What’s next for UFC Ottawa main event fighters?

Al Iaquinta
Image: Dave Mandel / Sherdog.com

The Octagon touched down in Ottawa, Ontario last night for UFC Fight Night 151. The main event of the card was a battle between two top-10 lightweights and two fan favorites in Donald Cerrone and Al Iaquinta.

Ultimately, ‘Cowboy’ picked apart Iaquinta and dropped him a couple of times to secure a unanimous decision win. And, after the fight, Cerrone called for the title or a fight with Conor McGregor, so is that what should be next for the fan favorite?

Here is what we think should be next for Cerrone and Iaquinta.

Donald Cerrone

Something changes in a fighter when they have a kid and Donald Cerrone is no exception to that rule. He is 3-0 since becoming a dad, and could possibly be a top-five lightweight when the rankings get updated.

Although a title shot, which ‘Cowboy’ called for, seems unlikely, a number one contender fight seems probable. Who that will be against is a question that needs to be answered. If McGregor is ready to fight and wants to fight, there is no question that is the fight to make.

However, if McGregor doesn’t return, a fight against Justin Gaethje makes sense, where the winner would fight the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Dustin Poirier. No matter what, with the win, Cerrone set himself up for a big fight and could be just one win away from a title shot.

Al Iaquinta

Since losing to Nurmagomedov at UFC 223, Al Iaquinta has been clamoring for a rematch. He beat Kevin Lee by decision his next fight out, and with a win over ‘Cowboy’, he could have made his case for the rematch with the champ. Now, Iaquinta will go back to the drawing board and have to string together a few wins in a row to get a title shot in the stacked lightweight division.

A fight that makes sense for Iaquinta is to take on Edson Barboza who is coming off of a knockout loss to Gaethje. The two are still top-10 lightweights and the winner could start their rise to the top, while the loser could very well enter ‘gatekeeper’ status.

Who do you think Donald Cerrone and Al Iaquinta should fight next? Let us know in the comment section.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 5/5/2019.