Booking Sean O’Malley and several other UFC 292 main card winner’s next fights

Following an action-packed UFC 292 card on Saturday night, we look at what should be next for main event winner Sean O’Malley, and several other winners from the night’s main card.

Related: UFC 292 Results: Sean O’Malley is the new king of the bantamweight division

Sean O’Malley vs. Merab Dvalishvili

sean o'malley
Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Much to the surprise of the oddsmakers, Sean O’Malley walked out of TD Garden as the UFC bantamweight champion. After a slow and uneventful first round, Aljamain Sterling found his first true takedown attempt stopped against the fence. At that point, the signature sniper style of Sean O’Malley needed just one chance to shine after Sterling presented a perfect countering opportunity. 

After Cody Sandhagen defeated Rob Font, he seemed like the right opponent for Merab Dvalishvili as he played guardian for his teammate Sterling. With his friend no longer holding the belt, there shouldn’t be anything holding him back from getting a title shot against Sean O’Malley.

Dvalishvili defeated Petr Yan by a unanimous decision in March.

Zhang Weili vs. Tatiana Suarez

sean o'malley
Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Aside from Rose Namajunas, it doesn’t look like Zhang Weili has any real peers in the strawweight division. In one of the most statistically lopsided fights in women’s MMA history, Amanda Lemos had nothing to offer the champion outside of a few lone moments of success. 

Also Read: Conor McGregor next fight: ‘Notorious’ expected to return in December vs. Michael Chandler

While Xiaonan Yan would make a suitable title challenger and can be the other half of a blockbuster card for the Chinese market, the time is right for Tatiana Suárez to get the opportunity. Suárez has shown nothing but dominance at 115 pounds and this could be the classic unstoppable force versus the immovable object. Suarez submitted Jessica Andrade two weeks ago in Nashville.

Ian Garry vs. Stephen Thompson

sean o'malley
Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Garry made it look very easy against Neil Magny. From the first leg kick landed there was no coming back for the perennial contender. Quite frankly it was one of the most one-sided beatings in recent memory. 

Let’s honor Garry’s request to test his striking mettle against Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. Beyond being a potential star-building moment for the Irish contender, it’s a legitimate step up the ladder and satisfies Wonderboy’s desire to fight strikers as well.

However, if Michael “Venom” Page signs to the promotion, Garry would be perfect for his Octagon debut.

Maurio Bautista vs. Cody Garbrandt

sean o'malley
Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

While a 30-27 in his favor can certainly raise eyebrows, it’s hard to take away from Mario Bautista’s decision win over Da’Mon Blackshear. Having an opponent switch on a week’s notice is tough enough. But having a complete style shift in the replacement is an almost insurmountable obstacle.

The Blackshear fight should serve as a placeholder and another paycheck instead of a turning point for Bautista’s trajectory. So, let’s pair him with his original opponent Cody Garbrandt. “No Love” is looking to reestablish his presence in the division he once ruled, and Bautista can benefit from such a high-profile name.

Ant Walker is a native of the Washington DC area that now lives in Los Angeles. He has been... More about Anthony Walker

Mentioned In This Article::

More About: