Jan Blachowicz def. Israel Adesanya via Unanimous Decision
Jan Blachowicz – Glover Teixeira
Despite being the much larger man, Jan Blachowicz was looked at by many as an underdog. He silenced a lot of people this past weekend by becoming the first person to defeat Adesanya in MMA. The Polish fighter sealed the victory by holding down the Nigerian for the majority of the last two rounds. Blachowicz will now turn his attention to the hungry 205lb division that is waiting for their opportunity at the belt. First up is former title challenger Glover Teixeira. The 41-year-old is on a five-fight winning streak and will look to capture UFC gold for the first time.
Israel Adesanya – Robert Whittaker or Darren Till / Marvin Vettori winner
Israel Adesanya attempted to do something only four other fighters have been able to do. Despite the loss, Adesanya should be respected for taking a risk very few attempt. Adesanya will return back to 185lbs to continue to defend his middleweight crown. There are two fights coming up over then next few months that should determine the number one contender. the first being Robert Whittaker vs Paulo Costa. With a victory, Whittaker should be rewarded with a rematch with Adesanya regardless of what takes place in the other fight. If Costa were to win, the winner of Darren Till vs Marvin Vettori should get the next crack at the belt.
Amanda Nunes def. Megan Anderson via Submission (Armbar)
Amanda Nunes – Julianna Peña
Amanda Nunes once again proves that she is the greatest to ever do it. If her dominance continues, she could go down as the greatest female athlete ever. She completely dominated Megan Anderson for as long as the fight lasted. After defending the featherweight belt twice in a row, she will need to head back to 135lbs for her next bout. Holly Holm was recently forced out of her May 8 fight with Julianna Peña and a replacement will be needed. Nunes has beaten nearly everyone near the top of both weight classes. One of the few exceptions is Julianna Peña. Peña has also been calling for a fight with Nunes for a few years now so there is some history behind it.
Megan Anderson – Germaine de Randamie
Megan Anderson finds herself in an unusual position after that loss. With only a handful of featherweights in the division, she may find herself without an opponent for a while. If the UFC can sign some talent from other promotions than that could be an option for Anderson. Another option for Anderson is to face Germaine de Randamie. The only Dutch fighter in the UFC was the former Featherweight Champion before she relinquished the belt to move down to bantamweight. A move back to 145lbs would help her jump the line to the title. It would also be a new foe for both women which is especially rare at the top of the women’s divisions.
Aljamain Sterling def. Petr Yan via Disqualification (Illegal Knee)
Aljamain Sterling – Petr Yan
The opening round of the fight was incredible. The pace of Sterling was ridiculous and landed some heavy shots on the Champion. After the first round, his gas tank began to fade and the tides turned. Yan was able to trip Sterling at ease and the tides began to turn. In the fourth round, Yan caught Sterling with an illegal knee which rendered Sterling unable to continue. As a result of the disqualification, Sterling was awarded the 135lb title. Given the fact Yan was winning the fight up to that point, the UFC needs to rebook the rematch. Fortunately, Sterling seems to be okay and hopefully will not need too much time off.
Islam Makhachev def. Drew Dober via Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke)
Islam Makhachev – Tony Ferguson
The hype around Islam Makhachev is very real. This fight played out very similar to a fight that took place a few months ago when Makhachev’s teammate Khabib Nurmagomedov fought Dober’s teammate Justin Gaethje. The high-level wrestling was a huge factor in this fight, and the Russian simply outclassed Dober on the mat. After the fight, Makhachev called for a fight with Tony Ferguson. The Khabib – Ferguson fight was talked about for years, so this one seems like it could slot in perfectly. It’ll give Ferguson a chance to bounce back from consecutive losses.
Drew Dober – Vinc Pichel
When the fight was announced, Dober was the #15 ranked fighter in the division. Due to Michael Chandler’s UFC debut, he fell out of the rankings. Despite the loss on Saturday, Dober truly deserves to be ranked in the division. His move to Elevation Fight Team he has been a man on a mission. As a previously ranked opponent, Dober will not have a shortage of callouts. Look for lightweights competing in the next few weeks to be calling for a fight with him. One of the unbooked lightweights at the moment is Vinc Pichel. At 38-years-old Pichel has finally hit his prime most recently defeating Jim Miller. Given his age, he may want to look for big matchups now. A victory over Dober would help him enter the rankings for the first time in his career.
Aleksandar Rakic def. Thiago Santos via Unanimous Decision
Aleksandar Rakic – Dominick Reyes / Jiří Procházka winner
Aleksandar Rakic’s rise has been incredible in the sport. His lone loss in the promotion came via split decision to Volkan Oezdemir. Following the defeat, he earned victories over two former title challengers. He now finds himself one big win away from his first shot at the UFC title. Glover Teixeira is next in line for the title which means Rakic will need another matchup. The only two men that would make any sense compete against one another on May 1 when Jiří Procházka fights Dominick Reyes. Whoever emerges victorious from that fight should be next for the Austrian to determine the number one contender.
Thiago Santos – Volkan Oezdemir
Thiago Santos struggled to get going in this one and has now lost three straight fights. In what many expected to be a barnburner, this fight ended up having a lot less action than anticipated. Both men seemed to one another’s power which led to the fight playing out the way it did. Santos is still one of the most feared fighters at 205 and will be getting a big-name next time out. Volkan Oezdemir also possesses tremendous power for the division. Oezdemir is also coming off of a loss so the bout would be a must-win for both gentlemen.