Jon Jones is your new UFC heavyweight champion and the trail is evident for a dream combat with Stipe Miocic. Jones and Miocic are arguably the best gentle heavyweight and heavyweight fighters in combined martial arts historical past, respectively. Jones ran by Ciryl Gane at UFC 285 on Saturday and instantly set his sights on his fellow legend.
Jones is now surrounded by rareified air, together with longtime rival Daniel Cormier, because the eighth two-division champion in UFC historical past. In the aftermath of UFC 285, Jones laid out the problem to Miocic.
An even larger shocker performed out one combat earlier. Alexa Grasso cashed as a +450 underdog towards longtime, dominant UFC ladies’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko. The major card additionally featured an exciting UFC debut by highly-accomplished collegiate wrestler Bo Nickal and a significant showcase for Shavkat Rakhmonov, a possible future title challenger.
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Let’s break down the perfect fights to make popping out of UFC 285.
UFC heavyweight championship — Jon Jones (c) vs. Stipe Miococ: A dream combat between essentially the most profitable UFC gentle heavyweight and heavyweight champions in historical past seems to be within the works. UFC president Dana White confirmed on the UFC 285 post-fight press convention on Saturday that Jones vs. Miocic was subsequent. White didn’t set a date or location, however Miocic has repeatedly claimed the combat will headline UFC 290 at International Fight Week on July 8. This is definitely an affordable time to e book the combat. Jones deserves to be UFC heavyweight champion and Miocic is the perfect located for a title shot. While it’s true that Miocic has been absent since dropping to Ngannou in 2021, Sergei Pavlovich — the one contender extra deserving of a shot — woefully lacks identify worth and has a combat booked. There is not any time like the current and everybody appears on board. Let’s e book Jones vs. Miocic whereas there may be nonetheless an opportunity.
Ciryl Gane vs. Tom Aspinall: Gane crumbled within the worst method potential towards Jones and should work arduous to restore his picture. Fortunately, Gane didn’t take up any harm within the combat and might make a fast turnaround. Ranked No. 1 within the UFC’s heavyweight rankings, a minimum of till Monday, a combat towards No. 6 ranked Tom Aspinall is sensible. Aspinall seemed to be the following massive factor earlier than struggling a horrible knee damage 15 seconds right into a combat with Curtis Blaydes. Aspinall resumed sparring in January and could be on the verge of a comeback. If Gane can stay affected person, combating the loser of April’s Pavlovich vs. Blaydes bout additionally is sensible.
Women’s flyweight division
UFC ladies’s flyweight championship — Alexa Grasso (c) vs. Valentina Shevchenko: If there was ever a champion that deserves a direct rematch, it is Shevchenko. She is the report holder for many UFC ladies’s title defenses and misplaced due to a tactical error. Grasso definitely proved to be a worthy adversary and is the rightful champion, however the efficiency wasn’t so dominant you can dismiss Shevchenko’s probabilities in a rematch. Grasso can cement her place as the longer term and Shevchenko can flip again the clock. It’s the combat to make.
Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Colby Covington: It took Rakhmonov till the ultimate minute of the ultimate spherical, however he scored his seventeenth profession end in as many fights towards Geoff Neal. Rakhmonov made good on lofty expectations as a reputable world title risk 5 fights into his UFC run. He is a violent pressure that may cease you with strikes or submissions. He outstruck Neal, one of the crucial highly effective and technically sound strikers at welterweight, earlier than choking him out. Dana White stated that Covington has been itching to combat. Khamzat Chimaev’s future at welterweight seems murky and Rakhmonov is poised to take his place because the all-powerful welterweight destroyer. A win for both fighter would considerably enhance their inventory and provides them leverage for a title shot.
Geoff Neal vs. Sean Brady or Michel Pereira: Neal deserves credit score for placing in a gutsy efficiency. He took quite a lot of punishment however by no means relented. In reality, he almost knocked down Rakhmonov in Round 3. White was so impressed with Neal’s efficiency that he paid Neal a Fight of the Night bonus regardless of Neal’s ineligibility after lacking weight. A March 25 combat between Brady and Pereira was scrapped after Brady suffered a torn groin. Depending on everybody’s restoration time, you can e book a combat between Neal and both man. Pereira would willingly trade Neal on the toes, in the meantime Brady would make use of a extra grappling-heavy gameplan towards the elite striker.
Bo Nickal vs. Wellington Turman or Chris Weidman: Nickal blew the doorways off Jamie Pickett in his UFC debut; though, knees to the groin (missed by the referee in real-time) have soured some followers on Nickal’s in any other case spectacular begin. Nickal is just 4-0 as an expert fighter since switching from newbie wrestling to MMA final yr. The downside is you can solely match Nickal up from right here. Turman is a fighter who has been very inconsistent within the UFC however is a way more competent grappler than Pickett. If you wish to get actually bizarre with it, Weidman has began competing in grappling occasions after struggling a ugly knee damage towards Uriah Hall in 2021. He definitely has the expertise and wrestling base to check Nickal. Mix that together with his lingering star energy and degrading offensive threats and he could possibly be a launching pad for Nickal.
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