There was little question about how much the UFC needed UFC 178. After a string of lackluster pay-per-view cards, the promotion stacked UFC 178 to the gills in hopes of turning out a classic night for fans to remember. The card succeeded in that and bolstered some of the year’s most memorable performances and battles. What matches are next for the competitors of UFC 178? Take a look below to find out.
Demetrious Johnson once again proved why he is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, submitting Chris Cariaso in the second round of a dominant performance. Johnson is quickly receiving the “it’s not if he will win, but how he will win” treatment by MMA fans. With that kind of aura enclosing on the champion, it’s hard to get excited about future challengers to his title. The type of challengers Johnson needs to keep the MMA fanbase interested is someone who can end a fight at any moment. That man is none other than Brazil’s John Lineker. Lineker possesses brutal knockout power and a fan friendly brawling style. The Brazilian is currently slated to face Ian McCall in November but should he defeat “Uncle Creepy” he should be next for Johnson. If Lineker is unable to defeat McCall, a rematch with a returning John Dodson will likely be next for the champion.
Donald Cerrone absolutely brutalized former Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez en-route to a unanimous decision win. The win was not without concern for Cowboy as he found himself badly rocked in the first round. Cerrone continues to show that he’s one of the division’s best and his fight with Alvarez showed that he finally may be over the mental block that keeps him from performing against top competition. The next fight for Cerrone will likely be a number one contender’s bout against undefeated Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Conor McGregor is for real. The Irishman needed just two minutes to finish top contender Dustin Poirier with a brutal left hook and follow up punches. The win solidified McGregor’s status as an elite featherweight and one deserving of title consideration. While I would personally put McGregor up against the winner of Ricardo Lamas vs. Dennis Bermudez in a number one contender’s match, I understand the amount of business consideration that will go into selecting McGregor’s next fight. With that being said, the UFC and the fans deserve to see McGregor take on either Jose Aldo or Chad Mendes for the belt next.
Yoel Romero’s third round TKO over Tim Kennedy was as dominant as it was controversial. Romero was seemingly unable to answer the bell to start the third round, but after thirty extra seconds on the stool the Cuban fighter rose to his feet and proceeded to destroy the former Strikeforce title challenger. I understand the outrage over the fight, but Romero’s ability to put away an extremely durable Kennedy should not go unnoticed and at the age of 37, time is not on his side. It’s time for the UFC to act fast as Romero could be a huge contributor to their push in Latin American and Spanish speaking countries. The right choice is to put Romero in a number one contender’s bout with Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.
Cat Zingano rose above multiple knee surgeries and a horrendous personal tragedy this past Saturday night in her third round TKO of Amanda Nunes. The fight itself was a perfect mirror of the last year in Zingano’s life. She was badly beaten and almost finished in the first round, but battled back through major adversity to pick-up the win. The performance has not only garnered tons of praise from the MMA world, but it also re-granted Zingano a shot at Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey. Rousey has looked unstoppable in her career but Zingano will look to defeat the UFC megastar this coming January.
Rest of the Card
Chris Cariaso vs. Justin Scoggins
Eddie Alvarez vs. Gleison Tibau
Dustin Poirier vs. Clay Guida
Tim Kennedy vs. Chris Weidman/Vitor Belfort Loser
Amanda Nunes vs. Jessamyn Duke
Dominick Cruz vs. TJ Dillashaw
Takeya Mizugaki vs. Joe Soto
Jorge Masvidal vs. TJ Grant
James Krause vs. Ramsey Nijem
Stephen Thompson vs. Brian Ebersole
John Howard vs. Patrick Cote
Kevin Lee vs. Adriano Martins
Jon Tuck vs. Damon Jackson
Manny Gamburyan vs. Yuta Sasaki
Cody Gibson vs. Tateki Matsuda