JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Khamzat Chimaev stole the present, as anticipated, at UFC 273 on Saturday night time with a unanimous-decision win over Gilbert Burns in what Dana White referred to as one of many biggest fights he is ever seen. Featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski placed on a present of his personal with a fourth-round stoppage of Chan Sung Jung. And whereas Aljamain Sterling could not have silenced all of his critics, his split-decision win over Petr Yan to defend his bantamweight belt seemingly will shift his focus to a distinct opponent.
So who’s next for Chimaev? White had stated Colby Covington was on deck if Chimaev gained. Is that the best struggle to make?
And whereas Yan believes he deserved the choice and desires a 3rd bout towards Sterling, who gained the title when Yan was disqualified for an unlawful knee on March 6, 2021, would the UFC have an interest within the trilogy?
And what about Volkanovski?
Alexander Volkanovski retains Chan Sung Jung guessing all through their struggle and wins the bout through technical knockout.
Alexander Volkanovski, featherweight champion
Who needs to be next: Max Holloway
This is a no brainer. The trilogy struggle between these two was purported to occur at this occasion, however Holloway needed to cope with a lingering damage. He was really cleared in time to struggle on Saturday, however the UFC had already moved on by that point with Jung as his alternative. Volkanovski is the champ — there may be nothing to debate there. (*273*) due to how shut his two victories had been over Holloway, there’s at all times been a requirement for them to finish the trilogy. Holloway has been one thing of a thorn within the champ’s facet. Volkanovski hasn’t been in a position to transfer previous him. A 3rd win would clearly enable him to try this. And if Volkanovski could make a comparatively fast turnaround, I consider it is going to occur in August.
Wild card: Henry Cejudo
I’m virtually kidding. It’s not gonna occur. There isn’t any different struggle for Volkanovski, although. No different featherweight contender who could be worthy. No room for him to maneuver as much as light-weight for any motive. It’s the Holloway trilogy and nothing else.
(*273*) if Cejudo swiftly wished to return out of retirement (and on his previous contract, as a result of it does not appear as if the UFC desires to pay him extra to do it), this struggle could be enjoyable.
Chan Sung Jung, featherweight
Who needs to be next: Giga Chikadze
Jung is 35 and says he nonetheless has a bit of left within the tank. Any highway to a different title shot appears unlikely, however he is nonetheless extremely ranked. He is most undoubtedly nonetheless able to headlining a card.
Chikadze is coming off a reasonably dominant loss to Calvin Kattar. Prior to that struggle in January, he was wanting like a really professional title challenger. A win over Jung would throw Chikadze proper again into the combo, amongst the highest six or seven within the division. Stylistically, it is a implausible struggle — as many of those are at featherweight, to be trustworthy.
This is such a dynamic division proper now. This is a powerful struggle, and I would not thoughts seeing it as a five-round essential occasion.
Wild card: Arnold Allen
This is not an ideal choice, since Allen is coming off a win. (*273*) Allen remains to be trying to construct his profile, and a struggle towards Zombie would try this. It’s additionally only a very enjoyable struggle. And regardless that Jung is coming off a loss, he is nonetheless very extremely ranked.
The UFC is a return to England this summer time. Jung vs. Allen in London could be a terrific struggle for a mess of causes.
Khamzat Chimaev, welterweight
Who needs to be next: Colby Covington
Oh my goodness, what a struggle. We wished to see Chimaev examined, and we obtained it. And I’ll let you know what, that was a type of excellent conditions for Chimaev, as a result of defeat was staring him within the face. I believe he made some errors on this struggle. I believe he in all probability took Burns frivolously. He discovered useful classes, and he did not must take a loss. He’ll be extra harmful due to this. Covington is the plain next struggle. Part of me hates to see them struggle as a result of one has to lose and then you definitely lose a possible title challenger. (*273*) Chimaev seemed human on this struggle, and Covington is likely one of the greatest on the planet. It’s such a superb matchup. Let’s go.
That’s the next title struggle. If Covington will not struggle Chimaev, if he is not , then there may be nothing else to do however wait. Chimaev hates to attend, and possibly he’d wish to transfer up for a middleweight struggle whereas he waits his flip, however that was a tricky struggle he simply had with Burns. Perhaps day without work would not be the worst factor. Let him sit cageside for Usman vs. Edwards, and carry him into the cage to sq. off with the winner. Scenes. And an effective way to finish the yr at welterweight.
Gilbert Burns, welterweight
Who needs to be next: Jorge Masvidal
Let’s reward Burns, proper? This man will struggle anybody. He’ll do it each time the UFC asks. He was prepared to take the struggle the remainder of the division did not need in Chimaev, and he very almost pulled it off as a major underdog. He accepted all of that, and placed on among the finest performances of his profession, even in a loss. He deserves one other huge struggle, coming off this one. Fans love him, as they need to. Burns involves struggle, he is entertaining, he is humble, he does not stop. Masvidal hasn’t gained in his final three fights, however he is obtained as huge a reputation as anybody within the division, and he is nonetheless ranked. This is the one.
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) April 10, 2022
If Edwards loses to Usman, this makes a ton of sense — though I’ll say, I believe the UFC would take an in depth take a look at Edwards vs. Masvidal, which would depart Burns on the surface. If Usman loses, he may get an instantaneous rematch, or not, with all the nice choices at welterweight. There are a whole lot of shifting elements in all of this, and I do not know if Burns and Usman would ever struggle once more, except there have been a title on the road. Maybe not. (*273*) from a rankings perspective, that is the one which makes probably the most sense, if it is not Masvidal.
Aljamain Sterling wins his long-anticipated rematch with Petr Yan through break up resolution at UFC 273.
Aljamain Sterling, bantamweight champion
Who needs to be next: TJ Dillashaw
Whether you agree with the scorecards of Saturday or not, you may as properly transfer past the Sterling-Yan matchup. Because the UFC will. Sterling already has. It was an in depth struggle that would have gone both means, however the UFC is just not about to run it again once more. Dillashaw has been ready for the title shot since he got here again and beat Cory Sandhagen final July. Waiting might be not the proper time period, he is been recovering from accidents suffered in that struggle. Sterling desires to struggle him. It’s the largest title struggle the UFC could make at bantamweight proper now. It will likely be next. Dillashaw informed me he’d love to do it on Oct. 22 in Abu Dhabi, however he’ll do it wherever Sterling desires.
Wild card: Petr Yan
If the UFC does not do Dillashaw for no matter motive, then working this again could be the one factor that is sensible. Maybe if outrage over the choice is excessive sufficient a 3rd assembly could be booked. (*273*) I don’t see that taking place.
Petr Yan, bantamweight
Who needs to be next: Merab Dvalishvili
It may look bleak for Yan proper now after shedding to the identical opponent twice in title fights, in heartbreaking trend. He value himself of their first assembly with an unlawful knee, and he paid dearly for it. Then, to lose this one, through break up resolution was robust. (*273*) in actuality, he is not far off from the belt. And this struggle makes all of the sense to me. Dvalishvili is Sterling’s teammate and shut good friend. There’s a built-in story behind this struggle already. I would not thoughts seeing Yan towards somebody who will strike with him, however I believe that is the one to make due to the story.
Wild card: Dominick Cruz
Cruz is likely one of the greatest names within the division and, in my view, the best bantamweight of all time. Cruz is not in his prime, however he is deserving of a giant struggle. One that would get him one final shot at a UFC title. Yan matches that invoice. Yan is a scary opponent, and Cruz must be excellent. Is Cruz able to pulling off a sport plan much like what Sterling simply did? Absolutely. Yan fights a legend of the division. Cruz fights somebody who can get him to a belt. Win, win.
Mackenzie Dern, strawweight
Dern fights imply. Her fixed stress forces opponents right into a struggle, and Dern believes in her chin. She’s prepared to struggle in a cellphone sales space. And it results in chaos, which advantages her as a result of she is harmful in a scramble or snatching a submission. She’s obtained a whole lot of profession left, and it will be fascinating earlier than it is all stated and accomplished, as a result of she continues to enhance between every contest. Andrade is coming again to the division from flyweight, and she’s dealing with an actual up-and-comer in Lemos. In an ideal world, Dern stays energetic. There’s no rush. She does not have to get to a title struggle in 2022. Keep constructing. This matchup could be an actual take a look at.
Wild card: Amanda Ribas
This may sound bizarre as a result of Ribas is shifting as much as flyweight. She fights Katlyn Chookagian on May 14. If she had been to lose that struggle and resolve she desires to retest 115, I believe this matchup may make a ton of sense. Ribas holds a win over Dern from 2019. If Ribas beats Chookagian, clearly she’ll keep at 125. And even when she had been to lose that bout, she may keep at flyweight. (*273*) I may see a world by which this struggle occurs, and once more, it is about protecting Dern energetic. And there aren’t many choices proper now who’re ranked forward of her within the division.