After falling short at UFC Vegas 30, what’s next for Alexander Volkov?

Alexander Volkov, UFC

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 30, two top heavyweights went to battle. Undefeated top prospect Ciryl Gane (9-0) was looking to remain unbeaten against the tough Alexander Volkov (33-9).

Volkov has been with the UFC since 2016 and he’s done extremely well. Heading into Saturday night, Volkov held a record of 7-2 in nine fights with the promotion. One of those losses came against Derrick Lewis in the final seconds.

Volkov dominated that fight until the very end when Lewis landed a devastating knockout shot in the final fifteen seconds. “Drago” lost to Curtis Blaydes last June and had since won back-to-back fights leading into UFC Vegas 30.

Volkov has done a really good job of beating the guys he was supposed to in his UFC career. However, he’s seemed to struggle when he takes on the guys at the top. Unfortunately for Volkov, that narrative didn’t change on Saturday night.

Ciryl Gane did a fantastic job of using his movement and speed to fluster the Russian. Volkov landed some good shots, but for the most part, the fight was dominated and controlled by Ciryl Gane. Ultimately, it was almost a unanimous sweep on the scorecards for Ciryl Gane at UFC Vegas 30.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 30?

For Alexander Volkov, it’s back to the drawing board. The Russian has come close to a UFC title shot on multiple occasions, but he’s always fallen short. The toughest for him to swallow obviously the Derrick Lewis fight in which he was just seconds away from a win.

Now, having his winning streak snapped and losing to Ciryl Gane, where does Volkov go from here? It is worth noting that I thought Volkov’s two wins leading into UFC Vegas 30 were some of the best of his career.

He looked sensational, but he just ran into a better fighter on Saturday night. An opponent that could be next for Volkov is Augusto Sakai (15-3-1). Sakai has lost two straight, but both of those fights were headliners. He’s still in the top ten and a matchup between the two could provide some clarity to the UFC about both contenders.

What’s next for Augusto Sakai after UFC Vegas 28?

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 28, Jairzinho Rozenstruik (12-2) took on Augusto Sakai (15-3-1) in the main event. Sakai was looking to bounce back after he suffered his first UFC loss late in 2020.

Augusto Sakai started extremely well when he made his way over to the UFC. Sakai earned himself a shot with the world’s premier MMA organization after he appeared on the Brazilian version of Dana White’s Contender Series.

After getting to the UFC, Sakai started out 4-0 and that included a first round knockout over Marcin Tybura. On the heels of his perfect start, Sakai got a main spot against Alistair Overeem. The winner of that fight was supposed to inch their way closer to UFC title contention.

Sakai had some great moments in that fight and forced Overeem to use his grappling. Ultimately, Overeem got a TKO finish in that fight. Sakai was put right back into a UFC main event last Saturday against Rozenstruik and had the opportunity to bounce right back.

Unfortunately, the fight didn’t go his way. Normally, Sakai is the type of fighter who takes the center of the octagon and pushes the pace. However, it was Rozenstruik who did and at the end of the first round, Rozenstruik connected and put Sakai out at UFC Vegas 28.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 28?

After starting perfect in the UFC, Sakai has now dropped two fights in a row. That said, because of the level of the opponents, he hasn’t dropped much in the rankings. In fact, he stayed put at the ninth position after UFC Vegas 28.

With that, who should Sakai fight next? One fight I really like for Sakai next would be a matchup against Russian prospect Sergei Pavlovich (14-1). Pavlovich hasn’t competed since 2019, but he’s won back-to-back fights and he’s currently ranked 14th.

A matchup between the two would do a lot for the UFC. If Sakai wins, he’s right back on track and can fight another top ten guy. If Pavlovich gets a win over a guy like Sakai in his UFC return, he would instantly become a contender in the top ten.

After first round knockout at UFC Vegas 28, what’s next for Jairzinho Rozenstruik?

Entering UFC Vegas 28, Jairzinho Rozenstruik (12-2) was facing a bit of a crossroads. Just over a year ago, Rozenstruik was undefeated and he looked like he was knocking on the door of a potential UFC title shot.

However, he lost by knockout to the current champion Francis Ngannou. After a win against Junior Dos Santos, Rozenstruik was outpointed by Ciryl Gane earlier this year. This fight against Augusto Sakai (15-3-1) was a fight that he needed to win.

If Bigi Boy wanted to remain in the conversation of top UFC heavyweights, he had to defeat Augusto Sakai. Sakai on the other hand was looking to bounce back from his first UFC loss so this was a big fight for him.

The problem with Rozenstruik has been his aggressiveness. When he fought Ciryl Gane, he fought so passive that he virtually landed nothing over the course of five rounds. It didn’t win him any fans in the UFC.

We needed to see an aggressive Jairzinho Rozenstruik on Saturday and that’s what we got. At UFC Vegas 28, Rozenstruik immediately took the center and pressured Sakai. With seconds left in the first round, Rozenstruik landed a shot to the temple and Sakai went crashing down. Rozenstruik picked up the massive first round TKO finish.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 28?

After the fight was over, Rozenstruik was asked what he wanted in his next UFC appearance. There was one name that Rozenstruik wanted and it’s a fight that makes a ton of sense given the current landscape of the heavyweight division.

In his next fight, Rozenstruik said he wanted to fight Curtis Blaydes (14-3, 1 NC). Blaydes last fought in February when he was knocked out by Derrick Lewis. Outside of Lewis, Blaydes has only lost to the current UFC heavyweight champion.

Blaydes is considered one of the best heavyweights in the division and definitely one of the best wrestlers. It would be a really tough matchup for Rozenstruik, but I really respect that he wants to fight the guy who makes the most sense from a rankings perspective. Honestly, this is the route the UFC should go next.

Jairzinho Rozenstruik knocks out Augusto Sakai at UFC Vegas 28

Two top ten heavyweights battled it out in the UFC Vegas 28 main event tonight. Sixth ranked Jairzinho Rozenstruik (11-2) took on Augusto Sakai (15-2-1) as both men looked to bounce back.

A lot has changed for Jairzinho Rozenstruik in the last 13 months. 13 months ago, Rozenstruik was booked against Francis Ngannou at UFC 249. Bigi Boy was undefeated entering that fight and he looked like he was knocking on the door of a UFC title shot.

However, Francis Ngannou knocked him out in 20 seconds which ended that dream. After than, Rozenstruik bounced back with a knockout win over Junior Dos Santos before being booked in a headliner against Ciryl Gane back in February.

Rozenstruik put on one of the worst performances imaginable in getting shut out in the UFC main event. There was no urgency from the heavyweight striker and he proceeded to get outpointed for five rounds. Tonight was an opportunity for Bigi Boy to redeem himself in another main event.

Standing across from him was Augusto Sakai. Sakai last fought in September when he was stopped by Alistair Overeem. That loss was his first in the UFC and it snapped a six-fight winning streak. Sakai was looking to avoid a second straight loss tonight.

UFC Vegas 28 Recap

Round 1

The UFC Vegas 28 main event kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Sakai circled on the outside as Rozenstruik immediately took the center and both men exchanged kicks to start the striking. Nice low kick and jab lands for Rozenstruik.

Both men appeared to just be gauging the range in the first 90 seconds. Sakai throws a calf kick as he continues to circle on the outside. Another kick lands for Sakai and Rozenstruik counters with a nice straight to the body.

Rozenstruik pushes forward with a 1-2 to the body and Sakai tries to counter with a low kick but misses. Sakai throws a kick, but Rozenstruik catches it and explodes forward with a right, but just misses. Rozenstruik is doing a really good job of holding the center here in the first round.

Nice jab lands for Rozenstruik. Sakai throws a good kick to the body as he continues to circle. Rozenstruik pushes Sakai against the fence and rips a combination. Sakai circles out and escapes.

Rozenstruik again pushes and lands a left hook and right straight to the temple. Sakai crashes to the canvas and Rozenstruik follows up with a couple of shots and this one is over. Massive knockout win at UFC Vegas 28 for Jairzinho Rozenstruik.

Jairzinho Rozenstruik def. Augusto Sakai by KO – Round 1

UFC Vegas 28 Preview: Jairzinho Rozenstruik – Augusto Sakai

Tomorrow night, two top ten heavyweights will battle it out in the UFC Vegas 28 main event. Sixth ranked Jairzinho Rozenstruik (11-2) takes on Augusto Sakai (15-2-1) as both men look to bounce back.

A lot has changed for Jairzinho Rozenstruik in the last 13 months. 13 months ago, Rozenstruik was booked against Francis Ngannou at UFC 249. Bigi Boy was undefeated and he looked like he was knocking on the door of a UFC title shot.

However, Francis Ngannou knocked him out in 20 seconds which ended that dream. After than, Rozenstruik bounced back with a knockout win over Junior Dos Santos before being booked in a headliner against Ciryl Gane back in February.

Rozenstruik put on one of the worst performances imaginable in getting shut out in the UFC main event. There was no urgency from the heavyweight striker and he proceeded to get outpointed for five rounds. Tomorrow night he’s look to bounce back and redeem himself a bit.

Standing across from him is Augusto Sakai. Sakai last fought in September when he was stopped by Alistair Overeem. That loss snapped a six-fight winning streak including Sakai going 4-0 to start his UFC career. Sakai will look to avoid back-to-back losses tomorrow night.

UFC Vegas 28 Prediction

When it comes to the UFC Vegas 28 main event, I have to say I’m a bit torn on my thoughts. On one hand, I love the pure striking ability of Jairzinho Rozenstruik. When it comes to pure technique and striking experience, he’s almost unmatched at heavyweight.

However, I really love the urgency that Sakai fights with. Sakai has decent technique, but he puts on a great pace for a heavyweight and he will likely be the busier fighter tomorrow night. If this fight goes the distance, I really think Sakai might be the favorite on activity alone.

However, I’m not willing to give up on Rozenstruik just yet. I think his loss to Ngannou at UFC 249 really messed with him. We’ve seen him incredibly tentative since, but I think tomorrow we will see a sharp and motivated Rozenstruik. While Sakai will have his moments, I think Bigi Boy will find a shot in the middle rounds that gives him the win.

Prediction: Jairzinho Rozenstruik by TKO – Round 3

UFC books headliner between Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Augusto Sakai

The UFC has finalized a big time main event for June between top ten heavyweights. Combate was the first to report that the promotion was in the final stages of booking the headliner between “Bigi Boy” Jairzinho Rozenstruik (11-2) and Augusto Sakai (15-2-1).

The matchup will headline a UFC Fight Night on June 5th. Augusto Sakai will make the walk on June 5th as the ninth ranked heavyweight in the division. This will be his second straight UFC headliner and Sakai will be hoping for a better result in this main event.

In his last fight, Sakai was stopped by Alistair Overeem. This loss snapped a six-fight win streak for Sakai. Sakai made his UFC debut back in 2018 after earning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series. After winning his first few matchups, the promotion gave him a big step up in competition.

While Sakai had bright spots, Overeem proved to be too much for him. Prior to his loss to Overeem, Sakai defeated the very tough Blagoy Ivanov back in May. This fight on June 5th is a massive opportunity for Sakai. If he’s able to knock off Bigi Boy, he will be back on the right track in the UFC‘s heavyweight division.

UFC Bounce Back for Bigi Boy

Entering 2020, Jairzinho Rozenstruik looked like he could challenge for the UFC heavyweight title. Bigi Boy was unbeaten and the promotion booked him against Francis Ngannou. The fight had a ton of heat and Ngannou went on to knock Rozenstruik out in the first 20 seconds.

After that fight, Rozenstruik picked up a win over Junior Dos Santos at UFC 252. After that win, the promotion booked Bigi Boy in a headliner against Ciryl Gane. An impressive performance from Rozenstruik in this matchup could have him right back in the title conversation.

However, Bigi Boy failed miserably in this spot. Gane pitched a shutout and Rozenstruik didn’t do anything throughout the entire fight. After entering 2020 unbeaten, Rozenstruik is now 1-2 in his last three. This UFC Fight Night headliner on June 5th is massive for both men. However, it’s clear that Rozenstruik has to prove to the world he’s still a top threat in the division.

Two fights to make after UFC Vegas 9

UFC, Dana White

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 9, Alistair Overeem (47-18, 1 NC) stopped Augusto Sakai (15-2-1) in the fifth round of their heavyweight main event. Despite all the obstacles, I would say that the card delivered a solid night of action for the UFC.

One of the things that is popular around the water cooler on Monday is what’s next for the fighters of the past weekend’s UFC card. With that, let’s take a look at two fights that the promotion should look to book after UFC Vegas 9.

A UFC rematch with Overeem & Rozenstruik

The first fight that I think the UFC should look to book is a rematch between Overeem and Jairzinho Rozenstruik (11-1). We just saw Rozenstruik back at UFC 252 where he knocked out Junior Dos Santos in their fight. Both contenders are ranked inside the top five.

These two men fought back in December at UFC on ESPN 7. In that fight, Overeem was getting the better of the fight and he was on his way to a decision win. However one massive shot in the final ten seconds of the fight gave the win to Rozenstruik.

Given the current state of the UFC‘s heavyweight division, a fight between the two men makes the most sense. Derrick Lewis (24-7, 1 NC) would have been another good option for Overeem, but Lewis is already booked to fight Curtis Blaydes in November.

Michel Pereira vs Anthony Pettis

If you’re not entertained when the UFC‘s Michel Pereira (24-11, 2 NC), I really don’t know what to tell you. Pereira is an absolute wild man with a wide range of powerful strikes. He used his skills to stifle and defeat Zelim Imadaev last weekend.

After the fight was over Pereira called out Jorge Masvidal. Hate to burst Pereira’s bubble, but that’s not happening. Pereira needs to get someone in the top fifteen in his next UFC outing though. Based on his techniques, I thought of someone interesting.

Pereira loves to throw flashy strikes like the showtime kick, so why not pair him against the man who made it famous? Anthony Pettis (23-10) is currently the 14th ranked welterweight in the UFC. The former lightweight champion doesn’t have an opponent at the moment.

A fight between the two men would pair two of the flashiest strikers in the UFC against each other. Men who aren’t afraid to jump off the sides of the cage to land something spectacular. It would also be a big fight for Pereira as he tries to advance his UFC career.

Alistair Overeem stops Augusto Sakai at UFC Vegas 9

The UFC hosted it’s ninth event from the APEX this evening. It was a wild event and it all started way before the event started. The promotion lost several fights that left UFC Vegas 9 with just seven fights. Due to this, they decided to just have a fight card instead of having prelims and a main card.

In the main event of the evening Alistair Overeem (47-18, 1 NC) took on Augusto Sakai (15-2-1) in a fight that was massive for the UFC‘s heavyweight division. Both men were looking to take another step towards a future shot at the heavyweight crown.

Overeem Continues Final UFC Run

In a back and forth battle, Alistair Overeem was able to stop Augusto Sakai. This fight all came down to the experience of Overeem. This is a massive UFC win for Overeem who is in the twilight of his professional career.

Early on in the main event of UFC Vegas 9, Augusto Sakai was getting the better of Overeem. Overeem, the decorated striker, was getting outstruck on the feet. Sakai was doing a fantastic job of using blitzes to stifle Overeem against the fence.

However, halfway through the fight, Overeem made the winning adjustment. He started taking Sakai down. Once Overeem got Sakai down, Sakai really had no answer. Overeem got Sakai down in the fifth round for the final time and earned his second UFC main event victory of 2020.

For the second straight fight, Overeem had to battle adversity. However, Overeem was able to overcome it to win the fight. At 40 years old, Overeem is trying for one final run at the UFC heavyweight title.

 

 

UFC Vegas 9 Preview: Will Alistair Overeem or Augusto Sakai take a step forward in the heavyweight division

The UFC returns tomorrow night for their ninth fight night from the APEX. In the main event of the evening, Alistair Overeem (46-18, 1 NC) will be taking on Augusto Sakai (15-1-1). Let’s take a dive into the main card of UFC Vegas 9.

Overeem & Sakai look to emerge as top UFC contenders

In the main event of the evening, we have a battle between these two top nine UFC heavyweights. Overeem and Sakai are both looking to take another step forward towards a shot at the division’s best on Saturday night.

Alistair Overeem has been fighting for 21 years which is absolutely insane to think about. He’s fought the best of the best in every organization he’s ever competed in from Pride to Strikeforce to the UFC.

Overeem doesn’t have many weaknesses outside of his chin. He’s great on the feet and he’s great on the ground. Again, he really doesn’t have areas of weakness outside of that chin of his. Of his 18 losses, 14 of them have come by knockout.

In his last fight, Overeem was rocked early and dropped by Walt Harris. At first, it looked like Overeem was going to suffer his second straight knockout loss, but he weathered the storm. He would go on to finish a tired Harris in the second round. At 40 years old, Overeem has said this is his last run towards UFC gold.

Augusto Sakai has won all four of his fights since making it into the UFC. The only loss on Sakai’s record is a split decision loss to Cheick Kongo back in Bellator. Inside the octagon, Sakai has defeated the likes of: Blagoy Ivanov, Marcin Tybura, and Andrei Arlovski.

Sakai isn’t the fastest guy in the world, but his speed is deceptive. He moves pretty quick, and he’s got good pop on his shots. 11 of his 15 wins have come by knockout. In watching Sakai’s fights in the UFC, he’s either going to finish you, or it’s going to be razor close.

In analyzing this fight, it looks like a clear win for Overeem on paper. I just don’t see anywhere where I could say Sakai has an advantage. Sakai has never been finished, and I don’t see him getting finished in this one.

That being said, with Sakai’s power and Overeem’s chin, this fight is always one shot away from ending. I hate predicting Overeem fights because based on skill, you would pick him often, but that chin makes every pick feel uneasy. Over five rounds, Sakai will have his chance to finish it, but I’ll lean towards skill on this one.

Prediction: Alistair Overeem by Unanimous Decision

Ovince St. Preux vs Alonzo Menifield

After one weird fight at heavyweight, Ovince St. Preux (24-14) heads back to the UFC‘s light heavyweight division against Alonzo Menifield (9-1) in the co-main event of the evening.

OSP has been a consistent light heavyweight contender over the years. He’s got good power, good submissions, and good wrestling. He’s used those tools to get wins over guys like Corey Anderson, Shogun Rua, and Yushin Okami.

OSP most notably stepped in for Daniel Cormier to fight Jon Jones at UFC 197 for the interim light heavyweight title. While Jones won the fight, OSP at least proved that he could stand in there with the greatest of all time.

St. Preux made the choice to try to move up to heavyweight in his last fight back in May against Ben Rothwell. While OSP had moments, his lack of activity led to his split decision loss. After one attempt, it’s back to the 205 well for OSP.

Heading into UFC 250, Alonzo Menifield was 9-0 with all nine wins coming via stoppage. Six of those wins came in the first round and he never saw a third round. That all changed that night.

Devin Clark was able to withstand the power and drag Menifield into a decision fight. We saw that Menifield does not have a style that carries well over three rounds and Clark got the decision victory.

With Menifield, you know what you’re going to get. He’s a world beater in the first round and even early in the second, but if you can survive that, you should be okay. The opening minutes will say a lot about the outcome.

Can Menifield catch OSP and put him away or can St. Preux drag Menifield into some deep water. St. Preux has only been finished twice in his UFC career with the last one coming in 2016 to Jimi Manuwa.

I keep going back and forth because I can see both men winning. I can easily see Menifield getting the knockout, and I can also see OSP surviving to get a decision. With no confidence at all, I’m going to say OSP gets dropped early, but is able to survive and win the final two rounds to edge Menifield in the co-main event.

Prediction: Ovince St. Preux by Unanimous Decision

Michel Pereira vs Zelim Imadaev

The third fight on the main card of UFC Vegas 9 is one I’m very excited for. We have a welterweight contest between Michel Pereira (23-11, 2 NC) and Zelim Imadaev (8-2). If you love a striking battle, this should be the fight for you.

Simply put, Pereira is an absolute wild man when he fights. I mean how many fighters have you seen do a backflip and dance in the middle of a UFC fight? Not many I’m assuming. Well, we’ve seen Pereira do that in his fights.

Despite the antics, extremely solid striking and good power hide behind the moves. Pereira entered the UFC with a big knockout over Danny Roberts. He then laid an egg against Tristan Connelly where he gassed himself early with all of his antics.

In his last contest, Pereira was dominating Diego Sanchez. However, Pereira hit Sanchez with an illegal knee in the third round. Now, I’m not trying to disrespect Sanchez, but it was obvious that he was fine but took the DQ victory by telling the ref he couldn’t continue. I’m not holding that loss against Pereira.

Zelim Imadaev entered the UFC with a ton of hype. The Russian had an impressive 8-0 record on the regional scene with all eight wins coming by knockout. After having all that hype, it’s quickly faded as he’s gone 0-2 on the big stage.

Imadaev does have very good striking and very good power. His boxing is very crisp, he just hasn’t looked great in his first two UFC fights. He lost a decision to Max Griffin then was knocked out by Danny Roberts. His back is against the wall in this one.

I believe this fight is going to end with someone staring at the lights. The big question is, who is going to land the big shot first. I could see either man doing it, but I’m going out on a limb and saying the wildman from Brazil is going to land something shocking early to take it.

Prediction: Michel Pereira by TKO – Round 1

Brian Kelleher vs Kevin Natividad

The second fight of the main card features a featherweight contest between Brian Kelleher (21-11) and UFC newcomer, Kevin Natividad (9-1). Kelleher was supposed to fight Ricky Simon, but a cornerman for Simon tested positive for COVID-19 causing Simon to withdraw.

Kelleher is looking to bounce back after his loss to Cody Stamann back at UFC 250. Prior to that loss, Kelleher had won two straight fights by stoppage. Kelleher is very well rounded, and he’s been in there with some of the best guys.

Originally a bantamweight in the UFC, Kelleher moved up to a more natural featherweight. The move to featherweight has paid off for Kelleher. He has good striking, and he’s good on the ground. This fight can’t go anywhere that would make Kelleher feel uncomfortable.

Natividad is making his debut after his fifth straight win in the last two years. He normally fights on bantamweight, but when the UFC calls with a fight, you take the fight. Natividad just fought back in July where he knocked out Kyle Estrada in LFA.

Natividad has very good striking and good footwork. He has a reach advantage in this fight which can really help him out. Natividad strikes well from the pocket, and he does a fantastic job of striking down the middle with his shots.

Despite moving up in weight and taking the fight on short notice, I think Natividad has a great chance to pull off the upset here. Kelleher was training for a completely different style of opponent which is never ideal.

That being said, it’s a lot to ask of Natividad to make a successful UFC debut against a guy like Kelleher. I believe this fight is going to be razor close, and I could see either getting their hand raised. However, I’m going with experience on this one.

Prediction: Brian Kelleher by Split Decision

Thiago Moises vs Jalin Turner

Kicking off the UFC Vegas 9 main card is a lightweight matchup between prospects Thiago Moises (13-4) and Jalin Turner (9-5). Both of these fighters will try to make it two wins in a row tomorrow night.

Thiago Moises enters this contest coming off of a win against Michael Johnson in his last fight back in May. Johnson was winning the fight early on, but Moises was able to lock up a submission that got him the victory.

Moises has a massive advantage once this fight touches the ground. Given how long Turner is, it will be easier for Moises to try to lock up a limb once the fight touches the ground. I’m expecting Moises to push forward early looking to get the fight to the ground.

Jalin Turner is astonishingly long for the lightweight division. Turner’s nickname is, “The Tarantula,” for good reason as he stands 6’3. He’s coming off of a TKO win in his last fight which brought him to 2-2 in his current UFC stint.

Turner has good striking and decent power for the lightweight division. As noted, Turner is very long, but he doesn’t seem to use his length very well. If he could make his straight shots more crisp and effective, he could be deadly. However, he doesn’t use his length the same way a guy like Jon Jones does.

I think this fight is going to come down to the takedown. If Turner can defend and keep the fight at range, he has a good shot. However, I just don’t see him stopping Moises from taking him down in this one. Again, once it hits the mat, it’s all Moises from there.

Prediction: Thiago Moises by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – Round 2

UFC Vegas 9 Outlook

There are some incredible fights tomorrow night. While there are not the biggest names on the UFC Vegas 9 card, the fights should be incredibly entertaining. One of the last cards in the US before a trip to Fight Island should be entertaining for the fans.

Three fights to make after UFC 252

UFC, Dana White

Last night we saw the end to perhaps the greatest trilogy in the history of MMA. Stipe Miocic (20-3) cemented himself as the GOAT at UFC 252 with his win over Daniel Cormier (22-3, 1 NC).

We also saw Suga Sean O’Malley (12-1) suffer his first career loss at the hands of Marlon “Chito” Vera (16-6, 1 NC). However, that fight has a massive asterisks by it due to the way that the fight was finished.

Jairzinho Rozenstruik (11-1) was also able to right the ship against Junior Dos Santos (21-8) last night. With all the action and storylines, lets take a look at the three matchups the UFC should make after UFC 252.

Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou for the UFC heavyweight crown

Immediately after Miocic won last night, people were trying to figure out what would be next for the UFC heavyweight champion. Jon Jones sent out some tweets indicating he wanted a shot at Miocic. However, Dana White made it very clear what’s next.

The next UFC title shot is going to belong to Francis Ngannou (15-3). The Predator has been patiently waiting for his next shot at the gold. Ngannou did lose in his first attempt against Miocic, but that fight was almost three years ago.

Ngannou had rough back-to-back fights against Miocic and Derrick Lewis. However, since the Lewis loss, there has not been a more terrifying human in the UFC than Francis Ngannou. Ngannou has knocked out Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez, Junior Dos Santos, and Jairzinho Rozenstruik in a combined two minutes and forty two seconds.

It was very refreshing to hear White be very clear about Ngannou getting the next shot at the UFC title. I believe that Jones needs to fight at light heavyweight one or two more times before his inevitable move up to heavyweight.

The rematch between Miocic and Ngannou is so fascinating. Miocic is the UFC‘s heavyweight GOAT, but Ngannou is so much better than he was a few years ago. It’s a massively dangerous fight for the heavyweight champion. Expect this fight by the end of the year or perhaps the first fight of 2021.

Chito Vera vs Sean O’Malley

Chito Vera and Suga Sean O’Malley were on their way to having a very fun fight last night until O’Malley hurt his ankle in the first round. A clearly compromised O’Malley crumbled to the mat and was finished off by Vera.

If you judge Chito’s post-fight interview, you would have think he completely outclassed and dominated the fight which was far from the case. In fact, Vera was getting touched up early and often.

O’Malley had Chito biting on nearly every feint that he was throwing. Also, Vera was hurt by multiple hard kicks early on. It looked like a technical display was coming from the Suga Show prior to the injury.

To me, it only makes sense to run this fight back. I think there needs to be a legitimate winner and I’m sorry to Chito, but you can’t claim that fight as a legit victory. He TKO’d a guy who couldn’t stand. Running this fight makes the most sense for the UFC and both fighters.

Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs Winner of Alistair Overeem/Augusto Sakai

Rozenstruik was able to get some confidence back last night after he knocked out the former UFC heavyweight champion, Junior Dos Santos. Bigi Boy was looking to bounce back after getting knocked out in 20 seconds by Francis Ngannou.

Thinking about what the UFC could do with Rozenstruik, I’m thinking a matchup between the winner of the Alistair Overeem – Augusto Sakai fight makes a lot of sense.

If Sakai is able to win, he will inch closer to the top five in the heavyweight division. He would have also won seven consecutive fights including five in the UFC. A fight between Sakai and Rozenstruik could put both men a fight away from the title.

Then of course there is Alistair Overeem. Overeem and Rozenstruik have history together. They headlined a Fight Night back in December. Overeem was clearly winning the fight and was just seconds away from securing a decision victory.

However, a massive left hook knocked Overeem out in the final seconds of the fifth round. Rozenstruik showed that he’s dangerous until the final bell. Given the nature of that contest, I would love to see a rematch. Those potential matchups makes sense considering everyone else in the top four will likely be paired up.