Who should the UFC 272 winners on the main card fight next? Colby Covington shut out his former teammate turned rival, dominating Jorge Masvidal en route to a unanimous decision win. Here are my thoughts on what the future may hold for the five fighters who won on Saturday’s UFC 272 main card.
One of the most underrated fighters on the entire roster, Serghei Spivac (13-3-0 5-3-0 UFC) completely dominated Greg Hardy at UFC 272 by taking him down three times in 136 seconds before pounding out a TKO victory. Just outside the top 15 coming into Saturday, Spivac should crack the rankings again after his big win.
One potential matchup for the ‘Polar Bear’ is Augusto Sakai, who is currently ranked 12th but has dropped three straight. However, the fight that makes the most sense is a rematch with Tai Tuivasa. Spivac was a major underdog when he choked out Tuivasa back in 2019. Since that fight, Tuivasa has gone on a run and become a fan favorite as he’s currently ranked third in the division. That rematch would be incredible to watch and would likely be on the main card of a PPV.
After a slow start in the first round, Kevin Holland (22-7-0 1 NC 10-4-0 1NC UFC) made good on his Welterweight debut, knocking out Alex Oliveira at the start of round two. After an abysmal 2021, Holland is off to a great start in 2022 and could be set to make a run now that he’s at his proper weight class. With his 81-inch reach, Holland will be a problem for anyone at 170, especially where fighters will have a more difficult time taking him down.
One potential for Holland is Niko Price. Like Holland, Price is coming off of a win over Cowboy Oliveira, and his fan-friendly style could produce a fight of the night. However, Holland deserves to fight someone ranked in the top 15 at 170 and the perfect start would be against Li Jianliang. Like Holland, Jianliang has incredible knockout power but is coming off of a loss to Khamzat Chimaev.
In the biggest fight of his career, Bryce Mitchell (14-1-0 6-0-0 UFC) passed all the tests, completely dominating Edson Barboza en route to a unanimous decision victory at UFC 272. The pride of Arkansas, Mitchell has already proven to be one of the best grapplers in his division and could be set to make a run for the top five in 2022.
He is on a six-fight tear in the UFC, not having dropped a fight in his promotional career. UFC 272 continued this streak, as his grappling-heavy style proved too much for Barboza. He maintained top pressure
One potential matchup for Mitchell is against the loser of Arnold Allen and Dan Hooker. Hooker is set to return to the Featherweight division against Allen, when the two will battle in the co-main event at UFC London on March 19th. However, the fight that makes the most sense for Mitchell is against Giga Chikade. Chikadze also has a win over Barboza and was making a title run prior to getting stopped by Calvin Kattar at the start of the year. In a striker vs. grappler matchup, Mitchell and Chikadze could definitely be a main event fight.
Rafael Dos Anjos
After nearly 16 months out of the octagon, Rafael Dos Anjos (31-13-0 20-11-0 UFC) proved he’s still a contender at 155, dominating Renato Moicano for all five rounds. Dos Anjos has had awful luck with scheduling and injuries over the past two years, but his willingness to take on Islam Makhachev on short notice should earn a big fight next.
One potential matchup for RDA definitely is a matchup with Conor McGregor. The two were scheduled to fight back in 2016 when Dos Anjos was still the champion, but RDA got hurt and McGregor would instead fight Nate Diaz. The rest from there, as they say, is history. However, the fight that makes more sense for RDA is a rematch with Tony Ferguson. The two fought in 2016 when Ferguson won by decision, but “El Cucuy” has struggled over his last three fights. Regardless, it will be interesting to see if Dos Anjos can make another run at the belt.
Despite the animosity coming into the fight, Colby Covington (17-3-0 12-3-0 UFC) fought a near-perfect, emotion-free fight on Saturday, dominating Jorge Masvidal en route to a unanimous decision through takedowns and top pressure. It’s clear that he’s second only to the champion Kamaru Usman in his division. However, it’s going to be tough for Colby to get another crack at the title without at least one more win.
Colby clearly wants to fight Dustin Poirier and that is a possible option as Poirier has talked about a possible move up to 170. However, the fight that makes the most sense for Covington is to fight the winner of Gilbert Burns and Khamzat Chimaev. Leon Edwards is likely next to challenge Kamaru Usman for the belt, while Burns and Chimaev are set to fight in April. If Covington can beat either at the end of 2022, it could set up a future welterweight championship matchup.
What fights make sense for the UFC 272 winners? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
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