UFC on ESPN+ 14 is now one for the books and marked the promotions first trip to Uruguay. Flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko put on yet another dominant display, defeating Liz Carmouche 50-45 on all scorecards. In the co-main event, Vicente Luque defeated Mike Perry in a close split decision. In what was a fun fight and one that we predicted would be the fight of the night, Perry suffered a broken nose on his way to defeat.
Further down the card, there were a number of impressive performances from Veronica Macedo, Volkan Oezdemir, Cyril Gane and Gilbert Burns. Here are some potential next match-ups for some of the fighters who competed at UFC on ESPN+ 14.
UFC on ESPN+ 14 Post-Event Matchmaking
Flyweight champion Shevchenko has been a force to be reckoned with since dropping down to 125 lbs. Progressing to 4-0 at flyweight, she has only lost one round in her new weight class.
The question that is often asked of Shevchenko is ‘Who’s next?’ following her dominant performances. There are two possible match-ups for Shevchenko after UFC on ESPN+ 14. The first is to defend her flyweight title against #2 contender Katlyn Chookagian. Chookagian is 5-2 in her UFC career, with her two losses both coming via split decision. Most recently, ‘Blonde Fighter’ defeated Joanne Calderwood at UFC 238.
The other potential fight for Shevchenko is to rematch the ‘champ-champ’ Amanda Nunes. Despite being 0-2 against the current bantamweight and featherweight champion, there was a large controversy over their most recent match-up. Shevchenko lost the fight via split decision and many campaigned for a rematch. Could the rematch be on the horizon in the near future?
Carmouche is now 0-2 in title fights within the UFC. She was dominated by Shevchenko, the much smoother striker, at UFC on ESPN+ 14. Prior to her title fight with Shevchenko, Carmouche was set to face #8 flyweight, Roxanne Modafferi. When this fight didn’t come to fruition, Modafferi faced, and was defeated by Jennifer Maia. The next logical match-up for Carmouche would be to re-book the fight with Modafferi, as both are coming off a loss.
Luque progressed to 10-2 in the UFC on Saturday. It is certainly time people started to respect Luque as a legitimate contender at 170 lbs. A perfect next fight could be to be matched against someone else in the 170 lbs division who doesn’t get enough respect, Santiago Ponzinibbio. Ponzinibbio is 9-2 in the UFC, with two wins in headline slots. Ranked #9, Ponzinibbio is one of the best under-the-radar strikers in the entire UFC and a fight between him and Luque could provide a great stand up war.
Mike Perry is one of the most entertaining fighters on the roster but has been out of luck as of late. ‘Platinum’ started his UFC career 4-1, but has struggled since his loss to Ponzinibbio. He dropped to 2-4 in his last six bouts but has definitely shown improvements. According to Verdict MMA, Perry defeated Luque. However, the judges gave the fight to the Brazillian at UFC on ESPN+ 14.
A really fun next fight for Perry could be to face Niko Price. Both men need time off following brutal fights. Perry suffered a broken nose in his fight with Luque and Price suffered a knockout loss at UFC 240. The timelines for these two fighters work, and they would be guaranteed to put on a show.
Luiz Garagorri made his promotional debut in his home country this past weekend. Winning 30-27 on all scorecards, Garagorri impressed with a clinical performance. A potential next match-up for the 13-0 professional could be to welcome Herbert Burns to the big leagues. Burns impressed on the Contender Series, earning a contract. Burns cinched an arm triangle victory in the first round which earned him a shot in the UFC.
‘No time’, Oezdemir got back into the win column following three straight losses at UFC on ESPN+ 14. He dominated Ilir Latifi in the first round, before brutally knocking him out in the second. Ranked #7 in the light heavyweight division, Oezdemir called out #4 Dominick Reyes following a close split decision loss earlier in the year. Reyes is however booked to face former middleweight champion Chris Weidman in October.
The only person above Oezdemir in the rankings who makes sense is Jan Blachowicz. Blachowicz is coming off a brutal knockout of Luke Rockhold and this could provide an interesting stand-up battle.
Burns handed Alexey Kunchenko his first professional loss at UFC on ESPN+ 14. With a brilliant, well-executed performance, Burns won 29-28 on all scorecards. Having taken this fight on short notice, Burns returned to welterweight and plans to stay in the division. If the UFC really want to invest in Burns at welterweight, they could match him up with Geoff Neal, who is also on an impressive winning streak. If they don’t want to place two men on winning streaks against each other, Burns could be matched against Randy Brown. Brown is coming off an impressive victory over Bryan Barberena in June.
At 3-0, Gane made his UFC debut at UFC on ESPN+ 14. Having only turned professional in late 2018, Gane is the training partner of Francis Ngannou at the MMA Factory in Paris. Gane impressed with his in and out style and many expected him to get the knockout victory. Gane, however, managed to reverse a takedown and lock in an arm triangle in the first round to progress to 4-0. The UFC must be careful not to rush Gane, despite their shallow heavyweight division. Chris De La Rocha sits at 1-3 in the UFC but could be a good match-up for Gane in the near future.
Other potential match-ups
- Tecia Torres vs Felice Herrig
- Marina Rodriguez vs Nina Ansaroff
- Ilir Latifi vs Shogun Rua
- Veronica Macedo vs Rachel Ostovich (Re-book)
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