Booking UFC 295 Main Card Winners Including Alex Pereira

Alex Pereira
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

After a night of fisticuffs at Madison Square Garden, let’s see what potentially lies ahead for Alex Pereira, Tom Aspinall, and the other main card winners at UFC 295.

Alex Pereira vs Jamahal Hill

Alex Pereira
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

What Alex Pereira has accomplished is nothing short of extraordinary. In just seven Octagon appearances, the Glory Kickboxing Hall of Famer has earned his second divisional title and definitively handled former champion Jiri Prochazka. 

In a perfect world, Alex Pereira’s next challenge would settle the uneasiness that exists at the top of the light heavyweight division. If Jamahal Hill’s plans to return in the second quarter of 2024 come true, then there’s no doubt about what Alex Pereira should do next.

Of course, an Achilles tear is notoriously difficult to recover from and it’s not guaranteed Hill can begin a training camp on a reasonable timeline for Alex Pereira. In that case, the winner of a rebooked Johnny Walker and Magomed Ankalaev fight would work. 

Tom Aspinall vs ???

Tom Aspinall

Not many thought that the co-main event would go the distance, but Aspinall’s quick knockout of Sergei Pavlovich was surprising, to say the least. The Russian who has looked indestructible in six straight first-round finishes, found himself suffering the same fate just over a minute after the opening bell.  

Tom Aspinall, along with the heavyweight division as a whole, is in a strange position. With three men holding claim to the championship, it’s highly unlikely there will be any clarity found in the Octagon. As tempting as it may be to put the UK’s new champ back in the cage, let’s see if Jones is on track for a quick recovery so we can put this Miocic fight behind us.

Related: Alex Pereira Grabs Light Heavyweight Championship at UFC 295

Jessica Andrade vs Carla Esparza

Jessica Andrade
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Jessica Andrade pulled out a win when it was desperately needed. The former champion snapped a three-fight losing streak while reminding the strawweight division just how dangerous she is with her knockout victory over Mackenzie Dern. 

While Andrade turned in a vintage performance, it’s impossible to ignore her getting finished three times earlier in the year. Fortunately for her, the most appropriate option for her next bout also has a championship legacy that carries significant name value.

The first to hold the crown at strawweight, Carla Esparza, should be next. While her second stint as champ ended just a year ago, the crushing nature of her defeat combined with a less-than-thrilling win to claim the belt left her in a purgatory of sorts. “Cookie Monster” was last seen in that lopsided loss to Weili Zhang at UFC 281. 

Benoit Saint-Denis vs Mateusz Gamrot

Benoit Saint-Denis
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Benoit Saint-Denis turned what was supposed to be a prolonged bloody war of attrition between two of the most consistently violent lightweights on the roster into a quick showcase of how dangerous he is. His head kick knockout of Matt Frevola is a late entry for the year’s best finishes.

Saint-Denis’ callout of nearly every ranked lightweight seems particularly fitting. The Frenchman has a seemingly endless number of fighters that make sense for him right now. Typically, it would be unwise to pit a top-ten fighter with someone unranked who’s coming off of a big win. However, Saint-Denis should be rewarded for his frightening ability to stop anyone else who weighs 155 pounds. 

Let’s pair him with Mateusz Gamrot. “Gamer,” who was snubbed as the replacement fighter for the title bout at UFC 294, was last seen in a victory over Rafael Fiziev in September.

Also Read: Bellator Champion Fails Drug Test, Suspended 6 Months For Result

Diego Lopes vs Charles Jourdain/Sean Woodson winner

Diego Lopes
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Diego Lopes left quite the impression in the main card opener. The Brazilian took just 90 seconds to finish Pat Sabatini, earning his second consecutive finish and startling MSG in the process.

In just three UFC appearances, Lopes has established himself as someone to watch at 145 pounds and is dangerously close to the rankings. A fight with the winner of Charles Jourdain and Sean Woodson could be just what the prospects at featherweight need to stand out among the pack. A matchup with either one would play well with the crowd as well. Jourdain and Woodson will meet at UFC 297 in January.

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

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