Daniel Cormier beat Anthony Johnson for a second time Saturday night at UFC 210 for his second official defense of his UFC light heavyweight title. Let’s take a look at what could be next for “DC” and the rest of the winners from UFC 210.
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Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones 2
Jimi Manuwa is the No. 1 contender after Anthony Johnson’s retirement and I think he would be a fantastic challenger to Daniel Cormier’s belt. But we all know that Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones 2 is the fight to make and the time to make it is now.
Jones, who is currently serving a suspension for a failed drug test at UFC 200, will be eligible to fight again in July. That gives Cormier a few weeks to rest before hopping in to camp again to prepare to avenge the only loss of his professional career.
Gegard Mousasi vs. Chris Weidman 2
The bout between Gegard Mouasai and Chris Weidman was supposed to clear up a bit of the logjam at the top of the middleweight division but it did the complete opposite.
Instead of eliminating a pretender and elevating a true contender, the bizarre and controversial ending in Buffalo should draw an immediate rematch between the top 5 middleweights.
Another option for the UFC is to match Mousasi up with former champion Luke Rockhold or current No. 1 contender Yoel Romero. Despite winning the opening round, Weidman technically lost the bout and right or wrong, the UFC could decide to move Mousasi forward.
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Tatiana Suarez
Cynthia Calvillo has pulled off back-to-back submissions in the UFC in just a span of a month and she’s proven she’s ready to tackle legit UFC talent. But with just five professional fights to her name, she shouldn’t be rushed into bouts against the division’s top 10 just yet.
There aren’t many fighters outside the top 15 more legit than “Ultimate Fighter” season 23 winner Tatiana Suarez. Both Suarez and Calvillo are 5-0 and both have a first-round submission win over Amanda Cooper, so it’ll be interesting to see how they fare against it each.
And after accepting her UFC debut on 10-days notice and then fighting at UFC 210 a month later, I’m interested in seeing how Calvillo performs with a full fight camp under her.
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Thiago Alves vs. Leon Edwards
Saturday’s win over Patrick Cote not only snapped a two-fight losing streak, but it also put Thiago Alves in striking distance of the welterweight top 15.
I don’t think, however, a win over Cote necessarily justifies a top 15 fight next, but for a fighter of Alves’ caliber, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the route the UFC decided to take.
My vote would be to match him up with a guy like Leon Edwards, who also sits outside the welterweight top 15 but has won three straight fights, and let them duke it out for a spot in the rankings.
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Charles Oliveira vs. Gilbert Melendez
Charles Oliveira is at his best when fighting at 155 pounds -- point, blank, period. He might want to return to 145 pounds but after his performance on Saturday against Will Brooks, Oliveira should really reconsider.
I believe Oliveira is one of the 15 best fighters in the world at 155 pounds and his ranking at featherweight lends some credence to that belief. However, he needs to beat a ranked fighter -- something he hasn’t done since 2015.
I’d like to see him matched up with another accomplished grappler in Gilbert Melendez once the former champion returns later this year. Melendez also mentioned that he wants to go to 145 pounds, so this bout could also serve as a way to keep both men at lightweight because neither belong at featherweight.