The Octagon returned to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Saturday night for UFC on ESPN 2. In the main event, Justin Gaethje was taking on Edson Barboza in a fight that promised to bring fireworks.
Ultimately, the fight delivered as Gaethje ended up knocking out Barboza in the first round. Now, Gaethje could very well be one win away from a title shot. Meanwhile, Barboza will have to take a step back in his next fight.
Here is what we think should be next for Justin Gaethje and Edson Barboza.
Justin Gaethje is now riding a two-fight winning streak after losing to Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez. He continues to be a fan favorite and a fighter to watch.
Gaethje should now get the winner of Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone vs Al Iaquinta. The timing matches up as they are fighting just a month apart. As well, the winner of that fight could very well be getting the next title shot.
The lightweight division is starting to shake itself out, and having Gaethje vs the winner of Cerrone/Iaquinta will only add more clarity.
Edson Barboza was looking to extend his winning streak to two after he put on a dominating performance over Dan Hooker back in December. Ultimately, Barboza will no doubt slide down the rankings and will most likely have to fight someone ranked below him next.
Who that will be is the main question. He has options as he could take on another fighter coming off a loss like an Alexander Hernandez or James Vick. However, the fight that makes the most sense is taking on 12th ranked lightweight, Charles Oliveria. Oliveria is currently riding a four-fight winning streak and deserves a chance to fight a top-10 opponent.
The fight as well would be an interesting matchup given Barboza excels at the stand up while Oliveria excels on the ground.
Who do you think Justin Gaethje and Edson Barboza should fight next?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/31/2019