-Amanda Nunes vs Holly Holm
Amanda Nunes managed to extend her championship reign a little longer after a narrow split decision win over rival Valentina Shevchenko in the main event of UFC 215. Though many believe Shevchenko did enough to earn a win, 2 judges ultimately scored the fight in favor of the defending champion, making her 2-0 against Shevchenko. Nunes has now extended her win streak to six fights, and racked up her 2nd successful title defense as champion.
Where Nunes goes from here is kind of unknown at this point. Coming out of the fight relatively unscathed, Holly Holm could be a very possible opponent for Nunes on an upcoming FOX card. Coming off a head kick knockout over Bethe Correia in her last fight, Holm was finally able to break a 3-fight losing skid that started with her title loss to Miesha Tate. A fresh matchup and a shot at regaining the title once again for Holm, this fight has all the makings for a memorable battle between two of the best at 135 lbs.
-Rafael dos Anjos vs Robbie Lawler
The welterweight division has a new contender to look out for after Rafael dos Anjos steamrolled his way to a first round victory over Neil Magny in the co-main event on Saturday night. Using his high level Brazilian Jiu Jitsu pedigree to submit Magny, the former UFC Lightweight champion solidified himself as a top 10 contender in his 2nd fight at the new weight class.
Now 2-0 in the welterweight division with both wins being over top 10-15 level competition, the most logical fight for dos Anjos would be a fight with former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler, who is coming off a very close decision win over Donald Cerrone. Robbie is 1-0 since losing the title to Tyron Woodley, and a win for either man would surely be enough to validate a title shot for either man in possibly one of the more exciting fights to look forward to in the future.
-Henry Cejudo vs Sergio Pettis
Henry Cejudo finally showed his true potential Saturday night as he put on the best performance of his career by stopping Wilson Reis with strikes in the 2nd round at UFC 215. Redeeming himself after suffering back to back losses to champion Demetrious Johnson and Joe Benavidez, Cejudo fights himself right back in the title picture after his flawless win.
The one man who might be the one obstacle Cejudo needs to overcome to get a title shot is the young, hungry Sergio Pettis. Coming off his own career-defining performance over Brandon Moreno in a 5-round main event, Pettis has just as much a claim to the title shot that Cejudo does. It would be very interesting to see whose style would prevail: Henry Cejudo’s top level wrestling pedigree or Sergio Pettis’ lifelong striking experience?
-Jeremy Stephens vs Yair Rodriguez
Jeremy Stephens looked arguably the most dominant he has ever looked in the UFC Featherweight division, as he battered former Strikeforce Lightweight champion Gil Melendez with leg kicks for 3 rounds en route to a unanimous decision win in the PPV opener. With the win, “Lil’ Heathen” was able to break a 2-fight losing skid, while also adding to Melendez’s now 4-fight losing streak. Stephens was also able to garner his 4th Fight of the Night bonus in his win Saturday night.
A 10-year veteran of the UFC, Stephens is in an interesting spot when it comes to his role on the the UFC roster and the featherweight division. The UFC doesn’t seem interested in giving a contender fight anytime soon, but have been putting him against younger fighters as a stepping stone for their careers. I tend to avoid matching up fighters off a win against fighters off a loss, but I feel the most exciting and logical matchup next for Jeremy Stephens would be against Mexican prospect Yair Rodriguez. Coming off a loss to Frankie Edgar back in May, Rodriguez did not fall far down the featherweight ladder. A win for Rodriguez would show he is still a threat to title contention, while a win for Stephens could put him back in contendership for the first time in a while.
Matchups for the remaining UFC 215 fighters
-Valentina Shevchenko vs Cat Zingano or Raquel Pennington
-Neil Magny vs Gunnar Nelson
-Wilson Reis vs Brandon Moreno
-Ilir Latifi vs Pat Cummins/Corey Anderson Winner
-Tyson Pedro vs Gian Villante
-Ketlen Viera vs Liz Carmouche
-Sara McMann vs Bethe Correia
-Sarah Moras vs Lina Lansberg
-Ashlee Evans-Smith vs Irene Aldana
-Rick Glenn vs Alex Caceres
-Gavin Tucker vs Gabriel Benitez
-Alex White vs Damir Hadzovic
-Arjan Bhullar vs Justin Willis
-Luis Henrique vs Adam Milstead
-Kajan Johnson vs Alan Patrick
-Adriano Martins vs Magomed Mustfaev