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UFC Fight Night: De Randamie vs. Ladd - Fights to Make

Who should fight who following the somewhat strange outcomes of UFC Sacramento? Tim B does his best to take a look.

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I haven’t written one of these in a loooong time. It feels kind of good to get back to this, as I wrote this post regularly for a couple of years back in the day. UFC Sacramento is in the books, and frankly, it sucked until the last three fights. It was really dragging and I had it earmarked as the worst UFC event of 2019 to date. But all it takes is a few stellar KOs (one of them controversial, which I’ll get to) to spice things up and turn my frown upside down.

Anyone who has read this before understands what’s going on here. I’m going to take the relevant main card fighters and matchmake for them following the outcomes of their UFC Sacramento fights. Some were not the outcomes I expected, so the people I had in mind for them previously went up in dust as soon as their right hand landed. But upon some time to reflect, here’s what I came up with. Let’s go.

Germaine de Randamie - With such a controversial finish, the UFC might decide to run it back. Herb Dean made an awful call, and Ladd was still totally with it the whole time. Nonetheless, in main event bouts like this, even with controversy, the UFC seems to just leave it be and move on a lot of the time. So there’s really only one option for GDR - Amanda Nunes. The promotion is obviously a little cautious about her potentially holding a title, considering how things went when she was the 145 champ. But there’s no one else in line and if Nunes is defending at 135 any time soon, GDR should be the person across from her.

Aspen Ladd - As mentioned, they could do a rematch. Ladd deserves one. But I really think Ladd needs to move up to 145. She was clearly suffering to make weight, and while she did, it was uncomfortable to see. She’d be much more suited to 145, and she brings a unique game to that weight class. It’s currently a barren wasteland with no fighters, but the bright side is that she’d be an immediate contender. Give her Megan Anderson. Build the damn division already.

Urijah Faber - I’m not going to lie, I was shocked that Faber put Simon down like that, and that quickly. I know I’m not alone in that. Asking for Henry Cejudo is cagey, but it ain’t happening, especially with the list of contenders in front of him and the fact that Cejudo is out a while. So who could be next? The fight I keep looking at is Dominick Cruz. Sure they buried the hatchet and they’re cool, but that’s a main-event fight and it’s not killing off another prospect if Faber comes up big again. I was thinking Petr Yan at first, but Cruz-Faber is the way to go if Cruz isn’t out for nine more years.

Ricky Simon - That was a horrible loss for Simon that will set him back hard. Normally losing to a guy of Urijah Faber’s caliber just means your climb up the ladder is stalled for a minute. But this was a returning from retirement Faber. It’s not the same. If they want to keep him fighting ranked guys, a bout with Song Yadong makes sense. Otherwise I’d like to see him fight Thomas Almeida.

Josh Emmett - Huge win in his adopted hometown. If Emmett wants a quick turnaround and he’s not hurt, he’s the perfect candidate to fight Yair Rodriguez in the main event of UFC Mexico City in September.

Mirsad Bektic - Like Simon, this was a big setback. Whenever he steps up in rank, he gets put down. I’d say a fight with Ricardo Lamas is good for his next outing. Let’s see who deserves to be on the rankings board.

Karl Roberson - That certainly isn’t how people expected him to win, but he did. His cautiousness at the end of the fight was a bit troubling to be sure, and could have cost him a decision. It didn’t though, so here we are. I honestly don’t think he’s about to light the division on fire or anything, and he shoudn’t get a ranked opponent coming off of a strange victory like that. How about Kevin Holland? It’s a bit of a prospect-buster fight, but it’d damn sure be entertaining.

Marvin Vettori - He asked for Paulo Costa, and even he admitted that’s asking for a lot. It is. You’re not there yet, and your name is Marvin. That’s a big strike against you. But the winner of the Uriah Hall vs. Antonio Carlos Junior fight in Vancouver would make a lot of sense for him.