Leon Edwards remains to be the UFC welterweight champion, Justin Gaethje stays a power to be reckoned with and Kamaru Usman is on the surface trying in of the title image for the primary time in 4 years. Pick up the items from UFC 286 on Saturday night time and there’s a lot to type out.
Edwards and Usman head their separate methods following the conclusion of their trilogy. Edwards leaned on great defensive wrestling and superior putting to cinch the sequence in the primary occasion from London on Saturday night time. Colby Covington, who weighed in as Saturday’s backup fighter, waits within the wings for a possible title shot however he is not the one one.
Gaethje, in the meantime, turned again the clock in a hard-nosed exhibiting towards Rafael Fiziev as he pursues one final shot on the UFC light-weight world championship. Plus, Marvin Vettori held onto his place within the middleweight pecking order.
Can’t get sufficient boxing and MMA? Get the newest on the planet of fight sports activities from two of one of the best within the enterprise. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for one of the best evaluation and in-depth information.
Let’s dig into all of the matchmaking accessible within the aftermath of UFC 286.
Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington, Gilbert Burns: There is a severe lack of plain contenders at welterweight now that Edwards and Usman have accomplished their trilogy. Covington hasn’t fought since March 2022 and bounced again from a loss. Khamzat Chimaev badly missed the welterweight restrict in his final battle and is nowhere to be seen with expectations of transferring as much as middleweight. Belal Muhammad has one of the best lively document however has but to beat anybody at present ranked within the high 5. Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal have a date at UFC 287 in April. Finally, Shavkat Rakhmanov is an oncoming storm within the division however is not at title challenger standing fairly but.
UFC president Dana White mentioned at Saturday’s post-fight press convention that Edwards vs. Covington is subsequent. That’s high quality. Alternatively, Burns has a greater case than most if he beats Masvidal handily. If Masvidal beat Burns, UFC may lean into the unhealthy blood stemming from a backstage brawl in 2019 between Edwards and Masvidal. But it is laughable to offer Masvidal the title shot after Covington not too long ago beat him.
Kamaru Usman vs. Belal Muhammad: Muhammad is lengthy overdue for a battle towards one of many best possible at welterweight. We’ve seen Usman battle Covington and Masvidal twice every. Usman would additionally most likely keep away from preventing his good friend Burns after their world title battle. Usman vs. Muhammad provides Usman a small however obligatory step backwards whereas giving Muhammad a well-deserved large title. Usman vs. Chimaev is one other battle that may be very intriguing and has title worth to it, however I’m hesitant to matchmake for Chimaev at welterweight till we see what his long-term plans are.
Justin Gaethje vs. Dustin Poirier 2: Gaethje finds himself in an uncommon place. Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dariush ought to decide the subsequent No. 1 contender for Islam Makhachev’s UFC light-weight title. He not too long ago beat Michael Chandler, who’s tied up with Conor McGregor and “The Ultimate Fighter.” You might pair Gaethje with the not too long ago victorious Mateusz Gamrot, however Gaethje simply fought and defeated somebody ranked decrease than him within the UFC’s official rankings. The solely battle that is sensible for Gaethje is a rematch of his traditional conflict with Dustin Poirier from 2018. Both males are close to the highest of the division and lack a transparent subsequent opponent. The winner has the fashion and star energy to name out the winner of Makhachev vs. Dariush or Oliveira.
Rafael Fiziev vs. Mateusz Gamrot: There is not any disgrace in shedding to Gaethje. Fiziev seemed great over the course of two-and-a-quarter-rounds. His velocity is unfathomable and his energy would put out most lightweights. He confirmed nice sturdiness towards Gaethje and will remains to be a serious risk to anybody within the division. Gamrot sits instantly behind Fiziev within the UFC’s rankings. Both are hungry, contemporary faces among the many light-weight elite. It’s a traditional pairing of high-level striker vs. grappler. Let’s see who is able to make one other run on the high.
Marvin Vettori vs. Dricuss du Plessis: Vettori narrowly edged out Dolidze in a battle that might have gone both manner. Vettori will possible maintain onto his No. 4 spot within the UFC’s middleweight rankings with out a lot room to develop. He’s misplaced a mixed three fights to Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker, two of the three contenders ranked forward of him. You might pair Vettori with Cannonier (No. 3) who’s coming off a labored break up determination win over Sean Strickland. Unfortunately, there is not an urge for food to see both within the title combine proper now. So let’s use this chance to probably construct a contemporary face within the division. Vettori needs to be paired with heavy-handed du Plessis. The two most regarding elements of du Plessis’ recreation are his endurance and his putting protection. Vettori will surely push the tempo, whereas Cannonier can do some severe injury. Let’s give du Plessis one remaining check earlier than propelling him into the title image.
Roman Dolidze vs. Sean Strickland: Dolidze has quite a bit going for him: sturdiness, energy and a powerful submission recreation. It’s his offensive wrestling and stamina that want essentially the most work if he desires to make a severe run on the high of the division. Strickland is coming off a split-decision loss to Cannonier. Dolidze vs. Strickland has severe Fight of the Night potential and places the winner again on monitor.
Leave a Reply