UFC 241 delivered in spades
The UFC’s long-overdue return to Anaheim produced one of the most memorable nights in recent history, with the main card well and truly living up to its billing.
Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier put on a heavyweight classic – one which will live in the memories of fight fans for years to come – in a thrilling main event which saw the former exact revenge on the two-time Olympian.
Fan favourite Nate Diaz reminded everybody just how good he is with a dominant performance over a resurgent Anthony Pettis, overwhelming the former lightweight champion with relentless forward pressure and dirty boxing against the cage.
And Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa put on the middleweight barnburner every fan expected as soon as their showdown was first announced.
Now that the dust has settled on an epic night at the Honda Center, attention has turned to whom the winners from the eighth pay-per-view card of the year will face next.
Here are the four fights that need to be made following the UFC’s latest PPV offering:
Nate Diaz vs Jorge Masvidal
UFC 241: Nate Diaz put on a stellar display against Anthony Pettis before calling out Jorge Masvidal
Both men want it and it’s arguably one of the biggest bouts the promotion can make at this moment in time, other than a rematch between McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Diaz laid the groundwork with perhaps the most respectful call out in recent history and the creation of the ‘Baddest Motherf****r in the Game’ belt, a title both men can lay claim to.
And with their respective star powers the highest they’ve ever been, it would behoove the UFC brass to pit these two antiheroes against one another.
The promotion’s annual Madison Square Garden card is currently in need of a main event, and I for one can’t think of a better fight to headline the event than this fan-pleasing match-up.
UFC 241: Nate Diaz politely called out Jorge Masvidal after beating Anthony Pettis
Why not have some fun and have the greatest light-heavy and heavyweight of all time throw down with one another to find out who the real GOAT is
Stipe Miocic vs Jon Jones
Before you say it, I know what you’re thinking. ‘Jon Jones has no intention of moving up heavyweight any time soon’. And you’d be right in saying that.
Jones has made it clear he has plans on cleaning out the light-heavyweight division before he moving up in weight. And there’s plenty of new blood in once was a barren wasteland of a division for him to feast on.
But with Miocic having reclaimed the 265lb throne in such emphatic fashion, the temptation to move up could prove to be difficult for the 32-year-old to resist.
UFC 241: Stipe Miocic regained the heavyweight title with a TKO win over Daniel Cormier
UFC 241: Jon Jones has flirted with a move to heavyweight, so a fight with Stipe Miocic makes sense
And let’s not forget, it was only a few months ago these two teased a super-fight with one another.
Although there are plenty of new faces at light-heavyweight, the landscapes of Jones and Miocic’s respective divisions – which currently don’t any standout contenders for a title shot – would allow for such a bout to take place.
So why not have some fun and have the greatest light-heavy and heavyweight of all time throw down with one another to find out who the real GOAT is.
Tyron Woodley vs Leon Edwards
Should Diaz vs Masvidal come to fruition, Birmingham’s Leon Edwards will be left in the cold without a dance partner.
UFC 241: Tyron Woodley vs Leon Masvidal makes sense given the landscape of the welterweight division
It’s no secret Edwards wants to get his hands on Masvidal, and who can blame him after what happened backstage at the O2 Arena last March.
But with Masvidal likely on a collision course with Diaz and Colby Covington getting the next crack at welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, Edwards is in danger of becoming frozen out – despite being on an eight-fight win streak.
The Brit has a ton of moment behind him and must continue it if he’s going to fight for the title next year.
So the only fight that makes sense for him at this moment in time is a clash against the division’s former ruler Tyron Woodley, who is looking to get back into title contention following his dethroning at the hands of Usman.
Robert Whittaker / Israel Adesanya vs Paulo Costa
UFC 241: Paulo Costa should fight the winner of Robert Whittaker vs Israel Adesanya next
In early October, Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya will unify the middleweight titles in the biggest fight in the history of Oceania mixed martial arts.
And barring any controversy in that bout – which headlines UFC 2432 in Australia – the winner of the bout should lock horns with the Brazilian powerhouse that is Costa.
Despite many believing he didn’t do enough to earn his unanimous decision victory over Romero, the 28-year-old has more than proven he belongs amongst the middleweight division’s elite.
Whoever emerges victorious from Whittaker vs Adesanya will have their hands full slaying the powerful and unrelenting beast that is ‘Borrachinha’, who seems to possess the cardiovascular endurance of man with a quarter of the muscle mass he possesses.
Regardless of who wins the fight, fans will be in for a treat when the victor of UFC 243’s main event locks horns with Costa due to their respective styles – which will make for a thoroughly entertaining rumble Down Under.