Check out five matchups the UFC should make for the big winners at UFC 205 from Madison Square Garden.
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Raquel Pennington vs. Julianna Pena
Raquel Pennington earned the biggest win of her career on Saturday with her victory over Miesha Tate. Tate was actually Pennington’s coach on season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter, and I think we should keep the same theme for her next bout. Sitting ahead of her in the rankings and currently waiting for a fight is Julianna Pena, who was Pennington’s teammate on that same season of TUF and actually won the season. Pena has been “title-shot or bust” since her win over Cat Zingano but with Rousey and Nunes set to duke it out in December and potential fights with Cyborg and Holly Holm in Rousey’s future if she wins, Pena might be waiting for quite some time. Why not try to get one more signature win while waiting?
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Jessica Andrade
Joanna Jedrzejczyk made her fourth title defense Saturday night but a real threat to the queen’s throne lies around the corner. Sitting at fifth in the strawweight rankings and currently riding a two-fight win streak is heavy-handed Brazilian striker Jessica Andrade. Jedrzejczyk has already scored wins over everyone else in the strawweight top 5 or they’re coming off a loss, so that should open the door for Andrade to jump to the front of the line.
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Yoel Romero vs. Michael Bisping
Yoel Romero and Michael Bisping had a pretty heated exchange after Romero’s KO of Chris Weidman, so this bout is all but made. Romero is unbeaten in his last eight fights, with wins against “Jacare” Souza, Lyoto Machida, Tim Kennedy and Derek Brunson along the way. He presents an aggressive mix of power and athleticism and his ground game is a problem for anyone who takes the Octagon with him.
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Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson
Woodley vs. Thompson joined a long line of exciting UFC welterweight title fights Saturday night when the two dynamic athletes fought to a draw at UFC 205. The back-and-forth affair saw each fighter have their respective moments but neither could really gain a significant edge as judges scored it a majority draw. Woodley will retain his title, but even Dana White agreed that it’s only right these guys run it back.
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Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 3
Now that McGregor has his hands on the UFC lightweight title, it’s time to complete the trilogy with two-time foe Nate Diaz. And this time, at their optimal fighting weight of 155-pounds and with UFC gold on the line. McGregor and Diaz produced one of the more thrilling rivalries in recent memory, each having scored a victory over the other during their two fights in 2016. Let’s get these two on the UFC 209 card in Brooklyn in February and break even more records in New York City.