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UFC fights to make after UFC 200

Brock Lesnar

Amanda Nunes vs. Ronda Rousey

In a perfect world, Holly Holm would beat Valentina Shevchenko and go on to fight Amanda Nunes and the winner of that fight would take on Ronda Rousey in her guaranteed title fight upon her return. After all, Nunes is the one who beat the girl who beat the girl who beat the girl, so it’s kind of watered down. Nunes is still a very new name and while Rousey’s return is going to garner a ton of interest, should she beat Holm, it would make her fight against Rousey a mega event, or if Holm would win, the must-see rematch between Rousey and Holm would also be a mega event. But that probably won’t happen. Instead, Rousey, who again has been guaranteed a title shot upon her return, has to return sooner rather than later and taking on the new face of the division Amanda Nunes.

Julianna Pena vs. Holly Holm-Valentina Shevchenko winner

Though Holm would be best fighting for the title should she be victorious, that probably won’t happen but it will also be a good way to capitalize on the red-hot Julianna Pena, who has gone from winning TUF 18 to four-straight UFC victories and unanimous decisions over ranked fighters Jessica Eye and Cat Zingano. Pena is now a true contender in the Bantamweight division and could be in a title eliminator against the winner of the Holm-Valentina Shevchenko fight.

Brock Lesnar vs. Andrei Arlovski-Josh Barnett

The UFC has to treat Brock Lesnar kind of delicately for a little bit of time because while he dominated Mark Hunt in his return from a five-year absence at UFC 200, he certainly showed a few flaws and zero stopping ability despite constantly pounding Hunt’s face in. At the same time, they have to respect that Lesnar is a guy who can headline and sell any PPV even if he is not fighting for a title belt. Lesnar saved UFC 200, he made it a must-see event, so threatening his aura of invincibility by throwing him at Junior Dos Santos or cain Velasquez or Fabricio Werdum could be too risky and ruin his return too fast. This is not to say they have to feed Lesnar victories, certainly Mark Hunt could have knocked him out with one punch, but another fight against an older fringe contender, like the winner of the Andrei Arlovski-Josh Barnett fight, could be the smarter move. And certainly both of those guys could take Lesnar and take him out. They are both extremely tough, and if they do, that’s a great thing for them as both guys are nearing the ends of their career and are looking for big moments and big fights before they just fizzle out.

Daniel Cormier vs. Glover Teixeira-Anthony Johnson winner (Light Heavyweight title)

Obviously, with Jon Jones out of the picture now for an unclear amount of time but possibly up to two years, the next person who should fight Daniel Cormier is the winner of the Glover Teixeira-Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson fight. Johnson lost to Cormier in a fight for the belt that was vacated by Jones at UFC 187 but has since destroyed Jimi Manuwa and Ryan Bader and a win over Teixeira would easily earn him another title shot. Meanwhile, Teixeira has won three-straight fights, stopping Ovince Saint Preux, Patrick Cummins and Rashad Evans. A win over Rumble would probably be the biggest of his long, impressive career.

Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor (Featherweight title)

As great as Jose Aldo has been for such a long time it isn’t hyperbole to say he has never looked better than in his victory over Frankie Edgar and at only 29-years-old there is no reason to believe he doesn’t have another great run in him. At UFC 194 last December, Aldo was knocked out in a shocking 13 seconds. Clearly Conor McGregor got in his head and stole his belt away, but the rematch is going to have to happen now with Aldo winning the interim Featherweight Championship at UFC 200.

Dominick Cruz vs. TJ Dillashaw (Bantamweight title)

It’s time to book this rematch between the two guys who are clearly the best Bantamweights in the UFC. TJ Dillashaw lost a close split decision to Dominick Cruz back in January and then at UFC 200 dominated No. 3 contender Raphael Assuncao to get right back into the title picture.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Rose Namajunas-Karolina Kowalkiewicz winner (Strawweight title)

Another impressive win as champion has put Joanna Jedrzejczyk among the elite champions in UFC. Still, she hasn’t quite cleaned out the division yet and has plenty of fighters she could face. The upcoming Rose Namajunas-Karolina Kowalkiewicz fight at UFC 201 screams title-eliminator. Namajunas has picked up three dominant victories since losing to Carla Esparza in 2014 in the inaugural Strawweight championship bout. Kowalkiewicz is undefeated heading into her clash of top five contenders in the division.

Eddie Alvarez vs. Nate Diaz or Tony Ferguson (Lightweight title)

Eddie Alvarez’ demolition of Rafael dos Anjos was quite a shocker, but really it shouldn’t have been. Alvarez is one of the toughest fighters around and is incredible aggressive, active and knows how to wear an opponent down when the fight goes long. Considering how one-sided the fight was, dos Anjos should not get an immediate title fight and with Anthony Pettis’ huge fall and switching divisions, Alvarez should fight somebody new. After beating Conor McGregor, though granted at welterweight,he’s earned himself a shot at some sort of belt and if he beats McGregor in the rematch he’s the guy who should be fighting Alvarez. Should Diaz lose the rematch he could still get a shot, but Tony Ferguson is likely headed for a big victory over Landon Vannata (a late fill in who doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page or a picture on UFC.com) and is very deserving at a title shot as one of the most exciting fighters around.

Cain Velasquez vs. Fabricio Werdum-Ben Rothwell

We never got Cain vs. Werdum II after both fighters pulled out of their scheduled bout in February because of injuries. However, Werdum is looking for an opponent since suffering a first round knockout loss to Stipe Miocic and dropping his belt. Velasquez is coming off a great first round knockout of Travis Browne as UFC 200 and it could be a perfect time to re-schedule this rematch. Velasquez certainly was not at his best against Werdum in their first fight and Werdum certainly was not as his best against Miocic. This could be a way to get the winner another title shot soon. That’s assuming Werdum beats Ben Rothwell at UFC 203. And if Rothwell wins, give him a shot at Velasquez. Before his loss to Junior Dos Santos, he was the hottest guy in the heavyweight division and a win over Werdum should put him in a title eliminator situation.

Rafael dos Anjos vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov

Though he shouldn’t get an immediate title rematch, Rafael dos Anjos shouldn’t fall too far down the rankings and a perfect fight that could be considered a No. 1 contender fight could be him against Khabib Nurmagomedov. Both guys are very aggressive, but after returning from an injury, the undefeated Nurmagomedov needs a bigger win than Darrell Horcher to get a shot at the belt. Beating the former champion would pretty much guarantee him a shot at the belt while giving Nurmagomedov his first loss would be a great rebound win for dos Anjos that would put him right back into the title picture.

Will Brooks vs. Dustin Poirier

Former Bellator Lightweight Champion Will Brooks made his successful debut in the UFC against the always tough Ross Pearson in the TUF finale and that earned him a No. 12 ranking in the division. A very interesting fight to make would be him against the surging Dustin Poirier. The 27-year-old is 4-0 since returning to the lightweight division and us coming off a first round knockout of Bobby Green at UFC 199 in June.

Gegard Mousasi vs. Anderson Silva

Gegard Mousasi called for a fight against Anderson Silva back in April, but that was never happening them. However, night might be a good time with Mousasi coming off a dominant victory over Thiago Santos. Mousasi has always been a very talented middleweight prospect since coming over from Strikeforce, but he’s never been able to gain his footing in the UFC with stumbling losses to Lyoto Machida, Jacare Souza and a stunner to Uriah Hall. But a fight against Anderson Silva could be a gateway fight that Mousasi needs to become a contender in the loaded middleweight division.

Kelvin Gastelum vs. Robbie Lawler-Tyron Woodley loser

Kelvin Gastelum finally earned his signature victory in the UFC with a unanimous decision victory over former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks at UFC 200, and that puts him in the title conversation, but with two of his last four fights being losses he still has some work to do to get a title shot. Most will say that coming off a win he should fight the winner of the upcoming Demian Maia-Carlos Condit fight, but that should actually go to Neil Magny if he wins his fight at UFC 202 since he beat Gastelum. Gastelum, though, would make a splash with a win the loser of the welterweight title fight at UFC 201 while the winner would have a chance at rebounding right away.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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