Saturday, May 28, 2022

Matchmaking For The Notable Fighters From The UFC 194 Weekend

Conor McGregor, Luke Rockhold, Frankie Edgar, and Yoel Romero:

This looks fairly obvious:  It’s already been said that McGregor is either defending his featherweight title against Frankie Edgar or challenging the winner of this Saturday’s Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Donald Cerrone fight for the lightweight title.  As for new middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, Yoel Romero won what was ostensibly a title eliminator over Jacare Souza right before he won the title from Chris Weidman.

Romero getting the shot may be somewhat controversial since the consensus is seemingly that Jacare should have won the fight. But it was incredibly close, he got the decision, and Romero-Rockhold is a fascinating fight on paper.

Chris Weidman and Jose Aldo:

Both need to regroup and rebound. Weidman had such a big part of his game exposed (that he’s a much diminished fighter against someone who won’t let him pressure) that he needs to make some big changes going forward, too. I don’t doubt that he can, though. So, who does he fight next? Jacare seems like the obvious answer, especially since there’s seemingly a decent sized gap between the top four or 5 middleweights and the rest of the division. He’d be favored, but it would be a tough fight. If they want to give him a slightly “easier” matchup, Gegard Mousasi is coming off a loss, but is a legit top ten middleweight just below the very top tier and it would be a great fight.

Aldo has plenty of choices, especially since he most likely beats anyone they put in front of him. If he wanted to move up to lightweight, that would make it every more interesting. Jeremy Stephens lost on the same card and would be a fun fight, style wise. Of course, if McGregor moves up, Dana White is saying he’ll vacate the featherweight title (which McGregor probably doesn’t want to do), in which case Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar for the vacant title would obviously be his next fight.

Max Holloway:

Unless McGregor and Aldo both move up, he’s probably not getting a title shot next, so this one is easy: Give him Ricardo Lamas, and if he wins, he gets the winner of the next title fight. It’s a tough test from a guy just below the very top, but he’d by favored to win, and if he loses then he most likely isn’t ready for a title shot, anyway.

Chad Mendes:

He’s been dropped or knocked out in three of his last four fights and needs to take a break. When he comes back? Tatsuya Kawajiri also won over the weekend, and would be a fun fight without too much risk of getting his bell rung.

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