A UFC double-header provided a lot of action this past weekend as MMA’s premier promotion spread themselves across two continents.
In their usual North American home, The Ultimate Fighter 28 came to its conclusion as Juan Espino and Macy Chiasson claimed their respective crowns as TUF champions. More importantly at the same event, however, Kamaru Usman emerged victorious against fellow welterweight contender Rafael dos Anjos.
24 hours later and on the other side of the globe, the UFC’s Oceanic fighters came up short in front of their home crowd as only two of six fighters from the region got the W on the main card.
With two events to digest in such a short space of time, here are six fights that the UFC should be making with the most impressive winners at both The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale and UFC Fight Night 142:
Kamaru Usman vs. Woodley/Covington Winner
Winning by a wide margin in the first of two main events, Kamaru Usman’s wrestling ability was too much for Rafael dos Anjos to handle as ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ won a dominant unanimous decision.
With Usman now on a nine-fight winning streak in the UFC – 13 fights career-wise – the 31-year old is deserving of a title shot.
As Tyron Woodley reportedly prepares to take on Colby Covington in early 2019, Usman should be next in line for the winner.
Junior dos Santos vs. Francis Ngannou
After sustaining a late barrage in the first round, Junior dos Santos began to land the cleaner shots in the second stanza before a stinging combination put Tai Tuivasa on the mat.
From there, Dos Santos peppered away with ground and pound to secure a TKO victory and his second win of the year.
With JDS looking towards a title fight, he should be facing a top-five competitor in his next outing and a bout with Francis Ngannou would be a big test for both men to overcome.
Pedro Munhoz vs. Yan/Andrade Winner
With a body kick that left Bryan Caraway folded against the cage, Pedro Munhoz improved his UFC record to 7-3 in the bantamweight division.
Munhoz has now won his last two fights since losing a decision to John Dodson but I think he needs one more impressive victory before jumping into the top 5.
With two promising 135 lbers set to meet at the years end PPV UFC 232, a fight between Munhoz and the winner of Petr Yan vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade would make for a must-see fight.
Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua vs. Jordan Johnson
Withstanding a tough going first-round, Shogun battled back against Tyson Pedro before a combination of an injury and heavy punches forced a stoppage victory for the legendary fighter.
With Shogun having faced the majority of fighters ranked above him at light heavyweight and there still being worries about his durability, a fight with a rising fighter at 205 lbs would maybe be a smart way to turn.
With Jordan Johnson on a four-fight winning streak in the UFC, a fight between Shogun and Johnson would be an interesting clash between a veteran and inexperienced fighter.
Justin Willis vs. Marcin Tybura
Faced with taking on Mark Hunt in front of his home crowd is a tough ask for most but Justin Willis passed with flying colours.
Using his athleticism, footwork and speed, Willis picked away from the outside at Hunt to earn a unanimous decision victory.
Willis should get a step-up in terms of the UFC rankings and a fight with Marcin Tybura would match two similarly framed heavyweights against one another.
Anthony Rocco Martin vs. James Krause
Anthony Rocco Martin is on a tear since moving back to the welterweight division.
Martin had spent all of his UFC career at lightweight prior to 2018 and he has since gone 3-0 with his latest win over Australia’s Jake Matthews.
With Martin making a name for himself in a deep division, a fight with James Krause who finds himself on a four-fight win streak would be great matchmaking.