Last night, the UFC held its first show on ESPN and ESPN+, in Brooklyn, New York. The card was headlined by a flyweight title fight between current flyweight champion Henry Cejudo and bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw. Cejudo needed only 32 seconds to put Dillashaw away.
Meanwhile, headlining the ESPN portion of the card was a lightweight fight between Alexander Hernandez and Donald Cerrone. ‘Cowboy’ was back at lightweight and looking to start off his title run with a win. In the end, he put on a masterful performance and won a performance bonus and fight of the night bonus.
Here are the fights we would like to see next for the ESPN and ESPN+ headliners.
Entering the fight, Henry Cejudo said this was bigger than any other fight. He was fighting for the entire flyweight division as, if Dillashaw won the fight, the division could very well have been disbanded. However, Cejudo put on a masterful performance and knocked out Dillashaw in 32 seconds.
Now, the question remains. Will Cejudo go up to 135 pounds and fight Dillashaw? Or, will he stay at flyweight and rematch Joseph Benavidez, a man who he recently lost to?
Really, there is only one fight to make, and that is Cejudo going up to 135 pounds to take on Dillashaw for the bantamweight belt. Cejudo beat Dillashaw in quick fashion, and now should have the chance to become the next two-division champion in the UFC. Although there are viable contenders at both weight classes, the UFC needs to run this fight back at bantamweight.
TJ Dillashaw was going to down to flyweight in hopes of becoming a two-division champion in the UFC. His plan was to defeat Cejudo and then go up to featherweight to take on Max Holloway to try and become a three-division champ. However, that now seems unlikely.
Although Dillashaw wants a rematch at 125 pounds because he felt the stoppage was early, it just doesn’t make sense to rematch at flyweight. Rather, Dillashaw’s next fight should be against Cejudo but at bantamweight for Dillashaw’s title. If TJ can win that fight, then you can see about a trilogy fight at flyweight. For now, Dillashaw needs to go back up to bantamweight and continue to defend his title.
What a statement win that was for Donald Cerrone. ‘Cowboy’ turned back the clock and looked like his old self when he was a legitimate title contender at lightweight. Many fans and media alike were counting out Cerrone thinking Alexander Hernandez would be too much. Well, ‘Cowboy’ made it look rather easy.
Now, Cerrone will no doubt be ranked, and possibly ranked in the top-10. With him being ranked, there is only one fight that makes sense, and that is taking on the former two-division champ, Conor McGregor. McGregor tweeted after the fight that he is willing to fight Cerrone, and the matchup already has fans very excited.
Alexander Hernandez had an incredible rise in 2018. He knocked out Beneil Dariush in under a minute. Then, he won a decision win over Olivier Aubin-Mercier. Yet, even with the two wins, Cerrone would be hands down the toughest fight Hernandez has fought. It ended up showing, as Hernandez had some success in the fight, but Cerrone was too much too soon for Hernandez.
Now, it is back to the drawing board for Hernandez who still has a promising career ahead. A fight that makes sense is taking on Francisco Trinaldo, who was supposed to fight Hernandez at UFC 233. Trinaldo is a ranked opponent and it is a fight Hernandez has a good chance to win. Really, that is what Hernandez needs to do in his next fight is get a win and start to climb up the rankings again.
Who do you think these four fighters should fight next?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 1/20/2019.