It’s time to play matchmaker again and have a look at some potential fights for the winners and losers of UFC Fight Night: Shevchenko vs Pena. If you have any fights you’d like to see tweet us at @mma_banter
I certainly didn’t see it going down that way. In what was a striker versus grappler bout, the striker submits the grappler! It was very impressive by Valentina and there is no doubt about it, she has earned her title shot against the champ Amanda Nunes. The two fought last year in what was a very interesting fight. Nunes blitzed Shevchenko in the first two rounds, only for Shevchenko to storm home in round 3 but just fall short. This led many to wonder how the fight would have finished had it been a five round affair. Now we get that question answered. MATCH-UP: Amanda Nunes
Pena is in an odd position after this performance. She was publicly vocal that she deserved a title fight, she was given the chance to earn it and fell short. There is definitely no doubting she is one of the top female Bantamweight fighters and her next opponent should still reflect this. This might be a bit far-fetched, but if Rousey is going to return for another fight, I think that is the fight to make. Pena is an exceptional grappler and her game is all about capitalizing on that. Rousey has come up short against some top-level strikers in her last two fights, but there is no doubting she is one of the best submission artists of all time in the UFC. This fight makes sense for both of them. It gives Rousey another high-profile fight with a style that allows her to use her best skills, and it gives Pena the opportunity to prove just how good her grappling is. In the event that Rousey will indeed retire, then Pennington is the highest ranked opponent available to fight and would provide a stern test for Pena to remain relevant. MATCH-UP: Raquel Pennington / Ronda Rousey
Masvidal definitely talked the talk in the lead up to this fight, but wow did he walk the walk. He stood toe to toe with an in-form Cerrone and beat him at his own game. The win certainly puts him in the spotlight and in the frame for a very significant Welterweight bout. I’m not going to lie, a scrap with Nick Diaz is really appealing. It would be an absolute brawl, and I don’t get care what other fight is on that card, it would be the fight of the night. Alas, we don’t know what is happening with Diaz and Masvidal has definitely earned a title significant top five opponent. The two guys that stand out for me as exciting match ups are Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit. Take your pick for me. Both would be exceptional fights and both are worthy next steps for Masvidal, after this whopper of a performance. MATCH-UP: Robbie Lawler
It was really tough to watch that loss for Cerrone. He’s fast become everyone’s favorite fighter. Part of that reason is his willingness and desire to jump in and fight as often as possible. Something that may very well be his downfall. Putting himself into these wars month after month is bound to take its toll and we might have just that. He deserves to give himself a break, a re-set and then come back into these important fights. A loss like this certainly isn’t going to remove his relevance, but I’d like to see him take a short break before he come back to fight another contender. The fights that really appeal to me are Lorenz Larkin and Neil Magny. Both are guys that are still firmly entrenched as relevant in the division, both present different intriguing match ups with Cerrone. I’m leaning towards Larkin due to the stand up excitement that would bring. MATCH-UP: Lorenz Larkin
Who would have thought this man could look any scary than he has so far in his UFC career. He just steamrolled an ex-champion and Heavyweight great. It was his biggest challenged by far and he crushed it. He’s ready for that top 5 fight now. As much as I’d love to see him in a clash of the power punches with Mark Hunt, he’s already booked. Ngannou loves his short turn around and when you’re finishing fights inside two minutes, who can blame him? Ben Rothwell has been actively after a fight on Twitter, recently calling out Werdum. I think a Rothwell vs Ngannou fight makes plenty of sense. It’s a new type of challenge for Ngannou, against a guy that has as much size as him and a penchant for brawling and suffocating guys. Let’s give Ngannou his next test, if he gets the victory he can face the winner of Hunt vs Overeem next. Title shot by the end of the year? It’s looking very possible. MATCH-UP: Ben Rothwell
Other fights: Arlovski vs Volkov; Knight vs Barao; Caceres vs Ishihara; Alvey vs Natal; Marquardt vs Sanchez; Assuncao vs Lineker; Sterling vs Dodson; Jingliang vs Meek; Nash vs Velickovic; Johnson vs Clark; Da Silva vs Dolloway; Spicely vs Kelly; Di Chirico vs Vettori; De Lima vs Phillips; Kimball vs Wilson; Pantoja vs Smolka; Shelton vs Sandoval; Gonzalez vs Tuck; Cottrell vs Powell.