For those watching the in the USA, many had to make a choice of whether or not to get up super early and tune into the world Cup, or watch an unusually early card from Singapore. For those who decided to stay loyal for the great sport of MMA, they were not disappointed as they saw a card filled with great fights.
From rising stars to known names on a redemption story, there was plenty to take from this card. I have analysed the fights have listed below who I believe each LOSER should fight next. Will they continue fighting the best or will they need to build their way to the top? READ BELOW to find out what I think.
Daichi Abe (6-1)
In the opening fight, we saw a welterweight contest as highly regarded Chinese prospect Li-Jingliang took on japans Daichi Abe. Coming into this contest off a Unanimous Decision loss at UFC 221 in February, it was very important that Abe got back to winning ways as he did in his UFC debut. In this fight however, he lost a one sided Unanimous Decision to Jingliang, who himself got back to winning after his loss to Jake Matthews, also at UFC 221.
While he is rock bottom of the UFC Rankings, predicting who he may fight next is quite difficult. I believe a fight with Bradley Scott (11-6), who is currently on a 0-2 run after losing to Carlo Pedersoli may be a fight that would make sense. Both fighters would be looking to save their UFC career, which would make it a very entertaining scrap, as well as the fact that they are heavy hitters.
Jessica-Rose Clark (9-5)
Coming into this fight, Rose-Clark was on a 2 fight win streak, with victories over Paige Van-Zant and Bec Rawlings. This was Rose-Clarks 3rd fight since moving to Flyweight and had looked like a rejuvenated fighter. However, this was Eye’s first fight at Flyweight, and while Rose-Clark was always more than good enough to win this fight, many believed that we would see the best Jessica Eye (13-6-1) possible with the size advantage for the first time in the UFC.
This was competitive bout with a pretty clear winner at the end. While Eye looked like the winner from the first to last rounds, Rose-Clark was in no way out of her depth. In the end, the wrestling advantage of Eye proved to be crucial. In her next bout, I believe that a contest with Andrea Lee (9-2), would be very intriguing. Not only would it show where Lee is in her career against an established UFC name, but it would also give Rose-Clark the chance to rebound in impressive fashion against such a regarded prospect in the Female MMA ranks.
Tyson Pedro (7-2)
In the Co-Main event we saw talented Light-Heavyweight vet Ovince Saint-Preux (23-11) take on highly talented rising star Tyson Pedro. With ‘OSP’ having 15 fights inside the Octagon and having fought for the Interim title versus Jon Jones, the experience was expected to be the difference in this fight if he was going to win against a young Pedro, with only 5 UFC fights himself.
The fight started very well for Pedro, with him dropping OSP within the first couple of minutes. It could be argued that it was the experience that played the difference in the end. After being dropped, OSP reacted with an attempted double leg to recover. A failed guillotine attempt resulted in an attempt to take Saint-Preux done, which was reversed. From this, Saint-Preux was able to end up on top and locked in a straight-armbar for the win. I believe that while Pedro is without doubt one of the most talented stars in a very thin Light-Heavyweight division, I believe he should take his time and build his experience up against lesser experienced opponents. Should he win against Khalil Roundtree. Jr, I believe a fight against Gokhan Saki would be extremely interesting. Although a world class kick boxer, Saki does not yet have a huge amount of MMA experience, so this fight is certainly winnable for Pedro.
Donald Cerrone (33-10)
Coming off an impressive 1st Round stoppage win against Yancy Madeiros (15-5) in February, many thought that ‘Cowboy’ might finally be getting back to his normal self. However, although this fight did not end how he planned, the performance was somewhat satisfying for many. He was not outclassed, far from it. He was just beaten by the better man on the night. It is hard to tell whether Leon Edwards (16-3) is a legitimate top contender or Cerrone has just declined.
In his next fight, if at welterweight, I believe that he should fight highly experienced former Strikeforce Champion, Tarec Saffiedine (16-7). For me, this would be an excellent indicator of where both fighters are at in their careers, and while also winnable for both fighters, It would be a great fight for the fans to see two of their favourite names face to face. At this stage of both fighters careers, while it is important to have fun fights, it is also crucial to remain at the highest level of the UFC. A fight over an opponent would be a huge boost for cowboys own confidence, as well as his fans confidence in him.
It is unclear when cowboy may fight again. While many would prefer him to reduce his fighting schedule, that simply isn’t cowboy. With many personal issues to deal with on fight deal, he looked great considering. I still believe that he has a part to play in the top 15 rankings. I do believe strongly too though that Lightweight is the division he should be in.