After huge knockout win at UFC 274, what’s next for Michael Chandler?

MMA, UFC, michael chandler

This past Saturday on the main card of UFC 274, we saw a matchup between two top lightweight contenders who really needed a win. Former interim UFC champion Tony Ferguson (25-7) was trying to avoid a fourth straight loss as he took on former title challenger Michael Chandler (23-7).

This fight promised action and it didn’t disappoint. In the opening part of the first round, it was El Cucuy that took charge. Ferguson was able to briefly drop Chandler with a quick check hook and he spent the majority of the first round stalking Chandler.

Chandler was swinging wild with power punches after getting hurt, but nothing was really landing on Ferguson. Then, Chandler decided to switch to his wrestling used a power double-leg to take down the former UFC interim champion.

However, Ferguson was comfortable on his back and started slicing Chandler up with elbows. Chandler landed some good shots, but Ferguson likely took the first round. Ferguson was smiling in between rounds, but that smile would quickly fade.

Just seconds into the second round, Chandler pushed forward and caught Ferguson flush with front kick to the face. In one of the more devastating knockouts you’ll ever see, Ferguson crumbled to the ground and Chandler picked up his second win in the UFC.

What’s next after UFC 274?

After the knockout win, Chandler showed off his promo skills once again at UFC 274. He took the stage to call out the guys in the main event and he also called out “The Notorious” Conor McGregor for a fight at 170 pounds.

That potential fight is one that Dana White said he liked at the UFC 274 post-fight press conference. However, there’s another fight that’s materialized in the last day or so that might come together rather quickly.

Nate Diaz has been calling for a fight for a while now. The UFC has kept him on ice hoping to book him against either Conor McGregor or Khamzat Chimaev. Diaz just wants to fight and he called for a fight with Chandler at 170 pounds.

Chandler has already said he’s game and that could be a fight that they decide to make. I’m confident in saying that Chandler will be facing one of the following three next: Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz, or Dustin Poirier.

While he didn’t call out Poirier at UFC 274, I don’t think anyone would turn down watching that fight. If the Diaz or McGregor fights don’t come together, I’m expecting The Diamond to be the next opponent for Iron Mike.

Who will be next for Charles Oliveira after UFC 274?

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC 274, Charles Oliveira (33-8, 1 NC) was supposed to defend his lightweight title against Justin Gaethje (23-4). However, Oliveira weighed in just .5 pounds over the 155 pound limit and as a result, he was stripped of his UFC title.

Oliveira became the first champion in the history of the promotion to lose his title on the scale. That being said, the fight still went forward and Gaethje had a chance to become champion. Oliveira had a chance to keep himself as number one and fight for the vacant title next.

The fight started out crazy at UFC 274. In the opening seconds, Oliveira seemingly wobbled Gaethje with a big shot over the top. Then, when things got crazy in close, Gaethje was able to hurt and drop Oliveira.

Gaethje hurt Oliveira again later in the round, but I think Oliveira fell to his back on purpose. Oliveira also pulled guard during one of the clinch exchanges. The UFC 274 main event was back and forth and then everything changed just halfway through the round.

Oliveira blasted Gaethje with a right hand that set him down. Immediately, Oliveira jumped on him looking for a submission. Gaethje forced a scramble only to give up his back. Oliveira locked in the rear naked choke and Gaethje was forced to tap.

What’s next after UFC 274?

Let’s be very clear, Charles Oliveira is the best lightweight in the UFC and it’s not close at the moment. He also was essentially screwed at the weigh-ins last Friday. Now before you go crazy, hear me out.

We’ve seen champions over the years be given a ton of grace on the scales. Look at Khabib’s weigh-in for UFC 254 and tell me with a straight face that he was 155 pounds. He was 100% over and was given grace by the guy manning the scale.

Unfortunately for the former UFC champion, he was given no grace and had a stickler manning the scale. So because of that and .5 pounds, Oliveira is not the UFC lightweight champion although the public rightfully views him as the champion.

So who should be next for Oliveira? Well, there seems to be the most heat surrounding a fight between him and Islam Makhachev. While that could be the leading candidate, it’s not a forgone conclusion.

As crazy as it sounds, Conor McGregor could very well be in the discussion and we know Oliveira wants that fight. If I was to guess, I think the UFC moves forward with Islam Makhachev. But with Conor McGregor looming, you truly never know.

Conor McGregor eyeing UFC welterweight title shot upon his return

Conor McGregor, UFC

Conor McGregor (22-6) has found himself back in news circles today after revealing his UFC comeback plans. The former two-division world champion had an interview with his publication, The Mac Life, where he talked about returning to the octagon.

Currently, McGregor has been rehabbing his leg and suffering a broken leg last July at UFC 264. McGregor has bulked up his upper-body and been lifting weights to go along with his legs rehabilitation.

With the extra mass, McGregor said today that he wasn’t particularly interested in returning to the UFC’s lightweight division. McGregor stated that he already won the lightweight title and something bigger was on his mind.

That something bigger is a shot at the UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. McGregor has been very vocal about his interest to come right back into a title shot. However, most assumed that title shot would potentially be at 155 pounds.

McGregor’s UFC Plans vs Reality

McGregor said that he wants to be comfortable moving forward and he doesn’t see himself returning to lightweight. With the extra mass, he feels good and comfortable now and thinks the UFC’s welterweight division is a good spot for him.

He also fantasizes about becoming the first man in the history of the promotion to become a three-division world champion. Now, let’s be completely honest, the odds of that happening are not great at all.

Kamaru Usman is going to be defending his welterweight title over the summer against Leon Edwards. Should he win that fight, the next fight for him is not clearly defined. He’s been lapping guys in the division so there’s not many compelling matchups.

Of course, if Khamzat Chimaev beats Gilbert Burns at UFC 273, there’s your compelling challenger. However, there would be no fight bigger than Conor McGregor and that would get the champion paid.

Do I think that Conor McGregor could beat Kamaru Usman? No, I don’t think he would beat Kamaru Usman. Will he get a shot at Kamaru Usman? Probably shouldn’t, but this is Conor McGregor and he has his own rules in the UFC.

With these new plans laid out by McGregor, I’m fascinated to see how this all plays out.

What’s next for Rafael Dos Anjos after dominant win at UFC 272?

This past weekend in the co-main event of UFC 272, former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos (31-13) returned to the octagon. In his return, the former champion took on the very tough and durable Renato Moicano (16-5-1).

Now, originally, this was not the fight for RDA at UFC 272. The former champion was set to take on Rafael Fiziev (11-1) in the co-main event. Well, actually, the two were supposed to headline a UFC Fight Night, but Fiziev struggled getting a visa to get to the US.

Then, after obtaining his visa, Fiziev came down with Covid and the fight was cancelled. The UFC tried to make RDA and Islam Makhachev happen, but the Makhachev camp turned down the fight. That’s when they landed on Renato Moicano.

Moicano had flown back to Brazil, but turned right around and came back for UFC 272. He cut a ton of weight on a couple of days notice to get a co-main event slot against RDA. Well, it wasn’t a cinderella story for Moicano.

Dos Anjos completely dominated the fight from the very beginning. It got to the point where many were calling for the fight to be stopped after four rounds, but Moicano hung in there. In fact, Moicano came on strong in the fifth, but it was still a dominant win for Dos Anjos at UFC 272.

What’s next after UFC 272?

I would like to see the former UFC lightweight champion get back in the octagon as soon as possible. The most obvious choice would be going ahead and rebooking the fight between RDA and Fiziev.

Personally, I think this is the path the promotion will likely go in. However, there are some additional options that RDA has expressed interest in. The UFC is working towards rebooking Islam Makhachev against Beneil Dariush. However, if there are any slip ups with Dariush, I think RDA should get that fight.

Dos Anjos has also expressed interest in fighting Conor McGregor. McGregor is targeting a UFC return in the summer and that would line up perfectly with RDA. These two were originally supposed to fight back at UFC 196, but an RDA injury nixed the fight and it was never remade.

One of those three should be next for RDA. He’s confident he’s got one more run in him back to the UFC lightweight title, but he needs a test from a top contender. Any of those three would provide that.

What’s next for Jorge Masvidal after falling short at UFC 272?

This past weekend in the main event of UFC 272, we saw one of the biggest grudge matches in the promotion’s history. Former best friends turned bitter rivals battled it out as Colby Covington (17-3) took on “Gamebred” Jorge Masvidal (35-16).

There was so much riding on the line for both men from a personal and a professional standpoint. Neither man wanted to walk out of UFC 272 on the losing end considering the history that was between the two men.

Going into UFC 272, the game plan for both men was rather obvious. For Covington, he needed to use his relentless pace and his wrestling to break down Masvidal. For Masvidal, he needed to be a matador and he needed to keep the fight standing.

Well, one of those game plans was executed perfectly. Unfortunately for Masvidal, it wasn’t his. Covington was on Masvidal all night and wouldn’t let Gamebred breathe. The pace was incredible and Masvidal didn’t really have an answer for the wrestling.

In the fourth round, Masvidal was able to drop Covington with a big right hand, but he was tired he couldn’t capitalize. Covington would go on to still win the round on two scorecards. UFC 272 was a one-sided fight in favor of Colby Covington.

What’s next for Masvidal after UFC 272?

Masvidal now finds himself in a really tough spot in the UFC’s welterweight division. One could point out that he’s only lost to the two best guys, but he’s lost convincingly in all three matchups between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington.

The days of Masvidal competing for a UFC title could be over especially considering the fact that he’s 37 years old. Now, there are still big fights for Gamebred and the UFC recognizes that. One of the reasons they signed him to a new deal before this fight was his star power.

Masvidal still has that regardless of what happened this past weekend. In terms of next opponents, there’s a few options. The Nate Diaz rematch is always there, but Masvidal might let his teammate Dustin Poirier take that one.

A matchup with Conor McGregor would certainly bring on a lot of eye balls, however, McGregor seems focused on the lightweight title. A matchup that makes sense in the welterweight division is a fight with Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.

Masvidal and Wonderboy have fought before and I could see the UFC running it back. Both men are in a very similar spot with a steep mountain to climb back to the top. It would be a fun matchup featuring two fan-favorite strikers.

Like it or not, Conor McGregor could fight for UFC lightweight title upon his return

Conor McGregor, UFC

The biggest star in the UFC is gearing up for a summer return. Conor McGregor (22-6) has been recovering from a broken leg that he suffered in his last fight against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 last July.

The former two division champion has been on the mend since that fight, but he’s itching to get back in the cage. Over the weekend, McGregor attended Bellator 275 that took place in Dublin, Ireland.

McGregor was interviewed at the event and shed some light on his return. Per McGregor, he will resume full sparring in April and he’s currently targeting a July return which would line up with the UFC’s International Fight Week.

Despite the lack of recent wins, McGregor is still the biggest star and cash cow that the promotion has. The UFC knows this as does the current lightweight champion Charles Oliveira (32-8, 1 NC).

Could McGregor fight for UFC title?

Oliveira was very open about his desire to fight Conor McGregor. This would be a huge money fight for Oliveira and a fight that he frankly deserves in terms of compensation. However, that’s not what is next for Oliveira.

Oliveira is scheduled to face off against Justin Gaethje (23-3) in May. McGregor advised Oliveira to wait until July and face him instead, but that’s not happening. Gaethje is getting the next shot.

Now, Islam Makhachev (22-1) is the guy who many believe should face the winner of that UFC 274 main event. However, Dana White isn’t so sure. White told The Underground yesterday that Makhachev was in the mix, but there’s no guarantee.

Actually, there are talks currently to have Makhachev step-in and face Rafael Dos Anjos this weekend at UFC 272. Of course, that could throw a wrench into everything. Dana White also told The Underground that a McGregor title shot would depend on who the champion is.

I’ll break it down for you. Justin Gaethje is a purest and he’s not a Conor McGregor fan. Gaethje is more about giving the fight to the guy who deserves it. If Gaethje wins in May, Islam Makhachev will likely get the next shot at the lightweight title.

However, if Charles Oliveira takes out Justin Gaethje at UFC 274, he will get his choice and that choice will be McGregor. Oliveira would’ve taken out Gaethje, Poirier, Michael Chandler, and Tony Ferguson at that point. If anyone deserves to call their shot, it’s Do Bronx.

So, like it or not, there’s a very real possibility that Conor McGregor will fight for the UFC lightweight title when he returns this summer.

Three UFC fights that need to happen in 2022

Conor McGregor, UFC

The calendar is getting ready to turn over to 2022 and the UFC has big plans for the next calendar year. There were so many big fights that took place in 2021, and the world’s premier MMA organization will look to continue that next year.

Some of the notable fights that took place this year are the two fights with Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. Charles Oliveira became the UFC lightweight champion when he knocked out Michael Chandler.

UFC 261 featured the return to arenas and saw Kamaru Usman and Rose Namajunas score big knockout wins in their title fights. Then you had the fight of the year at UFC 268 when Justin Gaethje defeated Michael Chandler.

So many epic moments and epic fights took place this year. As mentioned, the UFC is already making fights through April of next year. There are some big things in the works.

That being said, what are some of the fights that are must makes for the promotion next year?

UFC fights that need to happen

Conor McGregor – Nate Diaz 3

This one feels like an obvious choice. The UFC needs to make the trilogy between Conor McGregor (22-6) and Nate Diaz (20-13). It’s a perfect time in both men’s career to run this fight back.

When they first fought, Diaz shocked everyone by submitting Conor McGregor at UFC 196. Then McGregor won an instant classic in the rematch at UFC 201. Since then, the trilogy has been always on the table.

However, the UFC has never pulled the trigger on it. Given where both men stand, I think it’s the perfect time for it.

Colby Covington – Jorge Masvidal

The next fight the UFC needs to make is arguably the biggest grudge match there is to make. That would be the matchup between former teammates and close friends Colby Covington (16-3) and Jorge Masvidal (35-15).

Both of these men are also in a very similar position. They’ve both lost to Kamaru Usman twice and will need some big momentum to warrant a third shot against the UFC champion.

They’ve been jawing at each other for the past couple of years, but the fight has never come together. Now is the time for the UFC to make this happen and even perhaps make them coaches on The Ultimate Fighter.

Jon Jones – Heavyweight Champion

The last fight the UFC needs to make this year is booking Jon Jones‘ (26-1, 1 NC) return fight for the heavyweight title. We haven’t seen Jones in the UFC since the beginning of 2020.

Jones has bulked up in anticipation of his heavyweight debut which is expected to be for the title. Next month, Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane will battle for the undisputed heavyweight title.

You can imagine that Jones will be watching closely. He’s hinted that he wants to fight the winner next summer, and I think that would be an ideal situation for the UFC.

After falling short at UFC 269, what’s next for Dustin Poirier?

This past weekend at UFC 269, the undisputed lightweight title was on the line. Dustin Poirier (28-7, 1 NC) was looking to finally get his hands on undisputed gold when he took on Charles Oliveira (32-8).

For Dustin Poirier, the fight couldn’t have started better at UFC 269. The former interim champion dropped Oliveira and hurt him a couple of times in the first round. Things were going according to plan.

However, the second round saw the momentum completely shift. After a grappling exchange, Poirier found himself on the bottom. Fearful of the submission game of Oliveira, Poirier rode out the round on bottom while eating plenty of elbows.

In the third round, Oliveira charged forward and forced another grappling exchange. This time, the UFC champion was able to immediately get the back of Dustin Poirier.

Once there, the fight was essentially over. Oliveira started attacking a rear-naked choke and was able to lock one in. Poirier tried to fight it off but was forced to tap as Oliveira successfully defended his UFC lightweight title.

What’s next after UFC 269?

There are no other words to describe Poirier’s loss other than crushing. Poirier admitted at the post-fight press conference that he was heartbroken and devastated by the result.

Make no mistake about it, Dustin Poirier is one of the best fighters in the UFC. However, undisputed gold has been outside of his reach his entire career.

He got his first shot two years ago against Khabib Nurmagomedov and suffered the same result. Now, The Diamond must go back to the drawing board and figure out whats next.

The UFC does have a couple of options they can look at. An obvious choice from a rankings perspective is Michael Chandler (22-7). Chandler is on a two-fight losing streak but the losses came to Oliveira and Justin Gaethje.

A fight between Poirier and Chandler would re-establish one of them right in the title picture. If Poirier is looking for a big money fight, I love the idea of him and Nate Diaz (20-13).

These two have wanted to fight for years and now could be the perfect time. Diaz needs a fight and Poirier might want a money fight over a contender fight with Chandler.

That fight could setup a potential fourth matchup with Conor McGregor (22-6) once McGregor is ready to return over the summer. There are still plenty of big fights out there for Poirier and don’t rule him out just yet.

Who will Conor McGregor face in his UFC return?

Conor McGregor, UFC

The biggest star in the UFC is getting closer and closer to returning. Conor McGregor (22-6) is still recovering after he broke his leg in his last fight against Dustin Poirier (28-6, 1 NC) back in July. The fight was the third installment of the rivalry between the two men.

With McGregor losing by doctor stoppage at UFC 264, McGregor went 0-2 against Poirier this year after winning their first fight. However, there are a lot of questions still surrounding the rivalry especially with the way the third fight ended.

McGregor took to his Twitter account over the weekend to answer some fans questions. Of course, many UFC fans were wanting to know when he would be making his return to the octagon.

In a response, McGregor said that he would resume full MMA sparring in April with a UFC return imminent at that point. Given that information, we should probably expect a McGregor return in the early summer months.

McGregor’s UFC return

When Conor McGregor is ready to return, the UFC is going to have some decisions to make. Who will the promotion pair him up against when he returns? McGregor has publicly said that he wants to fight for the title upon his return.

However, I just don’t know how realistic that option is. With that, what are some more realistic options for The Notorious one. I think the first obvious choice would be the trilogy fight with Nate Diaz (20-13).

McGregor and Diaz are both massive stars and they are currently 1-1 after two fights. This would get McGregor back into the swing of things against a big time opponent and it’s a winnable fight for him.

This would be the smart play in my opinion. Of course, there’s the outside chance that he comes right back to a fourth fight with Dustin Poirier. While the UFC could do this, I think they should hold off for now.

Another option to watch out for is Rafael Dos Anjos (30-13). Both men are former UFC lightweight champions and they have beef. They were supposed to fight years ago, but RDA pulled out with an injury.

They have had backstage run-ins and neither man likes each other. This could be another route the UFC could go. If I had to guess in terms of the likelihood, I would say it goes: Diaz, RDA, Poirier.

UFC: Is the Volkanovski trilogy or McGregor rematch next for Max Holloway?

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 42, Max Holloway (23-6) took on Yair Rodriguez (13-3, 1 NC). Holloway entered the bout as a massive betting favorite on the heels of his insanely dominant performance against Calvin Kattar back in January.

However, it was apparent from the opening round at UFC Vegas 42 that this was going to be a different fight. Rodriguez started out insanely strong and I think it caught Holloway off guard a bit. It took Holloway a little to find his rhythm and Rodriguez was landing bombs.

Halfway through the fight, we saw Holloway really start to turn it on. The former UFC featherweight champion turned up the pressure and mixed things up beautifully. All of this played a huge role in him winning the latter half of the fight.

In the end, the judges gave Holloway a unanimous decision victory. It was Holloway’s second victory of the year and it puts him in a great position as the calendar gets ready to turn over to 2022.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 42?

There are a few options on the table for Max Holloway at the moment. The obvious choice seems to be the trilogy fight with Alexander Volkanovski (23-1) for the UFC featherweight title. So far, Holloway is 0-2 in his bouts against Volkanovski.

However, a majority seem to believe that Holloway won the second fight despite two of the judges giving the fight to Volkanovski. Holloway has established himself as clearly the second best featherweight in the world behind the champion.

It’s basically Holloway and Volkanovski then a gap before you reach the next contender. However, there is another option out there for Holloway if he isn’t interested in challenging Volkanovski for a third time.

That option would be moving up to lightweight for a rematch with Conor McGregor (22-6). These two have playfully gone back and forth for years after their first meeting years ago. McGregor won their first fight by decision.

McGregor even shared a video of him staring down Holloway during Holloway’s introduction at UFC Vegas 42. Holloway has expressed interest in fighting McGregor once The Notorious one returns which should be in the late spring. Time will tell, but there are some good options for The Blessed Express.