The lightweight division was on full display during the UFC 262 main card. Michael Chandler came up short in his first crack at gold, but he and the other competitors who lost will have opportunities to avenge their recent defeats in their next outings!
Chandler joins Tony Ferguson, Matt Schnell, Viviane Araujo, and Shane Burgos as those who faced the eye of defeat on the UFC 262 main card. As usual, there are many intriguing matchups out there for each of them. Every great athlete tastes defeat at some point in their careers, how they bounce back oftentimes determines how they’re remembered.
The Fights To Make!
Chandler fought for a UFC championship in less than four months since his win over Dan Hooker, and quite honestly he performed well. His power is undeniable as you could see the devastating effects every time he connected on Charles Oliveira. After shaking off the cobwebs, Chandler told Joe Rogan and those watching that he will still retain the belt by year’s end. While that occurring is unlikely, he is probably only two wins away from earning another chance.
Matching him up with Rafael Dos Anjos would serve as another stiff test for the former Bellator champ. Clearly, Chandler is a legitimate contender in the UFC lightweight division. RDA is currently ranked #7 in the division as he’s roughly six months removed from his split-decision win over Paul Felder. Chandler has been outspoken in his eagerness to remain active so imagining this fight being booked for the end of summer isn’t out of the question.
It’s painful to say, but it’s certainly possible that Ferguson’s UFC 262 main card loss ended his days as a contender for good. The 37-year-old just hasn’t looked himself since Justin Gaethje ended his winning streak last May. His toughness cannot be questioned, but Beneil Dariush was able to completely dominate him in all facets, which would’ve been hard to believe two years ago.
“El Cucuy” retiring after these recent performances is unlikely, but it’s time for him to face someone outside the top-10. The first name that stands out is Diego Ferreira, who’s fallen to #14 in the rankings after suffering back-to-back losses. This matchup would pin two desperate former contenders up against one another, making for what would hopefully be an entertaining affair. However, the downside to this fight would be that one man’s losing streak would extend.
“Danger” Schnell’s UFC 262 main card bout versus Rogerio Bontorin was his one and only fight at bantamweight. The top-10 flyweight will move back down to the division he calls home for the foreseeable future. Schnell displayed toughness while also having his moments, but ultimately he was on the wrong end of too many exchanges.
The 31-year-old was originally scheduled to face the #4 ranked flyweight Alex Perez on the UFC 262 main card, but the fight fell through. The likelihood of him receiving that matchup now after losing is slim. Instead, #14 ranked Matheus Nicolau makes much more sense as the next move for Schnell. If the promotion goes in another direction, perhaps the loser of David Dvorak vs Raulian Paiva would be selected.
Araujo’s defeat stemmed from her falling victim to Katlyn Chookagian‘s length and volume. The Brazilian has noticeable power and strength, but it was evident early on that she would struggle against her opponent’s physical advantages. Still, “Vivi” is a top-10 women’s flyweight with just two decision defeats to her name since joining the UFC.
Next on the horizon for Araujo very well could be Alexa Grasso, who recently outworked Maycee Barber to a decision victory. The two have yet to cross paths, but it currently makes sense for both sides. Otherwise, the promotion could pair her with Andrea Lee, who looked good in her win at UFC 262.
How could you not love “Hurricane” Shane Burgos? Win or lose, this guy delivers a Fight of the Night type of effort each and every time. Unfortunately, that’s now consecutive losses in which he took a lot of damage. With his UFC 262 main card loss to Edson Barboza, Burgos will fall out of the featherweight top-10. Yet, there are a couple of fun possibilities for him out there.
First is the undefeated Bryce Mitchell, who is nursing a hand injury that he suffered in his win over Andre Fili last Halloween. Burgos would be a big step up in competition for “Thug Nasty”, but it makes sense in terms of rankings. If not, then have Burgos fight the winner of Hakeem Dawodu vs Movsar Evloev. Book that and you have a Fight of the Night set in stone!
Of all the UFC 262 main card losers, who do you see bouncing back the strongest? Leave your thoughts and predictions in the comment section!
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