International Fight Week has come and gone and with it was a stacked UFC 239 card. The card was headlined by Jon Jones looking to defend his light heavyweight title against Thiago Santos. In the co-main event, Amanda Nunes was looking to defend her bantamweight title against Holly Holm. And, in a pivotal welterweight bout, Jorge Masvidal fought Ben Askren.
Jones ended up edging out a split-decision win over Santos while Nunes TKO’d Holm in the first round and Masvidal knocked out Askren in five seconds.
Following UFC 239 here’s what should be next for these six fighters.
Jon Jones ended up getting the job done yesterday evening. Although it was not in the fashion he wanted, he left ‘Sin City’ remaining the champion and furthering his legacy as one of, if not the greatest, of all-time.
It seems likely “Bones” will stay at light heavyweight, which he has stated for a while now. At 205-pounds, a logical next opponent would be against Jan Blachowicz who knocked out Luke Rockhold just a few fights earlier and is the next contender at 205-pounds. Dana White said he doesn’t want to see the rematch between Jones and Santos which makes the Polish fighter seem like a good choice. If not Blachowicz, the division also features two highly touted youngsters in Johnny Walker and Dominick Reyes.
Thiago Santos arguably gave Jon Jones the toughest fight of his career as one judge saw him winning the fight. It no doubt raises his stock at 205-pounds. Next, he should take on Corey Anderson who has been looking for a top-five opponent to show he is a legitimate threat to Jon Jones. For the Brazilian, a win would get him back into the top of the division and start the momentum for a rematch.
Amanda Nunes is the greatest women’s fighter of all-time, no question about it. She has beaten Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, Valentina Shevchenko (twice), Cris Cyborg, and now Holly Holm. And, in her next fight, she can make more history as she looks to defend the featherweight title against Cris Cyborg, barring Justino beats Felicia Spencer at UFC 240. If Nunes does, she would be the first double-champ to defend both belts.
Holly Holm had a chance to shock the world again and did not. She was having some success early on and then got caught by a head kick that dropped her. Now, the 37-year-old should fight Ketlen Vieira who has been looking for a fight for quite some time. And, should she beat Holm it gives her a bigger name to fight Nunes. For Holm, a win would put her back near the top of the division.
Jorge Masvidal now holds a UFC record after his five-second knockout over Ben Askren. “Funky” immediately shot for a takedown and got caught by a flying knee and was out cold. The win sealed “Gamebred’s” fate that he should be fighting for the welterweight title next.
If Colby Covington wins his fight against Robbie Lawler, he will have to wait for Covington to fight Usman first and then face the winner. But, if “Chaos” loses, Masvidal vs. Usman should happen next in Madison Square Garden for Usman’s first title defense.
Ben Askren got handed the first loss of his career by Jorge Masvidal. It was an absolute vicious KO that left “Funky” out cold for quite a while. The loss is also a major setback in Askren’s climb to the top of the division.
Now, Ben Askren should take time off to heal but a next opponent could very well be Darren Till who is also coming off of a knockout loss to Jorge Masvidal in his last fight. The two have had a rivalry for quite a bit and the trash talk would be entertaining for the fans in the lead-up.
Who do you think should be next for these six fighters after UFC 239? Let us know in the comment section.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/7/2019.