seen. Robbie Lawler and Maia have never fought and have been in the same division for years. Let’s make the two legends go at it and promote the hell out of it. It’s an exciting stylistic matchup as well.
Rafael Dos Anjos is the second matchup that could be made. Dos Anjos is exciting, as we all know. He and Maia would be another fun fight, especially a swan song in Brazil for Maia.
Next opponent for Gilbert Burns: Colby Covington, Tyron Woodley
Gilbert Burns finally found a fight and got the one he wanted. He knocked out Maia, something former champ, Tyron Woodley, could not do. He handled Maia’s grappling perfectly and was not scared to be on the ground with Maia. So now Burns is prime for a top five fight.
Gilbert Burns’ callout of Colby Covington was spot on. The win put him in a place for a top five spot. Kamaru Usman will be busy fighting Jorge Masvidal so Covington needs an opponent. Now on a five fight win streak, three coming from the welterweight division, Burns has certainly earned his shot at the top five. Covington needing fight is the prime spot for both he and Burns.
Should Covington not want to fight Burns, Burns deserves a top tier fighter still. While Tyron Woodley and Leon Edwards is canceled, it’s likely those two will be matched up elsewhere. But Woodley will want to fight sooner than later and there’s no time table on when Edwards can leave the country. Burns took no damage in the Maia fight. While they may not fight this weekend as Burns wants, he and Woodley are likely for a tango date as well.
Charles Oliveira Is The Real Deal
Kevin Lee is not in a good place right now. I won’t critique his performance on this piece. I don’t wish to pile on.
Next opponent for Charles Oliveria: Makhachev/Hernandez winner
Charles Oliveira fought fantastic at UFC Brasilia. His striking continues to improve, which should concern everyone. Oliveira has hands. Pair that with his “most submissions in UFC history” and you have a nightmare for anyone at lightweight. The only real concern of mine for Oliveira is his gas tank. He slowed a lot in the fight with Lee later in the fight.
But, Oliveria was never in much danger during his fight with Lee. He’s ready for a top five fight now. Deserving and getting are two different things, however. Lightweight is stacked with several dynamite matches. One matchup for Oliveria would be to take on the Islam Makhachev and Aaron Hernandez winner. Either of those guys in the cage with Oliveira will produce nothing short of dynamite.
Another really fun matchup would be to pit “do Bronx” against Al Iaquinta. Iaquinta is looking for a way back to the top of the division and Oliveira could use another tough fight to solidify his name in the lightweight division.
Unfortunately, UFC has canceled the next three cards and as of right now, the next event is UFC 249. Hopefully, the card stays together and we get a new Aftermath then. Stay safe, everyone.