After 10 rounds between Tyron Woodley and Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, a definitive better between the two still hasn’t been established. The UFC 209 main event didn’t see a ton of action but was a constant threat for action to begin. It never perked up.
The night’s fights saw underdogs win, new contenders emerge and stars have risen. Post-UFC 209 will see interesting matchups in the next six months for the new age of MMA.
Tyron Woodley vs. Maia/Masvidal winner
The Welterweight champion narrowly escaped his ten rounds with Wonderboy but continues to be the champion. After two fights in four months, and title fights being booked for the next four months, some time off should be in stock.
The next title shot was expected to go to Demian Maia. Much like Woodley waited for the title shot last year, Maia was expected to do the same. After seven months of inactivity, Maia will return to fight Jorge Masvidal in May. The winner of that fight should be ready for Woodley in late summer.
The Georges St. Pierre bout that has eluded Woodley for so long could be a possibility depending on if Woodley and the UFC can agree for him to wait. If Maia can beat Masvidal, he has rightfully earned his spot as the next title challenger. Ask Yoel Romero what that means.
Stephen Thompson vs. Neil Magny
Some fighters gain exposure and steam when losing a fight. Wonderboy Thompson is one of those fighters.
After winning 15 of 30 rounds against the champion, it’s a short climb to reach the top once again with wins over other top contenders as well.
The damage has been minimal for Wonderboy over the two fights with Woodley. A quick turnaround could be possible for the 34-year-old. The always game Neil Magny just had a Jorge Masvidal fight not come through and is looking for a tough opponent. Wonderboy-Magny would make a PPV fight or main/co-main event for a fight night.
David Teymur vs. Mairbek Taisumov
David Teymur was one of the biggest underdogs on the card; he put on the performance of his career to earn his biggest win thus far.
With the stacked and talented Lightweight division, getting ahead is no easy task. The Swede should meet the Chechen Mairbek Taisumov on the Stockholm card in May. Both fighters would benefit from a win and make a splash on their journey in the Lightweight division.
Daniel Kelly vs. David Branch
The former Olympian Daniel Kelly picked up the biggest win of his career over former champion Rashad Evans. With four wins in a row, Kelly is showing the Middleweight division he can still hang.
At 39 after a tough bout with Evans, Kelly likely won’t be back until the UFC returns to his home country of Australia. Upon that return could be former World Series of Fighting Light Heavyweight and Middleweight champion David Branch. Two big 185 pounders with great grappling should show where each guy sits in the division.
Depending on how long Kelly is out, a rematch of his only UFC loss is a possibility as Sam Alvey will fight again in April. If ‘Smile N’ can continue his winning streak and wants to continue to be active, a rematch would make sense rankings and time wise.
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Jamie Moyle
Newest Team Alpha Male prospect Cynthia Calvillo impressed and made the most of the PPV spotlight with her first round submission win over Amanda Cooper. But the best came on the mic as she channeled her inner Diaz brother.
The win in her debut showed the masses what she could do under the spotlight. The Strawweight division is wide open.
Calvillo took no damage in the fight and said she wants to continue to climb the rankings. Jamie Moyle picked up her first UFC win in December by beating Kailin Curran in Las Vegas. Calvillo and Moyle would make for an exciting matchup on any undercard.
Overeem vs. Velasquez
Alistair Overeem is in a tough spot right now. Having just beat Mark Hunt would put most people in title talks, but Overeem just lost his title fight in September and likely will need one to two more wins to get back there.
To expedite the process, he could face former champion Cain Velasquez when he’s healthy to fight. The fight would be among the most anticipated if made. A win over Velasquez would surely earn Overeem another chance for the title under the right circumstances.
Overeem said post-fight he would be good with fighting scary prospect Francis N’Gannou. Dana White quickly put that to rest as he did not want that fight to happen.
If the Velasquez bout can’t come to fruition, a bout with Derrick Lewis, a winner of six in a row, would be in the right frame rankings wise.
Other Bouts to make
Lando Vannata vs. Johnny Case
Rashad Evans vs. C.B. Dollaway
Amanda Cooper vs. J.J. Aldrich
Mark Hunt vs. Andrei Arlovski
Marcin Tybura vs. Alexander Volkov
Luis Henrique vs. Alexander Erokhin
Darren Elkins vs. Dennis Bermudez
Mirsad Bektic vs. Jason Knight
Iuri Alcantara vs. Eddie Wineland
Luke Sanders vs. Rob Font
Mark Godbeer vs. Cyril Asker
Daniel Spitz vs. Justin Willis
Tyson Pedro vs. Jordan Johnson
Paul Craig vs. Luis Henrique da Silva
Albert Morales vs. Damian Stasiak
Andre Soukhamthath vs. Matt Schnell