JACKSONVILLE, FL – Shemayev’s Buds stole the show, as expected, at UFC 273 Saturday night by unanimously defeating Gilbert Burns in what Dana White called one of the greatest fights he’s ever seen. Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovsky made his own show by stopping Chan Sung-jung in the fourth round. And while Aljamain Sterling may not have silenced all of his critics, his victory in a separate decision over Petr Yan to defend his massive welterweight belt will likely shift his focus to a different opponent.
So who’s next for Shemayev? White said Colby Covington would be on board if Chemayev won. Is this the right fight?
And while Jan believes he deserves the decision and wants to play a third match against Sterling, who won the title when Jan was disqualified for an illegal knee on March 6, 2021, would the UFC be interested in the treble?
And what about Volkanovsky?
Here’s who should be next – with a wild card – for these winners, as well as for Mackenzie Dern, who defeated Tecia Torres, by split decision.
Alexander Volkanovsky keeps Chan Sung Jung guessing throughout his fight and wins the match by TKO.
Alexander Volkanovsky, featherweight champion
Who should be next: Max Holloway
This is a no-brainer. The three-way fight between these two was supposed to happen at this event, but Holloway had to contend with a long-term injury. He was already cleared in time to fight on Saturday, but the UFC had already moved on by then with Jung as his replacement. Volkanovsky is the hero – there is nothing to talk about there. But given how close his victory over Holloway was, there was always a demand for them to complete the trilogy. Holloway has been a thorn in the hero’s side. Volkanovsky could not bypass him. Obviously, his third win will allow him to do just that. And if Volkanovsky can make a turnaround relatively quickly, I think that will happen in August.
Wild Card: Henry Segudo
I’m about to joke. This will not happen. However, there is no other battle for Volkanovsky. No other featherweight competitor could be worthy. There is no room for him to switch to lightweight for any reason. It’s the Holloway trilogy and nothing else.
But if Cejudo suddenly wants to come out of retirement (and on his old contract, because it doesn’t look like the UFC wants to pay him more to do it), this fight is going to be fun.
Chan Sung-jung, featherweight
Who should be next: Giga Chikadze
Jung is 35 years old and says he still has a few things left in the tank. Any path to another title seems unlikely, but it still ranks highly. He definitely still managed to top the card.
Chikadze emerges from a fairly dominant loss to Calvin Katar. Prior to that fight in January, he looked like a very legitimate contender for the title. A win over Jung would put Chikadze straight back into the mix, among the top six or seven in the division. Stylistically, it’s a great fight — because many of those are at featherweight, to be honest.
This is a dynamic division now. This is a tough fight, and I wouldn’t mind seeing it as a five-round main event.
Wild Card: Arnold Allen
This is not an ideal option, because Allen takes a win. But Allen is still looking to build his profile, and a fight against zombies will do just that. It’s also just a very fun fight. And even though Jung loses, he still ranks very high.
The UFC is looking forward to returning to England this summer. Jung’s fight against Allen in London will be a great one for several reasons.
Shemayev Khamza, medium weight
Who should be next: Colby Covington
Oh my God, what a fight. We wanted to see Shemayev test, and we got it. And I’ll tell you, that was one of those perfect situations for Kemayev, because defeat stared him in the face. I think he made some mistakes in this fight. I think he may have taken Burns lightly. He learned valuable lessons, and he did not have to lose. It would be more dangerous because of this. Covington is the obvious next fight. Part of me hates seeing them fight because one has to lose and then you lose a potential title contender. But Shemayev seemed human in this fight, and Covington is one of the best in the world. It’s a good match. Let’s go.
wild card: Winner of Camaro Usman vs. Leon Edwards
This is the title of the next battle. If Covington didn’t fight Shemayev, and if he wasn’t interested, there was nothing else to do but wait. Chimayev hates waiting, and may want to advance in a middleweight fight while he waits for his turn, but that was a tough fight he just had with Burns. Vacation probably wouldn’t be the worst thing. Let him sit next to Usman opposite Edwards, and bring him to the cage to face the winner. view. And a great way to end the year at welterweight.
Gilbert Burns, welterweight
Who should be next: Jorge Masvidal
Let’s reward Burns, shall we? This guy will fight anyone. He will do so whenever the UFC asks. He was willing to take the fight that the rest of the squad didn’t want in Chemayev, and nearly cast her out as an important underdog. Before all that, he gave one of the best performances of his career, even in the event of a loss. He deserves another big fight, get out of this fight. Fans love him as they should. Burns comes to fight, he’s entertaining, he’s humble, he doesn’t give up. Masvidal hasn’t won his last three matches, but he’s made a name as big as anyone in the division, and he’s still ranked. This is.
– Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) April 10 2022
wild card: Loser from Camaro Usman vs. Leon Edwards
If Edwards loses to Usman, it makes sense – although I will say, I think the UFC will take a closer look at Edwards against Masvidal, which would leave Burns out. If Usman loses, he may get an immediate rematch, or not, with all the good options at welterweight. There are a lot of moving parts in all of this, and I don’t know if Burns and Osman will ever fight again, unless there’s a title on the line. Maybe not. But from a classification perspective, this is the most logical, if not Masvidal.
Aljamain Sterling wins his long-awaited rematch with Petr Yan via split decision at UFC 273.
Aljamin Sterling, Bantamweight Champion
Who should be the following: TJ Dillashaw
Whether or not you agree with Saturday’s scorecards, you can also skip the Sterling and Jan match. Because the UFC will. Sterling already has it. It was a close fight that could have gone either way, but the UFC isn’t about to restart it again. Dilacho has been waiting for the title shot since his comeback and beat Cory Sandhagen last July. Perhaps waiting wasn’t the right term, he was recovering from the injuries he had sustained in that battle. Sterling wants to fight it. It’s the biggest title fight the UFC can have at the Bantamweight at the moment. Next will be. Dillachaux told me he would like to do it on October 22nd in Abu Dhabi, but will do it wherever he wants Sterling.
wild card: Peter Yang
If the UFC didn’t do Dillashaw for whatever reason, running that back would be the only thing that makes sense. Perhaps if the anger over the decision is high enough to have a third meeting. But I don’t expect that to happen.
Peter Yan, Bantam Weight
Who should be the following: Merab Dvalishvili
It may seem grim for Lian now that he’s lost to the same opponent twice in title fights, in a heartbreaking way. In their first meeting he cost himself an illegitimate knee, and paid dearly for it. Then, losing that decision, through a split decision, was tough. But he’s actually not far from the belt. This fight makes sense to me. Dvalishvili is Sterling’s classmate and close friend. There is a story built behind this fight already. I wouldn’t mind seeing Yan against someone who would beat him up, but I think that’s the one to make because of the story.
wild card: Dominic Cruz
Cruz is one of the biggest names in the department, and is, in my opinion, the greatest weightlifter of all time. Cruz is no longer in his prime, but he deserves a big fight. One that could give him one last chance at the UFC title. Yan fits this law. Yan is a fearsome opponent, and Cruz must be perfect. Is Cruz able to implement a game plan similar to what Sterling just did? definitely. Yan fights the partition legend. Cruz fights someone who can deliver him to a belt. Win, win.
Mackenzie Dern, straw weight
Who should be nextWinner of Jesica Andrade vs Amanda Lemos match on April 23
Dern battles mean. Her constant pressure forces her opponents to fight, and Dern secures her chin. She’s ready to fight in a phone booth. And it leads to chaos that benefits it because it is dangerous to scramble or extract submission. She has a lot of career left, and it’s going to be interesting before all is said and done, as she keeps getting better between each contest. Andrade is back in the flyweight division, and she’s facing a real rookie in the Limos. In an ideal world, Dern would remain active. There is no rush. You don’t need to have a title fight in 2022. Keep building. This match will be a real test.
wild card: Amanda Ribas
This may seem strange because Ribas is moving upwards for flight weight. Catelyn Chukajian fights May 14th. If she loses that fight and decides she wants to retest the 115, I think this match could make a lot of sense. Ribas has a win over Dern as of 2019. If Ribas beat Chukagian, she would obviously still be at 125. Even if she loses that match, she can stay at the flyweight. But I can see a world in which this battle is taking place, and once again, it’s about keeping Dern active. There are not many options at the moment who are applying them in the department.