UFC 178 was advertised as the biggest card of the year, and it absolutely delivered. The night was capped off with another dominant title defense by UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, who ran his current winning streak to seven with the victory. That was far from the only impressive performance on Saturday night, though. Let’s check out what fights LWOS would book next for the main card winners and losers:
Demetrious Johnson: As stated above, Johnson was dominant yet again in his second round submission of Chris Cariaso. At this point, the most obvious fight to make for the champ would be a rematch against John Dodson, but he’s unfortunately sidelined after blowing out his ACL. So, next up should be the winner of Ian McCall vs John Lineker. Those two square off in November in Brazil, and the winner would be a worthy challenger for Johnson’s title, especially if it’s McCall. They’ve fought twice before, with their first bout ending in a draw, and Johnson taking a unanimous decision in the rematch.
Chris Cariaso: Cariaso was overwhelmed by Johnson from start to finish in his surprise title shot. As long as Johnson is the champ at flyweight, it’s going to be very hard for Carisaso to get another title shot. In the quest to build himself back up, a fight against Justin Scoggins would be excellent. The strength of both fighters is their stand-up, and both are coming off of devastating losses. This would be a good fight to see how each reacts to adversity.
Donald Cerrone: Cerrone, as he’s prone to do, had a rough first round against Eddie Alvarez, but he stormed back in rounds two and three to take clear-cut unanimous decision win. Originally, Cerrone was slated to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov on this card, and depending on the Russian’s recovery timetable, that’s still the fight to make.
Eddie Alvarez: While Alvarez failed to win in his octagon debut, he did show off his trademark heart and his great boxing, and most importantly, he’s finally in the UFC. Now, there’s a plethora of dream match-up’s to be made for the former Bellator lightweight king. First up should be former UFC and WEC lightweight champ Benson Henderson. Henderson is coming off of an upset loss to Rafael dos Anjos in August, and a bout against Alvarez has long been dreamed about by fans. While neither man may be champion anymore, it would still be an incredible fight.
Conor McGregor: McGregor needed just 106 seconds to prove that his hype is real. He’s now 4-0 in the UFC, with three wins coming by way of first round knockout. Dustin Poirier was the Irishman’s stiffest test to date, and he passed with flying colors. Post fight, McGregor was making his usual calls for a title shot, but I think the winner of November’s Frankie Edgar vs Cub Swanson fight is still more deserving of that than McGregor. He needs one more win to get there in my eyes, and taking on, and beating, the winner of Ricardo Lamas vs Dennis Bermudez would help him do just that. Lamas and Bermudez square off in November at UFC 180.
Dustin Poirier: This will be a tough loss for Poirier to deal with. He thought he was the one to stop the McGregor hype train, but instead, he didn’t even last two minutes with him. Poirier is still young, only 25, and he has a wealth of UFC experience. He also trains with a great camp, American Top Team, and his skills are still developing. A fight against veteran Clay Guida would be a good next bout for Poirier, as he’s one of the few top featherweights he’s yet to do battle with.
Yoel Romero: Stool controversy aside, this was a huge win for Romero, and it looks like the Cuban is just a win or two away from a title shot. He has massive power, which he retains throughout the whole fight, as evidenced by his three third round knockout wins in the UFC. In November, two top middleweights are set to go head to head in Brazil, and Romero should find himself standing across the cage from the victor in his next fight. The winner of Lyoto Machida vs CB Dollaway should be next up for Romero.
Tim Kennedy: Kennedy will not take this loss sitting down. In fact, Kennedy confronted Romero backstage after their fight, and in all likelihood, he will protest the result. Who knows if the Nevada State Athletic Commission will actually overturn the results though. As for what’s next for Kennedy, that’s tough. He already has losses to top contender’s Romero, Luke Rockhold and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, and he’s rapidly approaching 40. Earlier this month, former Strikeforce and DREAM champion Gegard Mousasi lost to the aforementioned Jacare. Surprisingly, Mousasi and Kennedy never crossed paths when both were fighting in Strikeforce, and now is the time to make it happen.
Cat Zingano: This is the easiest upcoming fight to book. Zingano looked stellar in her return to the octagon. After weathering an early storm in round one, she looked great and round two, and poured it on in round three, viciously finishing Amanda Nunes with elbows. Up next, Zingano should fight Ronda Rousey for the UFC women’s bantamweight championship. Saturday night, Zingano proved she still deserves the title shot she was promised last April before a knee injury sidelined her for over a year.
Amanda Nunes: Nunes was 2-0 with two knockout wins coming into this fight with Zingano, and halfway through round one, she looked well on her way to 3-0. Unfortunately for the Brazilian, Zingano turned the tide, and handed Nunes her first lost inside the UFC. Next for Nunes should be former title challenger Liz Carmouche. Despite recent losses, both are still top fighters, and a fight between the two would be a fun styles clash.
For the latest in sports injury news, check out our friends at Sports Injury Alert.
Have you tuned into Last Word On Sports Radio? LWOS is pleased to bring you 24/7 sports radio to your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. What are you waiting for?