#UFC250 Aftermath: All Hail Amanda NunesTweet
Amanda Nunes headlined UFC 250 and capped off a great card with a near-flawless performance. Now, it’s time to take a look at some of what could be next for the fighters that have won and lost at UFC 250 in this episode of Aftermath.
Herbert Burns Wins Second Fight In A Row For Burns Brothers
Next opponent for Herbert Burns: Sodiq Yusuff, Ryan Hall
Neat little stat, Herbert Burns capped off the first time ever a fighter and his brother won back to back fights in the UFC, albeit on different cards. Of course, his brother, Gilbert Burns, dismantled Tyron Woodley last weekend at UFC Vegas. Now, Herbert Burns is looking ahead to what’s next. Burns is already an experienced fighter, he’s got five wins in ONE Championship and just notched his second win inside the UFC. Burn has already been on giant stages in his career. With wins over Timofey Nastyukhin in ONE and now a win over a very experienced Evan Dunham, he’s ready for a ranked opponent.
In our interview with Burns, I asked if he wanted to fight someone like Bryce Mitchell and he thought the UFC was going to build Mitchell up slower. He said of his situation, “I want faster than that, of course.” Burns is looking for UFC gold quickly. With the performance over Dunham, it’s time to see how he looks against a ranked opponent.
So, lets battle two great prospects versus each other, Burns versus Sodiq Yusuff. Yusuff is a monster standing up. Burns is all around talented. Putting Burns against Yusuff would be a great skill check for both fighters to see if they’re ready for the next step in the featherweight division. Yusuff is coming off a win at UFC 246 against Andre Fili and with the minimal damage Burns took in his fight this weekend, that could be a great pairing timeline-wise as well.
Second on the list for Burns after his UFC 250 win could be the submission wizard, Ryan Hall. Hall and Burns have fantastic Jiu Jitsu and seeing them on the ground is a dream come true. But, the real test would be to see Hall’s stand up and how it’s improved since his last fight. Hall is slick on the ground as we’ve seen with the ridiculous heel hook on an old BJ Penn. Burns could be the test to see what is the next level for Hall and would put a fan friendly name on Burns record.
Devin Clark Gameplans Fantastically
Next opponent for Devin Clark: Jimmy Crute, Khalil Rountree Jr.
Devin Clark is another interview we did before his fight at UFC 250. He knew exactly what Alonzo Menifield was going to do. “Menifield is just going to try to come knock my head off anyway,” he told us in our interview ahead of the fight. Clark came out and immediately shot a takedown and let Menifield know exactly what kind of fight it was going to be on the night. Clark took a beating in the first round, the 30-27 score card was wild. But as the fight went on, Clark ground down Menifield and started to trade with the power puncher as his cardio began to erode.
Clark is not ready for a ranked fight yet but that opportunity might present itself anyway. His striking did him well against Menifield, but against someone smarter, Clark could meet disaster. I would like to see Devin Clark take on someone who is just plain tough. Jimmy Crute is that guy. Crute is a great prospect at light heavyweight. He has great hands, adequate takedown defense and is tough as nails. He could test Clark a little better than the one-trick pony that is Alonzo Menifield. Clark-Crute would be a great moment and win for either fighter as they prepare to take on a spot in the rankings of the light heavyweight division.
If you really want to throw Devin Clark in the grease, Khalil Rountree Jr. is the name to put next to Clark’s Rountree’s striking is on the rise, spending a lot of time in Thailand. After he got annihilated by Ion Cutelaba at UFC Copenhagen, it’s time to put Rountree against a guy who will test his takedown defense and give him an opportunity to find himself as a striker. Clark benefits from a win in this fight with an opponent that has faced the likes of Gokan Saki, Cutelaba, Eryk Anders, and more.
Alex Perez Leg Kick Finish
Next opponent for Jussier Formiga: Kai Kara-France, Rogerio Bontorin
Jussier Formiga didn’t have an opportunity to get much done at UFC 250. He would be handicapped real quick by Perez and his leg kicks. Formiga struggled to find the distance from Perez and ultimately paid the price just 4:06 into the fight. Now, Formiga looks to be set back from his usual top five rankings in the flyweight division. Formiga, now 35, looks to be very far behind in a very young division.
Now, Formiga will serve as a stepping stone for younger fighters to prove themselves. But, he is still dangerous, regardless of where he sits in the rankings. One up and comer would be Kai Kara-France. Kara-France is only 27 and is looking for a way into the top five before it’s too late. Going through Formiga could be that option.
Rogerio Bontorin is the second matchup that I like for Formiga. Bontorin is another late 20’s guy who is looking for a path into the top five and Formiga could be the test to see if he is truly ready for the upper echelon of the division.
Next opponent for Alex Perez: Brandon Moreno, Pantoja/Askarov winner
Alex Perez looked phenomenal at UFC 250. He fought a great gameplay and took away Formiga’s tools early on, which led for a quick night at the office for Perez. Perez showed he is versatile and smart as a fighter. Now, Perez is one win away from a title shot. As of right now, Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez are going to rematch for what will hopefully be for the vacant title after Figueiredo missed weight at UFC Norfolk.
Perez has a couple intriguing matchups to prove he is the true number one contender. In our interview after his win over Jordan Espinosa, Perez said he will fight anyone and that he was willing to fight number nine ranked on up to get to the top. The most fun matchup is to put him against Brandon Moreno. Moreno sits at third in the division and will likely have a number one contender attached to his next fight to see who is next for the newly crowned king at flyweight. Alex Perez is that guy and it is the most fun possibility for all parties involved.
If Moreno does not materialize, Alexandre Pantoja and Askar Askarov are set to fight on the same card as the Benavidez-Figueiredo title fight. The winner of that puts their name in the hat for deserving title shots as well. But if Moreno is granted the winner, then the winner of Pantoja and Askarov could be looking for a fight. Perez and either of those two has the potential to be one of the best fights of the year.
The Suga Show is the Top Rated Show
Next opponent for Sean O’Malley: Frankie Edgar, John Dodson
Sean O’Malley is the real deal in the bantamweight division. There are so many great names at the top that we are soon to get into, but O’Malley might be the most intriguing of them all. He isn’t in the top of the division yet, but he fights like it. Now, O’Malley is looking to put himself in the ranks of the bantamweight division and is preparing to bring the Suga Show to take over the title. O’Malley obliterated a former WEC champion in Eddie Wineland. O’Malley feinted with a uppercut that tricked Wineland into lowering his hands and O’Malley fired a straight right up the pipe that ended the night for Wineland.
Now with a win over a very experienced fighter, O’Malley looks to take on some of the best names in the division. Now it’s time to test the ground game of O’Malley. I know he’s already booked, but win or loose, I would like to see Sean O’Malley share the cage with Frankie Edgar. Edgar is a notorious wrestler and would be a fantastic test for O’Malley’s take down defense. A win over a former lightweight champion would be just what the doctor ordered for O’Malley’s resume and could push him into the next level of stardom.
If you’re just trying to see who is the fastest guy in the division, you should consider setting O’Malley up with John Dodson. Dodson is coming off of a win over Nathaniel Wood at UFC Rio Rancho. With Dodson sharing the cage with Demetrious Johnson twice, Dodson has already faced the best of the bantamweight division as well. Think Petr Yan, Marlon Moraes, and Pedro Munhoz. A win over Dodson would springboard O’Malley to the next tier of fights and would likely need to be in slow motion so fans could actually see what is going on.
More Funkieness From Aljamain Sterling at UFC 250
Next opponent for Cory Sandhagen: Cody Garbrandt, Jimmie Rivera
Cory Sandhagen had no opportunity to do anything of importance at UFC 250. Sterling took his back early on and sunk in the rear naked choke to end the fight. After great wins over John Lineker and Raphael Assuncao, Sandhagen saw his seven fight win streak snapped at the hands of the Funkmaster.
Sandhagen is back to square one and looks to climb the division once again. But with most of the division pretty well mapped out, the option to fight up for Sandhagen is probably out the window. Luckily, there was a fighter that fought on the same card that could be a rebound for Sandhagen: Cody Garbrandt. Sandhagen might just be able to score that fight because Garbrandt just snapped his three fight skid in the very next fight. Sandhagen would put Garbrandt in a very tough challenge to not only fight well, but fight safe too.
If Garbrandt has other plans, Jimmie Rivera is the next best choice. Rivera is a sound fighter that has been around the bantamweight division for a long time. He would make Sandhagen gameplan but also wouldn’t blow him out the water like Sterling did.
Next opponent for Aljamain Sterling: Petr Yan, Yan/Aldo winner
There is no reason Aljamain Sterling should have to fight another fight before getting his title shot. When I asked Sterling if he thought he was funkier than Ben Askren a year ago, he said he believes so. And after that slick back take on Sandhagen, he solidified himself as the pound-for-pound funk GOAT. Now, Sterling needs to take a lesson from Tony Ferguson and simply wait to get his shot. He is undoubtably next.
I will make the case for Petr Yan to abandon the Jose Aldo fight and take on Sterling. Yan wants to fight soon for the vacant title and Aldo is the name attached to the opponent. Now, Yan could be patient and take a real fight, one that’s not coming off of a loss like Aldo. Sterling could be ready by August and that could be for the vacant title.
If that doesn’t happen, which I think it is probable it won’t, Sterling simply needs to bide his time for the winner and he gets the next shot.
Cody Garbrandt Shows Heaps of Improvement
Next opponent for Cody Garbrandt: Cory Sandhagen, Marlon Moraes
Cody Garbrandt had his weaknesses well known due to his three fight skid. He gets hit, starts throwing bombs, and gets knocked out. In the fight with Assuncao, Garbrandt was patient and chose his shots well. Now, Assuncao isn’t a big knockout artist and doesn’t pack much power in his punches. But he forces you to fight well. Garbrandt did just that and won the fight in spectacular fashion. At the end of round two, Garbrandt was against the fence. He ducked, fooling Assuncao to throw a shot, which Garbrandt slipped and fired a vicious right from his back pocket as the bell rang and put Assuncao down.
Now, Garbrandt needs to win again. This time, the UFC brass should look at putting him against someone more dangerous. Cory Sandhagen was mentioned earlier. Sandhagen makes you fight well but he’s also a threat on the feet. It will force the former champion to show that he can do well under fire and win a tough fight.
We know the UFC really likes what Cody Garbrandt brings to the table. They might fast track him to another bantamweight title shot. If that is the case, Marlon Moraes is the guy. Moraes packs a punch, a heavy one at that. Should the match be made, it’s a certified number one contender fight and would face the winner of Yan/Aldo and Sterling by the end of the year.
Amanda Nunes Shows How Wide The Gap Is
Next opponent for Amanda Nunes: Irene Aldana, Megan Anderson
There really isn’t much left for Amanda Nunes to accomplish after beating Felicia Spencer at UFC 250. She’s beaten every single champ from 125 to 145 there has ever been. Nunes has nothing but extending her legacy to fight for.
Nunes could be chasing the win streak and title defense records set by Anderson Silva, Demetrious Johnson, and Jon Jones. Nunes is not cementing herself as the greatest women’s mixed martial artist of all time. Instead she’s putting her name in the hat as one of the greatest and most dominant women’s athlete of all time. She would be in company with Serena Williams, Mia Hamm, and Simone Biles.
Next for Nunes is pretty straight forward and depends on where she wants to go. If it’s back to bantamweight Irene Aldana is the next opponent. Aldana has won two straight and beat the top contender, Ketlen Vieira. Now, Aldana is in line for a title shot seeing that Germaine de Randamie and Holly Holm have already fallen to Nunes, Aspen Ladd is booked. The only other option is Julianna Pena but Pena has only fought twice since 2017.
If it’s another flyweight fight, Nunes has Megan Anderson waiting. Anderson came over to the UFC as an Invicta champion and has stumbled since joining the promotion. She dropped her debut to Holly Holm, beat Cat Zingano, and lost to Felicia Spencer. Now, Anderson is on a two fight winning streak and was in the mix to face Nunes at featherweight before Spencer eventually got the nod.
There really isn’t any real challenges for Amanda Nunes. Maybe a boxing match might occupy her after she and her wife have their baby and returns in 2021. Claressa Shields has stated she wants a boxing match and MMA match with Nunes. This would print money, and we know how Dana White likes money.