In the main event of UFC Raleigh, Curtis Blaydes was looking to extend his winning streak while Junior dos Santos was looking to rebound from a loss to Francis Ngannou.
In the end, it was Blaydes who got the job done as he TKO’d the Brazilian in the second round with a bevy of punches. The most surprising part was that Blaydes didn’t even have to use his wrestling to get the job done.
Now, following UFC Raleigh, here is what we think should be next for both Curtis Blaydes and Junior dos Santos.
Curtis Blaydes is in a very weird spot in the heavyweight division. He’s riding a three-fight winning streak and is 13-2 with one no-contest. In theory, he should be getting a title shot, but the only problem is he has lost to Francis Ngannou twice which has hurt his stock.
With Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier most likely having their trilogy later this year and the winner of Ngannnou-Jairzinho Rozenstruik next in line, Blaydes will need to get another fight in.
So, “Razor” should fight the winner of Derrick Lewis vs. Ilir Latifi next. This would get him another top-five opponent and a win would no doubt earn him a title shot. The timeline also works out as Lewis-Latifi are set to fight on Feb. 8 at UFC 247.
Junior dos Santos
After losing to Stipe Miocic at UFC 211 for the heavyweight title, many assumed the Brazilian wouldn’t get another crack at a title shot. Yet he strung together three straight wins and was seemingly one fight away before suffering a knockout loss to Francis Ngannou and now another TKO loss to Curtis Blaydes.
JDS is still a big name that can headline Fight Night cards, and will still be ranked in the top-five. His next opponent should be Walt Harris, who’s looking to make his return to the Octagon in the spring after the tragic passing of his stepdaughter.
Should Harris win, he’ll be one or two fights away from a title shot. For dos Santos, it is a step down in competition ranking-wise, but that might be just what the doctor ordered.
Who do you think should be next for Curtis Blaydes and Junior dos Santos after UFC Raleigh?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/27/2020.