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Future Fights We Need To See After UFC 251:

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UFC Fight Island thrills, but what’s next?

 

It’s fair to say that the UFC’s first event on ‘Fight Island’ truly exceeded our expectations and turned out to be a great event put together by Dana White and the UFC. For the foreseeable future, UFC fights could well be behind closed doors, so White has done well to get an event together for the sport.

There were some insane performances, some breathtaking finishes and, of course, some ‘questionable’ judging.

In the undercard, fans were treated to some incredible finishes from Makwan Amirkhani, who defeated Danny Henry via an anaconda choke and Jiří Procházka, who knocked out light-heavyweight contender Volkan Oezdemir on his UFC debut.

UFC Fight Island is taking place on Yas Island, home of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Main Card

The undercard was followed up by a spectacular main event. It all started with Amanda Ribas, submitting Paige VanZant in the first round. Fans were then treated to the ‘Fight of the Night’ between Jessica Andrade and Rose Namajunas. In an epic encounter, Namajunas shone in her return to the octagon and won via a split decision.

As if that was not enough, fans were able to witness the first of three title fights. The bantamweight clash between rising star Petr Yan and Jose Aldo took centre stage as the night continued. Early on, we were treated to the Aldo of old, but later, Yan powered through, like the killer he is, and got the finish late on. Then, the ‘questionable’ judging. Alexander Volkanovski defeated Max Holloway via a split decision to retain his featherweight title.

With that being said, in the first few rounds, Holloway dominated the fight and showed glimpses that he was back to his best, Volkanovski looked like he was out of options. However, the Aussie didn’t give up. In the championship rounds, Volkanovski stepped up, and that was enough for the judges to give him the win. Personally, Holloway won that fight.

Finally, in the main event, Kamaru Usman successfully defended his welterweight title against Jorge Masvidal. Bar the first round, Usman was flawless in every department and could be the champion for some time to come.

So, following UFC 251, what future fights do we need to see next?

 

1) Kamaru Usman vs Gilbert Burns:

Burns was supposed to fight last weekend but had to pull out due to testing positive for COVID-19. In the end, Masvidal stepped in on six days notice.

Following another successful defence of his title, many are asking what’s next for Usman. However, White has already confirmed that Burns is the next contender. The Brazilian has been on fire this year. After beating Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley, Burns has established himself as a top contender and it’s fair to say that he is next in line, although England’s Leon Edwards might have something to say about that.

‘Durinho’ could prove to be a tough test for the champion as the Brazilian has a great Jiu-Jitsu, grappling, background and is also capable of knocking anyone out. From almost every perspective – fighting, marketing and personal – this is one of the future fights that must happen in the UFC.

2) Jorge Masvidal vs Colby Covington:

Masvidal can be pleased with his performance. ‘Gamebred’ showed signs in the first round and believes he has the “perfect gameplan” to beat Usman should they ever go head to head again.

It was never going to be easy fighting Usman on six days notice. Now, the ‘BMF’ champion should consider fighting Colby Covington next. The number three ranked welterweight hasn’t fought since losing to Kamaru Usman back in December.

This has to be the next fight. The pair have a history, and these men do not like each other. It’ll do huge numbers when it comes to the PPV (pay per view) figures. If the fight does go through, then it’ll be five rounds of pure entertainment, with both men eager to finish the fight in devastating fashion.

3) Petr Yan vs Aljamain Sterling:

After Henry Cejudo announced his retirement after UFC 249, White was desperate to book Petr Yan as one of the challengers for the vacant title. In what has been a sensational rise by the Russian, Yan was rewarded with a shot against the great Jose Aldo.

Many questioned if this was the right fight for Yan as he hasn’t fought a big name. Following UFC 251, Yan proved that he is the deserved champion. It took him some time to find his rhythm, but once he got going, he dominated Aldo, especially in rounds 4 and 5, when he eventually got the finish.

After his win over Cory Sandhagen at UFC 250, Sterling has proved that he is the number one contender and next in line for the title. Sterling can cause Yan some real problems on the mat and it won’t be plain sailing for the Russian.

4) Weili Zhang vs Rose Namajunas:

In her return to the octagon, ‘Thug Rose’ put on a phenomenal display in the rematch with Jessica Andrade. It was a real test of character for Rose, with many questioning her mentality going into the fight.

Coached by the great Trevor Wittmann and Pat Barry, Namajunas kept her composure and certainly looked a lot sharper last weekend and thoroughly deserved the win.

Weili has to be next for Rose. She deserves another shot at the belt as Rose will be hungry to win the belt back. Should the fight go through, it’ll be an absolute war.

5) Alexander Volkanovski vs Chan Sung Jung:

Whether it was deserved or not, Alexander Volkanovski is still the champion. The Australian promised fans with a finish against Max Holloway, but unfortunately, he didn’t live up to that promise.

Volkanovski stepped up in the later rounds to prove that he’s a worthy champion.

Immediately after the fight, Chan Sung Jung, ‘The Korean Zombie’, took to social media to express interest in the fight. Jung is on a two-fight win streak after defeating Renato Moicano and Frankie Edgar, both via first-round knockouts.

However, the UFC is keen to book Jung against Brian Ortega, though no deal has gone through. If that fight doesn’t happen then ‘TKZ’ should be next in line for the champion. On the other hand, if the UFC does book that fight, then Zabit Magomedsharipov deserves a crack at the title.

 

We hope you enjoyed the article ‘Future Fights We Need to See After UFC 251’. Which fight do you most want to happen? Let us know!

 

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James is born and raised in Taunton, Somerset. James is a second-year journalism student at the University of Portsmouth. James is heavily into his football, supporting Chelsea FC, and MMA. For news regarding football and UFC/MMA, James is your man. You can follow James on Twitter: @EvansJames99 and you can contact James at: evans.james99@hotmail.com

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