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Matches to Make After UFC 303


The Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to pay-per-view with an exciting card. While UFC 303 wasn’t topped by Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler as originally planned, Alex Pereira and Jiri Prochazka put on quite a show that left nobody complaining. Featuring a number of intriguing battles up and down the card, there’s no doubt that it will leave an impact on the mixed martial arts world for months to come.

Here are five matches to make following UFC 303.

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Alex Pereira vs. Magomed Ankalaev

Pereira (11-2) once again defeated Prochazka (30-5-1) via knockout, confirming that there is no doubt as to who the best light heavyweight in the world currently is. “Poatan” has now successfully defended the belt twice in emphatic fashion. While there’s not a super exciting number one contender for the Brazilian, a fight against Magomed Ankalaev is overdue. Having won 10 fights in a 12-fight unbeaten streak, Ankalaev (19-1-1) has made it clear that he's a threat in wins over Johnny Walker, Anthony Smith, Thiago Santos and Volkan Oezdemir. The Russian also previously fought Jan Blachowicz to a draw for the interim title in a fight that many people thought he won. Not every title defense will be super sexy but it’s a sport and Ankalaev presents a new test for the champion.

Diego Lopes vs. Aljamain Sterling

The co-main event between Dan Ige and Lopes came together historically late after Brian Ortega pulled out earlier this evening. Ige (18-8) deserves a ton of credit for taking the fight, as does Lopes (25-6), who won a unanimous decision after a tumultuous fight week. The Brazilian deserves a reward for being so accommodating, and that means getting to face a former UFC champion in his next outing. A fight against Sterling would be an excellent test as we'd know exactly where Lopes stands as a contender and if he's skilled enough to continue rising up the ranks.

Related » UFC 303 Round-by-Round Scoring


Roman Dolidze vs. Paulo Costa

It's hard to ascertain much value between the fight between Anthony Smith and Dolidze, which was a short-notice affair pitting men in different weight classes together. Sure, it's better to win than to have lost, but it’s not like this has any divisional weight and the fight didn’t impress. Dolidze (13-3) had lost two straight fights at middleweight, so let's pair him against Costa, who has also struggled recently. Both men need a win if they're to continue being a contender at 185 and the loser will drop to a lower level of relevance.

Macy Chiasson vs. Ketlen Vieira

A massive elbow from Chiasson ended the night for Mayra Bueno Silva, who suffered a nasty cut on her forehead. With the TKO win, Chiasson advances to 10-3. Having now won two out of her last three fights, she's ready for a bantamweight fight against another contender. Vieira fits the bill as the two were supposed to fight earlier this year. Vieira (14-3) has key wins over Miesha Tate and Holly Holm and the winner would be in a great position.

Ian Garry vs. Colby Covington

Garry stayed undefeated by defeating veteran striker Michael Page. The Irish fighter used his impressive grappling to get an edge. "The Future" is looking quite well-rounded, so he should go up against a grappler next. The trash-talking Covington would make plenty of sense as the two have already traded some words. Garry (15-0) would be near a welterweight title shot with a victory as Covington is a three-time title challenger.
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