With another newsworthy International Fight Week done and dusted, one man stood above all else as he cemented his status as an all-time great.
With a short right hook in the very first round, Daniel Cormier unseated the record-breaking heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and ensured that ‘DC’ also stood for double champ.
As only the second man to simultaneously hold two UFC world titles, Cormier has, in his own words, created his own legacy separate from the one permanently attached to his longtime rival Jon Jones.
It was this time last year that Cormier was left crying in the octagon after suffering a KO loss to Jones but within the space of 12 months, Cormier was dancing with joy, holding his two world titles aloft and sparking a new rivalry with Brock Lesnar that will reward the 39-year-old with a handsome and deserved payday.
Elsewhere throughout the two UFC cards on International Fight Week, a slew of weight classes have become clearer in their title pictures while new prospects have emerged.
As a result of the bumper weekend of fights, here are 10 fights for the UFC to make with the big winners of International Fight Week:
Daniel Cormier vs Brock Lesnar
While it may not make the most sense from a meritocracy standpoint, Daniel Cormier deserves big fights and Brock Lesnar is the biggest one available to him.
As the champion in both the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions, Cormier sits atop of two of the weakest weight classes that the UFC has and neither has a definitive #1 contender in waiting.
With plenty of options for the UFC to make clear title challengers, the UFC should follow the money for the time being and allow ‘DC’ to defend his newly acquired belt against one of the highest profile fighters in MMA.
Derrick Lewis vs Stipe Miocic
The less said about Derrick Lewis’ victory over Francis Ngannou, the better.
Fortunately, UFC president Dana White has refused to lay the blame for a truly terrible fight at Lewis’ feet and said that his stock has not dropped within the company.
With Lewis defeating the #1 ranked Ngannou, a bout with the newly dethroned Miocic would make sense either early next year or at the years end.
Mike Perry vs Yancy Medeiros
In a thrilling battle with an always game Paul Felder, Mike Perry’s power and stature in the welterweight division ensured that he wouldn’t face the ignominy of three-straight losses.
With Perry originally scheduled to face Yancy Medeiros at UFC 226, their bout makes more sense than ever with Perry recording an impressive win.
Anthony Pettis vs Al Iaquinta
Becoming the man with more submission victories from a bottom position (7) than any fighter in UFC/WEC/PRIDE/Strikeforce combined history, Anthony Pettis rolled back the years with a triangle armbar over Michael Chiesa.
The former UFC and WEC lightweight champion has had a tough go of it in recent years but ‘Showtime’ displayed that when he’s on his game, there are very little better than the 31-year-old.
While there are a ton of fun options for Pettis at 155 lbs, a match-up with Al Iaquinta would be an intriguing proposition and allow both men an opportunity to show just how good they can be.
Paulo Costa vs Chris Weidman
After eating a ton of jabs from Uriah Hall, Paulo Costa’s bodywork proved dividends in the second round as a huge liver punch but Hall down for good.
Costa is clearly a name to look out for in the middleweight division and he could well be the newest star to emerge in Brazilian MMA.
With Costa asking for a shot at Chris Weidman, a bout between the two would make sense in the current 185 lbs landscape and help to clear up a stacked division.
Raphael Assuncao vs Dominick Cruz
Assuncao has long been denied a title shot in the UFC’s bantamweight division and unfortunately, he may need to wait a little longer.
While the Brazilian does hold wins over Marlon Moraes and current champion TJ Dillashaw, those victories came via very dubious split-decisions which will give the UFC pause before handing him a shot at UFC gold.
With Dominick Cruz looking at a return, a match-up between the two would provide a definitive title contender in the near future.
Drakkar Klose vs Bobby Green
Employing a pressuring gameplan and sticking to it relentlessly, Drakkar Klose continues to be a big prospect to look out for in the lightweight division.
With Klose holding wins over the likes of Marc Diakiese and now Lando Vannata, a step-up in competition should be next for the MMA Lab student.
After Bobby Green was recently forced out of a fight with Clay Guida, a Green – Klose bout would certainly be a fun fight for the fans.
Curtis Millender vs Tarec Saffiedine
Coming off of a knee knockout win over veteran Thiago Alves, the lanky Curtis Millender recorded his second UFC win with a unanimous decision over Max Griffin.
Millender is now on an eight-fight win streak and his performances are deserving of another big name like Alves.
With former Strikeforce champion Tarec Saffiedine being out on the sidelines for a long time, a match-up between the two would see the victor emerge as a potential top 15 welterweight.
Dan Hooker vs Francisco Trinaldo
Chalking off his fourth straight finish since moving back to lightweight, Dan Hooker continued to impress to a ridiculous level.
The New Zealander is extremely well-rounded and his long frame just adds another problem for his opponents to solve.
It wouldn’t be a surprise in the slightest to see ‘The Hangman’ sitting within the top 10 at 155 lbs before the year’s out and a match-up with the currently ranked #15 Francisco Trinaldo would provide a solid step towards that goal.
Israel Adesanya vs Derek Brunson
With the only impressive performance at the Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale, Israel Adesanya completely dominated the #8 ranked Brad Tavares in only his third UFC bout.
The former kickboxing phenom poses a big problem for anyone at middleweight and he deserves to keep climbing the rankings.
With Derek Brunson reportedly being forced out of his upcoming bout with Antonio Carlos Jr, Brunson should be moved into a bout with ‘The Last Stylebender’ later this year.