UFC 255 took place at UFC APEX in Las Vegas this past weekend. The event featured two title bouts, with both the men’s and women’s flyweight champions defending their titles. In the co-main event, flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko successfully defended her title in a rather comfortable decision win against Jennifer Maia. In the main event, flyweight king Deiveson Figueiredo made quick work of challenger Alex Perez.
In the other main card fights, Tim Means defeated Mike Perry via unanimous decision, Katlyn Chookagian beat Cynthia Calvillo by way of unanimous decision, and Paul Craig looked the best version of himself as he stopped former champion Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua in the second round.
Now that UFC 255 is behind us, there’s definitely talk of who’s next for the event’s big winners. Let’s find out.
Should Fight Next: Brandan Moreno
Figueiredo is set to defend his title against Brandon Moreno, at UFC 256 in three weeks. ‘The Assassin Baby’ also won at UFC 255, finishing Brandon Royval at the very end of the first round. In the post fight press conference, UFC president Dana White revealed that the reigning champion fly back to his home country of Brazil. After beating Perez, ‘God of War’ also called out the Mexican, who is sits at number one in the UFC flyweight rankings.
Should Fight Next: Jessica Andrade or Lauren Murphy
Shevchenko is undefeated as a UFC flyweight, with five wins in flyweight title fights and four successful title defences, the latest being against Jennifer Maia. The champion has already beaten the division’s number two (Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 247), the number three (Maia), and the number six (Jessica Eye at UFC 238), and given that fourth-ranked Cynthia Calvillo lost to Chookagian at UFC 255, the flyweight queen is lacking options in her division.
Former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade is the number one contender, and is coming off a fantastic TKO win against Chookagian at UFC Fight Island 6 in her flyweight debut. The Brazilian brings unmatched power and volume to the table, something ‘Bullet’ hasn’t dealt with at flyweight yet.
However, Lauren Murphy has also been on a solid four-fight win streak, and would prove to be quite a test for the champion.
In the post-fight press conference, Shevchenko said that a fight between Andrade and Murphy for the next title challenger would be great, but since she wouldn’t want to wait too long for her next defence, she’ll fight either of the two, with Andrade being the favourite.
Should Fight Next: Jennifer Maia
Maia is not only coming off a loss but lost to Chookagian a year ago at UFC 244, so would no doubt love to run it back against her. The Brazilian also missed weight in that fight. ‘The Blonde Fighter’ rebounded from her loss to Andrade by beating Calvillo this past weekend. The winner of the fight would take a big step towards a second shot at Shevchenko.
Should Fight Next: Shavkat Rakhmonov
Veteran fighter Means has had his ups and downs over the past few years, but has won two on the trot now, and would be looking for a step-up in competition to break through to the UFC rankings. Undefeated prospect Shavkat Rakhmonov, who is coming off an impressive win against Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliviera at UFC 254, would make an ideal opponent.
This would be the perfect veteran vs prospect encounter, with both eyeing a place in UFC’s welterweight top 15.
Should Fight Next: Johnny Walker
UFC light heavyweight division is buzzing with powerful and explosive prospects and stars, and among them are Paul Craig, Johnny Walker and Magomed Ankalaev. At present, Craig is number fifteen in the UFC 205lbs rankings, but will surely jump a place or two up after his recent success.
With three wins and a draw in his last four fights, ‘Bearjew’ will be looking to fight someone higher up than him in the rankings, and Johnny Walker could be that guy. Why this makes sense is because Walker has won only one of his last three fights, and needs to regain some momentum by winning a few fights.
Who do you think the big winners at UFC 255 should fight next?