Armchair Matchmaker

UFC 250 Post-Fight Matchmaker

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UFC 250 was an important night in the history of the organization, featuring a historic title defense and important fights with title implications. It was held at the UFC Apex and was the second consecutive pay-per-view without an audience. The UFC 250 Post-Fight Matchmaker will determine the next opponents for all of the main card winners.

UFC 250 Post-Fight Matchmaker

Sean O’Malley vs. Song Yadong

“The Sugar Show” Sean O’Malley rolled on Saturday night, scoring a walk-off KO over former WEC champion and UFC interim title challenger Eddie Wineland. In his four-fight UFC tenure, the 25-year-old O’Malley has been nothing short of dominant and a fan favorite. As he looks to get closer to a title shot, he should face someone in a similar position. Song Yadong recently beat Marlon Vera by split decision to remain undefeated in the UFC. The 22-year-old has shown glimpses of stardom as well, showing off his power throughout his six-fight UFC career. Yadong is a ranked opponent, which O’Malley desires, that could be a perfect step up in competition for him. This high-level striking fight would help determine the next bantamweight star, and potentially showcase a future young contender for the division.

Neil Magny vs. Michael Chiesa

Neil Magny used his excellent cardio to surge past Anthony Rocco Martin late to earn a unanimous decision win. Magny is now 2-0 since returning from a long layoff and looks back to his old form. He has called out Michael Chiesa on multiple occasions since coming back. Chiesa is 3-0 since moving to welterweight, coming off of an impressive win over Rafael dos Anjos. The heat between the two is real and would be an action-packed fight. With the state of the division being the way that it is right now, now is as good of a time as ever to make this happen.

Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan

The fight between Aljamain Sterling and Cory Sandhagen was reported to be a title eliminator, with the winner facing the winner of the reported fight for the vacant bantamweight title between Petr Yan and Jose Aldo. “The Funkmaster” Sterling never gave Sandhagen a chance to get going, taking him down quickly and wrapping up a rear-naked choke submission at the 1:28 mark of the first round. Simply put, he more than deserves a title shot at this point. With no specifics provided for the Yan-Aldo matchup, it is possible that Sterling could take Aldo’s place to go ahead and fight Yan for the title sooner rather than later. Most people believed Sterling deserved the title shot over Aldo before this fight, and even more, will agree after Saturday’s win.

Cody Garbrandt vs. Marlon Moraes

Former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt snapped his three-fight losing streak in a big way, landing a haymaker right hand to knock Raphael Assuncao out cold as the second round came to a close. Garbrandt looked lightning-fast and back in contending form, taking out a perennial contender in Assuncao and making it look easy. A performance like that from a former champion puts him right back into the thick of contenders. His next opponent should be a fighter who recently fought for the title in Marlon Moraes. After losing to Henry Cejudo for the title last June, “Magic” Moraes returned in December to defeat the aforementioned Aldo by split decision. This fight makes a ton of sense for the division’s sake and is a great stylistic matchup.

Amanda Nunes vs. Megan Anderson

Two-division champ Amanda Nunes put on another show Saturday night, dominating Felicia Spencer for all 25 minutes of their featherweight title fight. This was Nunes’s first defense of her featherweight title, becoming the first woman to defend a title in two divisions. Nunes has proven that she is far and away the greatest women’s MMA fighter of all time. Her next opponent, though, should provide a different test for her. Megan Anderson, a six-foot-tall striker, provides a new challenge for “The Lioness”. The Aussie is one of only two female fighters in UFC history to be six feet tall and has a three and a half-inch reach advantage over Nunes. Anderson has the obvious size advantage over Nunes and has sharp striking skills. The question will be, however, if it is enough to end the reign of the queen of MMA.

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Nate Freeman is from Birmingham, AL, and has been an MMA fan since 2013 after buying UFC Undisputed 2009 for $2 from a second-hand electronics store.

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