Now that #UFC205 is in the books, let's look ahead to see what's next for Conor McGregor and the rest of the winners on the main card.
Who’s Next: Khabib Nurmagomedov
Why: Sorry, Jose Aldo. When you couple McGregor’s one-sided railroading of Eddie Alvarez with Khabib Nurmagomedov’s destruction of Michael Johnson and complete heel turn, you have a massive fight on your hands. To be honest, McGregor can go ahead and dump the featherweight title because it is clear that lightweight is the division where he belongs. Aldo’s had his chance and Khabib has been patiently waiting for what feels like an eternity. It’s the fight to make between the unbeaten master grappler and devastating striker with a massive ego that will certainly capture the attention of everyone. This is the fight to make and everything else has to be placed on the bench until McGregor-Nurmagomedov happens.
Who’s Next: Stephen Thompson
Why: An excellent fight with the right decision (even though they originally called it wrong), there’s absolutely no reason why these two shouldn’t fight again. Thompson’s karate neutralized Woodley for three of the five rounds. But Woodley’s scintillating 4th round where he would have scored a finish if another referee was out there made a world of difference on the scorecards. These two styles are vastly different yet so intensely fascinating. Sorry Demian Maia, you’re just going to have to wait for these two to dance again.
Who’s Next: Winner Of Paige VanZant-Michelle Waterson
Why: With Jedrzejczyk putting together yet another dominant performance, there are few options for the champion. Although PVZ and The Karate Hottie may not be at the top of the division, the winner could prove to be a marketable opponent for Jedrzejczyk. It’s far too soon for a third fight with Claudia Gadelha, who appears to be the only true threat to her title. And with Rose Namajunas coming off a loss to Kowalkiewicz, the options are far and few in between. It's either that or go the Mighty Mouse route and do a TUF season with strawweights to find her next opponent.
Who’s Next: Michael Bisping
Why: Because he killed Chris Weidman with a flying knee. Listen, any questions about whether Romero deserves a shot at the UFC middleweight title was answered with an absolutely sickening flying knee that decimated Weidman in the third round of their UFC 205 clash. With Luke Rockhold sidelined and the Rockhold-Jacare fight off, Romero gets the nod to face Bisping. There’s really no disputing that after what Romero did to a former champion. And with Bisping flipping Romero the bird after the fight, along with his comments about the Cuban’s past, we have a nice story to go along with the fight.
Who’s Next: Valentina Shevchenko
Why: Pennington’s evolution has been a sight to behold. She’s improved at every facet of the game and proved that she’s worthy of being mentioned among the top tier of the women’s bantamweights by sending Miesha Tate into retirement at UFC 205. A fight with Valentina Shevchenko would further cement her place in a division that is getting more and more interesting with every fight ever since Holly Holm knocked out Ronda Rousey. She’s quietly become a fighter to watch and a bout with Shevchenko – who is coming off a victory against Holly Holm – would carry a ton of intrigue.