Wednesday’s nights alright for fighting. The UFC returned last night and it came back in a different way. Old school ruled the night by far. From Chase Sherman’s return to Glover Teixeira’s domination, were recapping and seeing what should be next for some of our favorite fighters on today’s episode of Aftermath.
Chase Sherman Makes His Triumphant Return
Next opponent for Chase Sherman: Greg Hardy, Yorgan De Castro
Chase Sherman was a UFC talent once upon a time. But after taking six short notice fights out of seven and having many not go his way, he lost his spot in the biggest MMA promotion in the world. Sherman went 3-0 in Island Fights and 1-1-1 in Bare Knuckle FC, capturing the heavyweight belt there. He came into UFC Jacksonville on short notice as well against Ike Villenueva. But this time he was a man on a mission. In a previous talk we’ve had with Sherman, he said he needs to work on his head movement. He’s done a good job improving that with tons of room for even more improvement.
Sherman has a good way to get to the rankings again. But his continued improvement, he can get there. Sherman has the opportunity to reinvent his image. In the past he’s called out Greg Hardy, and that’s still a good fight for both. I know we have previously picked two fights for hardy on Monday’s Aftermath, but we’re changing that now with Sherman and Hardy now.
If Hardy is out the question, let’s put him against Yorgan De Castro. Castro’s hands will give Sherman another chance to prove himself and his improvement even more. De Castro puts Sherman in real danger with his power and would have consequences if Sherman doesn’t continue his improvement.
Arlovski and Lins Have A UFC-PFL Cross Promotion
Next opponent for Philipe Lins: Maurice Greene, Fabricio Werdum
Philipe Lins came out and did the thing in the first round against Arlovski. He showed off his incredibly fast hands and the former PFL heavyweight champion looked fantastic despite two judges giving Arlovski the first round. Unfortunately, Lins slowed down and Arlovski’s experience shined in the final two rounds.
Lins proved that not only he belonged in the UFC, but PFL actually has some talent on their roster. While Arlovski may not be the same from his champion days of old, he’s still very talented and has plenty to give. Lins may have been thrown into the deep end of the pool slightly.
Maurice Greene is a great kickboxer and is a bit of a step down from the experienced Arlovski. He would be a good gauge to see if Lins is ready to make the climb without sending him out to sea to drown. Greene has great hands and combine it with Lins’ fast hands and you have yourself a certified slobberknocker on your hands.
But, if you’re feeling real wild and crazy, Philipe Lins and Fabricio Werdum makes absolutely no sense and that’s why UFC matchmakers could consider it. Lins is a great fighter and Werdum is in need of a skill check. Let’s do it.
Next opponent for Andrei Arlovski: Junior Dos Santos, also Fabricio Werdum
Despite the judges score cards, Andrei Arlovski was being outclassed by Lins in the first round. But his veteranship got him the win as he made the proper adjustments going into round two. Arlovski looked great, he was light on his feet and he was patient. He’s struggled to put out work and to get wins since 2016. But Arlovski looked like an entire new fighter at UFC Jacksonville.
I want to see missed matchups for Arlovski. The fact that he’s been in the UFC for almost 20 years and hasn’t fought Junior Dos Santos is absurd. That is two legends that should fight before the gloves are hung up.
Second fight is a rematch with Fabricio Werdum. Werdum has knocked off some of the ring rust after his USADA suspension. He and Arlovski fought in 2007 at UFC 70, a fight in which Arlovski won. It’s time to run it back 13 years later.
Drew Dober Showed He Is A Problem at UFC Jacksonville
Next opponent for Drew Dober:
I will be the first to admit I have been sleeping on Drew Dober for too long. When he was originally scheduled to face Diego Ferriera, I thought the fight was a bad mismatch and that Dober was in over his head. He proved me wrong in his fight with Alexander Hernandez. Hernandez is fast, and Dober showed he is just as fast. Dober showed Gaethje shades the entire fight and kept the pace all fight. He put Hernandez down at the end of the second round.
For Dober, I’m ready to see that Ferriera fight. I thought it was a bad idea, but after last night I’d like to see them scrap now. Dober has struggled with grapplers one the past and Ferriera is literally throwing him into the fire. With the pressure Ferriera brings, it will be a crackerjack of a fight.
If you are looking for a firefight, Al Iaquinta is your man. It is obvious from the Ferriera booking that the UFC wants a higher level matchup for Drew Dober. If Ferriera is booked or working on a fight, Iaquinta will be the best option. He may not be the grappling test Dober needs, but it’s almost a sure way to get him paid another post fight bonus.
Glover Teixeira Fights Like A Bat Out Of Hell
Next opponent for Anthony Smith: Jimmy Crute, Magomed Ankalaev
Anthony Smith fought very well in the first round of their fight. Usually a great tactician, it seemed like it was going to be a sad and long night for Teixeira. But, with his corner’s constant push for action, Smith threw everything with authority and essentially gassed out. It was a brutal beat down from around the middle of the second round on. It seems as if Jon Jones effectively ended Smith’s Cinderella story after all.
It will be a long way to the top if Anthony Smith wants to fight for the title again. Jon Jones has a trio at the top of the division waiting to fight. There are two rematches available with Dominick Reyes and Thiago Santos. Then there is Jan Blachowicz. All of these fighters deserve a fight at the title. Throw in the new contenders like Jiri Prochazka and Alexander Rakic, and there is a long wait indeed.
I would like to see Smith with one of those up and comers, but the timeline might not add up just yet. Smith took a beating at UFC Jacksonville. One option where the timeline is feasible is a bout against Jimmy Crute. Crute is due a shot at being ranked. Crute is tough and durable. I would like to see some change in game planning next time out for Smith and Crute would give him that opportunity.
Second option is Magomed Ankalaev. He won his last fight against Ion Cutelaba at UFC Norfolk with one of the worst stoppages seen in recent history. Ankalaev was scheduled for a rematch with Cutelaba but that was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ankalaev would likely put that fight on the back burner if he has a shot at a former title challenger.
Next opponent for Glover Teixeira: whoever Jon Jones doesn’t fight, Corey Anderson
Glover Teixeira fought fantastic at UFC Jacksonville. While the first round was a rough start, Glover persisted and eventually took over. My only complaint with the fight was Teixeira didn’t seem to have the killer instinct. When Smith was hurt and almost out, he would stop the ground and pound and hunt for a choke that wouldn’t be there. Teixeira eventually figured it out and put him away at the start of round 5.
Teixeira is within striking distance at another shot at Jon Jones. He is second in line to Reyes/Santos/Blachowicz (whoever Jones picks). If Teixeira were to fight any of those three he’d likely be next in line for a title shot due to sheer momentum.
The only issue is, say Jones fights Blachowicz, Reyes and Santos will possibly be lined up for a title eliminator. If that’s the case, Teixeira would do well to avenge his last loss against Corey Anderson. Anderson is coming off of a loss to Blachowicz and could use a redirection in his career course. A rematch might be in order.