Valentina Shevchenko stepped into the UFC Octagon at UFC 275 and everyone thought this would be a typical Shevchenko title defense where Shevchenko would show how she is the most dominant Flyweight in MMA history. But to everyone’s surprise Taila Santos gave Shevchenko a very big challenge, one that Shevchenko rose above in the end but it was very close with one judge even scoring it for Santos. We decided to look ahead at what should be next for Shevchenko.
One obvious fight to make is a rematch with Santos. That fight was a great fight, and once Santos recovers from that broken orbital we think that she should face off against Shevchenko in an immediate rematch as Shevchenko has cleared out that division and it looks like no-one in that division is of the same caliber as the Bullet. If Shevchenko doesn’t move up I think it’s imperative that we see this fight run back sometime in 2023, but Shevchenko might want to be more active than that.
The Obvious other matchup in the Flyweight division is a rematch with Katlyn Chookagian. since their last matchup at UFC 247 before the Pandemic, Chookagian has put together a 5-1 record with a four fight win streak. Chookagian was supposed to face Manon Fiorot at UFC Paris, but has since pulled out of that matchup. We think the number one Flyweight contender would be a good matchup fans would like to see.
The real matchup fans would like to see is Shevchenko vs. the winner of the Julianna Peña vs Amanda Nunes Bantamweight title bout at UFC 277. Shevchenko’s only losses in her MMA career were against Amanda Nunes. I think that fans would like to see these two fight again even though Shevchenko lost both bouts. This would be a good fight if Nunes wins her bout and her belt back after she faces Peña. If Peña wins against Nunes again this sets up an interesting situation. Shevchenko won her bout against Peña in January of 2017. She’d be a heavy favorite if she went up and challenged Peña for the Bantamweight belt. Both these fights would make Shevchenko a two division champion which we’d love to see.
These matchups make sense for Shevchenko in our eyes. We can’t wait to see her in the cage again very soon.
Christmas may be over and Santa has delivered his last package, but we still have a wishlist of fights that we’re asking Uncle Dana to deliver us in the new year. The UFC has done a lot of great things persevering through the Pandemic, and we have some thoughts on fights we want to see in a post pandemic year, a full year with fans in the stands at all the PPV events. Here are our four big fight wishes for the New Year.
Dustin Poirier Vs. Nate Diaz
Dustin Poirier just lost his title shot against champion Charles Oliveira at UFC 269 earlier this month. After the fight many fans wondered what was Next for Poirier. Some even wondered if Lafyette’s own would retire. I doubt Poirier retires and I think that him being one of the promotion’s biggest stars he will go after money fights. And one of the big money fights that he could go for would be a matchup with Diaz. It’d be a grappler vs. grappler matchup but one would think fans would look past that and want to see these two guys throwing shots at each other and see who reigns supreme. Both Poirier and Diaz have beef with McGregor so this potentially sets the stage for either one of them to fight McGregor again.
Derrick Lewis Vs. Stipe Miocic
Derrick Lewis has the most Knockouts in UFC history and he is one of the most entertaining Heavyweights in the division. It is rumored that Lewis wants to fight Miocic next. Miocic has been on the sidelines since losing his title to current Heavyweight Champion, Francis Ngannou at UFC 260. Miocic has stayed busy working on his podcast, at his second job at the Fire Department, and being a father two his daughter and new son, Mateo. Miocic is considered to be the Heavyweight GOAT and it’d be interesting to see the Heavyweight GOAT vs. the UFC Knockout King. Let’s not mention that Stipe is very proficient on his feet being a Golden Gloves boxing champion and could go toe to toe with Lewis.
Jon Jones Vs. Anyone in the Heavyweight Division
After a recent arrest Jon Jones’ future with the promotion looked odd. Jones being cut always seemed unlikely as the UFC would probably like to control Jones as he’s one of the promotion’s biggest stars. It was Rumored that Jones was offered a fight with the UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou but the money wasn’t right in Jone’s eyes. After talks for that fight fizzled out it was rumored that Jones was offered a fight with former Heavyweight Champion, Stipe Miocic. Jones wasn’t interested in that fight either. Hopefully Jones figures out what he’s interested in, possibly another title fight offer is in Jones’ future to fight the winner of Ngannou and Ciryl Gane at UFC 270.
Amanda Nunes Vs. Julianna Peña 2
This month Julianna Peña shocked the MMA world with her defeat of Amanda Nunes at UFC 269 in the Co-main Event for the UFC Women’s Bantamweight title. Peña, who had called for the fight for many years, won via Submission in the second round. She did everything she said she would and did not fear Nunes. The two now have even more resentment towards each other as after the fight Peña went after Nunes with verbal barbs saying she was the first Mom champ when Nunes had adopted a daughter that was birthed by her wife, fellow UFC fighter, Nina Nunes. This vitriol between the two and the addition of Nunes being the most dominant female UFC champion in history trying to get one of her titles, absolutely makes this a rematch that you the viewer don’t want to miss.
This past Saturday Night at UFC 269 Julianna Pena shocked the world. Her hard work and determination paid off and she pulled off an amazing victory. But what is next for Peña? We’re not the UFC matchmakers and they definitely don’t care what we think, but we definitely think that there are some amazing matchups that they could make. One possibility would be running it back with an immediate rematch with Amanda Nunes. Another fight that would be a rematch against Germaine de Randamie Peña. Then there’s another rematch that I think the UFC would love to put on and that’s a rematch against Valentina Schevchenko.
The MMA world was shaken up when Peña beat Amanda Nunes. The Lioness had been dethroned and one of her belts was now on the challenger. Nunes came out yesterday on her instagram and said she’d take the rematch eventually. I think fans want to see this fight. The fans love the idea that Nunes in her current form is beatable and this might sell a lot of PPV cards so it’d be interesting to see these two fighters run it back. This also gives Peña the opportunity to solidify herself as a champion making a title defense against the female G.O.A.T.
Germaine de Randamie and Peña fought in October of 2020 de Randamie got the win by Submission (Guillotine Choke.) At her post fight press conferences Peña suggested that they run this fight back. de Randamie is a tough opponent; her only losses in the last ten years have been to Amanda Nunes. It makes sense that de Randamie would be in the mix to get a title shot now that Nunes is not holding the title. I think fans would like to see this matchup but I don’t know if it will sell PPV cards like a fight with Nunes or Shevchenko would. Remember the fight game is actually a business and they’re more apt to pick fights that would sell cards.
Peña faced Valentina Shevchenko in January of 2017. Schevchenko has since gone on to move down to Flyweight and won the title in that division and has made six successful title defenses. This would be an interesting fight because it could take place at two different weight classes. Peña could go down to 125 and fight Shevchenko at Flyweight or Shevchenko could come back to Bantamweight and fight for the 135 pound strap. Shevchenko might be more likely to go up and fight at 135 to possibly become a two division champ if she were to beat Peña.
Peña is the new Bantamweight Champion we think she has many options open for her. Whether it be with Nunes, de Randamie, or Shevchenko we hope the best for her.