Matches To Maker After UFC 299

UFC 299 went down last night (Sat., March 9, 2024) from inside Kaseya Center in Miami, Fla., which featured a headlining act that saw Sean O’Malley defend his UFC bantamweight title for the first time by defeating Marlon Vera via unanimous decision (highlights). In the co-main event, Dustin Poirier returned to his winning ways by putting an end to Benoit Saint Denis’ momentum, knocking him out in round two (see it here).

UFC 299: O’Malley v Vera 2

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Winner: Sean O’Malley

Who He Should Face Next: Merab Dvalishvili

Now that O’Malley has his first successful title defense under his belt, he already has his sights set on moving up to challenge newly-crowned featherweight champion, Ilia Topuria, That’s just ridiculous. I remember the days when a champion was only allowed to move up to seek “champ-champ” status after cleaning out his or her weight class. “Suga” is not event close to doing that, so stop with the shenanigans. O’Malley needs to focus on his next rightful foe, which is Dvalishvili, who more than earned his stripes and right to vie for the strap after winning 10 straight fights. including his most recent dominant win over Henry Cejudo at UFC 298. And let’s not forget “The Machine” took out Marlon Moraes, Jose Aldo and Petr Yan in consecutive order prior to that. This fight needs to be made next, plain and simple.

UFC 299: Poirier v Saint Denis

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Winner: Dustin Poirier

Who He Should Face Next: We’ll know after UFC 300…

Now that Poirier is back in the win column, the longtime veteran has some new found confidence moving forward especially since he previously stated that retirement could be around the corner. Thankfully, a win gave him the motivation to keep going a bit longer, but a title shot simply isn’t next. Let’s not forget that “The Diamond” was coming off a brutal knockout loss at the hands of Justin Gaethje in his previous bout, and came up short in his bit to win the strap after getting choked out by Charles Oliveira two fight before that. I get that he is a fan-favorite and everyone would love to see him fight for the title next, but that is either going to go to either Gaethje or Oliveira, depending on who (if anyone) picks up a big win at UFC 300 next month. Also, let’s not forget that Arman Tsarukyan, and even Max Holloway, can make their respective case for a title shot if they come out on top in “SIn City” at the landmark event. For now, we simply have to wait and see what transpires at UFC 300, and I can see Poirier facing either one of those men depending on the outcomes. But getting a fight straight up against Islam Makhachev simply isn’t in order, in my humble opinion.

UFC 299: Holland v Page

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Winner: Michael Page

Who He Should Fae Next: Stephen Thompson

Page made a successful UFC debut by outclassing Kevin Holland over the course of 15 minutes to earn a unanimous decision win. Now that the UFC jitters are out of the way, “Venom” will come in a bit more confident (not that he lacks it) in his next fight. All I could think last night while seeing Page bounce around the cage was how great a fight against Thompson would be. They have the same karate point-fighting style that would likely lead to an all-out striking affair. This is right up both men’s alley and his is just a fun fight to make. There is no point in beating around the bush here, this is the fight to make.

UFC 299: Burns v Della Maddalena

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Winner: Jack Della Maddalena

Who He Should Face Next: Shavkat Rakhmonov

While it was Michal Page who walked out to “The Undertaker’s” epic walkout music, it was “JDM” who had did the better “Deadman” impression after coming back to life in the third and final round to score an empathic come-from-behind knockout win over Gilbert Burns. Maddalena was down two rounds and was well on his way to suffering his first defeat inside the Octagon before he turned things around in the blink of an eye to put the no. 4 ranked welterweight to sleep. With the win, the Aussie increases his win streak to 17 in a row. He will likely be cracking the Top 5 with a win, or close to it, so it’s time to look forward to bigger fights, and he wasn’t afraid to call for a fight against Rakhmonov, who is currently ranked No. 3 at the moment.

UFC 299: Yan v Song

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Winner: Petr Yan

Who He Should Face Next: Marlon Vera

Yan Snapped his three-fight losing streak with an impressive win over Song Yadong, his first win in 2.5 years. Currently ranked No. 4 in the 135-pound division, “No Mercy” still has some work to do before he can get back to a title shot, so a fight against Vera makes sense. Since “Chito” came up short in his title fight against O’Malley, defeating Yan could be a a way to expedite his path back to the big dance…and vice versa.

For complete UFC 299 results, coverage, and highlights, click HERE.

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