Last night, the UFC returned to Denver, Colorado with UFC on Fox 23. This 12-fight card went down as an unforgettable one, as we witnessed stoppages in a whopping eight bouts – including all four on the event’s main card.
With this event in the rear-view mirror, the card’s losers will return to the drawing board, while its winners will look to the future, where crucial and compelling matchups await.
Without further ado, here are three fights we’re hoping to see in the wake of the UFC’s latest trip to Denver. Click “next” to see them!
1. Jason Knight vs. Doo Ho Choi
We’ll start with one of the most obvious matchups to make after UFC on Fox 23: a featherweight showdown between Jason “The Kid” Knight, and fan favorite prospect “The Korean Superboy” Doo Ho Choi.
Shortly after his second-round submission defeat of a game Alex Caceres, Knight told UFC commentator Brian Stann that, in his perfect world, a bout with Choi would serve as his next challenge. We’re all for this clash of prospects, and we’re guessing anyone with a pulse will agree.
With his defeat of Caceres, Knight moved to 3-1 in the UFC, with his only hiccup coming in his short UFC debut against the veteran Tatsuya Kawajiri. Since then, he’s delivered decision wins over Jim Alers and Dan Hooker, and this submission defeat of Caceres. Choi, meanwhile, is currently riding his first UFC loss. Given that this loss occurred in a 2016 Fight of the Year contender with Cub Swanson, however, it’s hard to fault him for it. The Korean slugger proceeded this defeat with knockouts of Juan Manuel Puig, Sam Sicilia, and Thiago Tavares.
2. Francis Ngannou vs. the Alistair Overeem vs. Mark Hunt winner
In the second fight of the UFC on Fox 23 main card, French-Cameroonian heavyweight prospect Francis Ngannou faced the biggest test of his career in former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski. He passed this test with flying colors, bludgeoning his veteran foe with a short right hand and a few followup ground strikes just minutes into the fight.
With this massive win in the rear-view, Ngannou can now look forward to another step up the heavyweight ladder. While he’s certainly got some compelling choices in this regard, our personal favorite is a bout with the winner of UFC 209’s Alistair Overeem vs. Mark Hunt bout.
When we last saw Overeem in action, he was knocked out by heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic. Hunt, meanwhile, came up short to Brock Lesnar in his last fight – though this bout was ruled a no contest when Lesnar was popped for the estrogen blocker clomiphene post-fight. With his defeat of Arlovski, Ngannou improved to 5-0 in the Octagon, with all of those wins coming by way of stoppage, and just two escaping the first round.
3. Jorge Masvidal vs. Carlos Condit
When Jorge Masvidal began calling for a bout with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, there was good reason to remind him to be careful what he wished for. Cowboy was, after all, on a four-fight win-streak, with all of those victories coming by way of knockout or submission.
In the end, of course, Masvidal silenced all of his doubters by thrashing Cowboy in the co-main event of the UFC’s Saturday trip to Denver. With this thudding knockout win, the American Top Team veteran burst into the welterweight top-10, and can probably look forward to a massive name in his next fight. We’re hoping that name is Carlos Condit.
Though Condit’s two recent losses to Robbie Lawler and Demian Maia have him contemplating retirement, he remains one of the very best welterweights on the planet, and an exciting possibility for the rising Masvidal. If the former interim welterweight champion decides he’s not quite ready to hang up the gloves, this is the fight we’d like to see next for both men.
Which matchups are you hoping to see after UFC on Fox 23?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/29/2017.