What a night. UFC 202 was one of the best cards I seen, especially after the debacle that was UFC 200. This card had everything you wanted in a fight night card, action, animosity, title implications and tons of debate after. But what is the state of the UFC after 202? What happens with Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz? What about Cody Garbrandt, Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, and the Bantamweight division? And what now happens with the Light Heavyweight title picture, including Jon Jones? I will try to peer into my crystal ball and forecast what will happen in my UFC 202 Fallout.
Okay, lets call it what it is: Anthony “Rumble” Johnson deserves his nickname. He hit Glover Texiera with a punch so hard that in the replay, you can see one of Glover’s teeth go flying. Now after this fight, a title fight between him and Daniel Cormier is set, but is it in concrete? The light heavyweight title picture got even more clouded by this win and the recent news that Jon Jones might not be fully gone as previously thought. So what happens now? Does Rumble get his long-awaited opportunity at the belt or does he wait in line again to see who he will face?
Here is how I would settle this situation, which requires two things: one, that Jones is fully reinstated and two, Alexander Gustafsson wins his fight on September 3rd at UFC Fight Night 93 against Jan Blachowicz. That being said, this theory goes out the window if neither happens. But what I would do is have Jones not fight for the title whatsoever. You put all four men: Jones, Gus, Rumble, and Cormier on the card for 205 and make it settle itself out. Rumble would fight Cormier for the belt, and we would get the rematch of Gus vs. Jones that is being hailed as one of the greatest fights the UFC has ever produced. After that fight, which is on November 12th, the winners of those two fight on the New Year’s Weekend card at UFC 207 on December 30th. By doing this, everyone wins: Gus gets the rematch he has always wanted, Jones can essentially push Gus further down the rankings preventing a third bout with a win, Cormier stays active, and Rumble gets a title shot and a rematch. That is the best way to do it, which brings up our next point.
Now this is a more interesting situation and it sort of works itself out in the same fashion as the first topic, but we now have some intrigue in the Bantamweight division. Last night Cody Garbrandt climbed the bantamweight rankings ladder even higher by putting away Mizugaki in the first round with a series of sledgehammer-level punches. He then called out current bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, which lead to a great post fight analysis of the fight by Cruz. So where does this leave the champ in regards to an opponent? Does he want a rematch with TJ Dillashaw, who many believe, including myself, that Cruz lost the fight? Or does he assert his dominance over Team Alpha Male once again by beating Cody?
For fighting sakes, this is going to cause a lot of intrigue in the bantamweight division, so here is what you do: setup Cruz v. Garbrandt at UFC 205. Cody just knocked a dude out after fighting three weeks prior and Cruz has sat long enough. Now if Cruz can put away Cody, which means he is going to have to keep his head glued to his body because Cody will try to knock it off, Cruz can chill for a minute. But to really settle this debate and keep TJ in the loop, you have him fight his old mentor Uriah Faber at 207. The winner of that long-awaited fight would then fight Cruz at the beginning of 2017, which means Cruz could be fighting Uriah and silencing him again, or fight TJ at around the exact time they fought this year. Either way, the matchmakers in the UFC need to settle these rivalries so the division can get even bigger and speaking of rivalries….
3. If McGregor fights Diaz again, it should be for a championship
Okay, so last nights fight was one for the ages, am I right? I genuinely had my heart racing in the led up to the fight and didnt know who was going to win. And I for damn sure didnt see the fight going the distance. But it was good seeing Conor McGregor get the proverbial monkey off his back and beat Nate Diaz in the rematch. After the fight, Conor mentioned that the rivalry is now 1 win a piece, calling for a rubber match to decide the better man. Not only that, but he wants it at 155, or at lightweight. And if that happens, Conor and Nate Diaz could be not only the fight of the decade, but a fight that could be for a belt, and possibly ends the debate between MMA and boxing.
Now ill touch on the boxing portion later, but lets understand how this could be for a belt. Now after this fight, both men are going to more than likely receive three-month bans in order to heal up. Now Nate is going to want to fight Conor again, but Nate is a top ranked guy in the lightweight division. So what do you do? You place him against Eddie Alvarez for the Lightweight title at UFC 205 or 206. If Nate at welterweight can do that, then he is going to give Eddie a hard fight. Plus after two consecutive great fights like this, Nate deserves a title shot. Now if Nate wins, you put him on ice for a minute because the pride of Ireland has some business to settle.
Dana White has said repeatedly that the plan after this fight, regardless if Conor won or lost the fight, was for him to go back down to 145 and defend his featherweight belt against interim champion Jose Aldo. And that is exactly what he should do, beat Aldo again and hold down your throne at 145. If Conor’s shin injury isn’t as bad as we think, you have him do this at UFC Fight Night on November 19th, where the fight will be in Belfast, Ireland and Aldo would love to take that fight there. Imagine Aldo going in as the away team and having the opportunity to not only beat the man who knocked him out cold in 13 seconds flat, but beat his rival in his own backyard. Now if Conor wins(or loses) that fight, you then do the rematch with Nate Diaz at 155, but this time for the belt at UFC 207. Think of it, a rubber match between two of the biggest trash talkers in mixed martial arts, both champions and for the lightweight crown. For Diaz, it could be the ultimate redemption, while for McGregor, he could leave not only with two belts, but proving he is one of the pound-for-pound best fighters in the world.
And that brings in the idea of another nail in the coffin for boxing. If the UFC is able to pull just this off, having three gigantic fights in one year, it wouldn’t be the complete end of boxing. But if they are able to do all of this, and I’m not even mentioning the other incredible fights they’ve had and are going to have, then boxing would be feeling that casket close tighter and tighter. And seeing how other than Andre Ward and Triple G in boxing there aren’t many superstars left, it could hurt even more.
Well that is my Fallout from UFC 202, what are your thoughts? Comment down below and tell me what you think. As always keep your eyes peeled on Sports by Jaytezla as we are going to be officially kicking off our Year 2 of Sports by Jaytezla next week with a gigantic football preview!!