On Saturday, the Octagon returned to our screens with the under-the-radar UFC Sacramento card. In the main event, Germaine de Randamie took on undefeated 24-year-old Aspen Ladd. The co-main event saw UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber return from retirement to take on the surging prospect Ricky Simon.
Here is what we think should be next for these four fighters after UFC Sacramento.
Germaine de Randamie
Germaine de Randamie is still the top bantamweight contender after handing Ladd her first pro loss. But, whether or not she fights for the title next is unknown. Reigning champion Amanda Nunes has stated she wants to defend the featherweight title — her other belt — against Cris Cyborg next, but Cyborg could potentially leave the UFC following her UFC 240 bout.
If Cyborg stays with the UFC and ties up Nunes, de Randamie does not have many options as many of the top bantamweight contenders are already booked. She could possibly fight against Ketlen Vieira next, or she can wait for a bantamweight title shot opposite Nunes.
If Cyborg leaves the UFC, de Randamie will no doubt be fighting Nunes next for the title.
The oddsmakers thought the 24-year-old Aspen Ladd would get it done in Sacramento, but the first punch thrown dropped her. Now, she will need a rebound fight, and a matchup with Cat Zingano could be a great option on that front. Zingano is an experienced fighter and a big name in the bantamweight division, and would provide a great measure as to where Ladd is at.
Urijah Faber shocked many fans when he knocked out Ricky Simon in 46 seconds. He was a big underdog, but showed his two-and-a-half year layoff off did not impact him. “The California Kid” looked just like he did before he retired, and if he is serious about continuing to fight, he has plenty of options.
Although Henry Cejudo called him out, there are more deserving contenders for Cejudo’s title. Instead, the 40-year-old Faber should rematch Jimmie Rivera, who has lost a few big fights of late. The two fought back at UFC 203, where Rivera won by a decision, but after the way Faber looked in Sacramento, it could be a very different fight in 2019.
Even with the loss to Urijah Faber, Ricky Simon is still a prospect to watch out for at bantamweight. Going forward, he could be matched up with Eddie Wineland. The 35-year-old Wineland looked good in his last fight, a TKO of Grigory Popov, and is still a fairly big name.
Who do you think these four fighters should fight next after UFC Sacramento?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/15/2019.