After a UFC Vegas 42 card that saw non-stop action, we can’t help but think ahead to what might be next for some of the fighters. Some let their intentions be known, others left more to the imagination. Either way, we try to do Mick Maynard’s job for him and tell you what is up next for some of the biggest names on this past card. 

Max Holloway

On deck: Alexander Volkanovski

Max Holloway vs. Alexander Volkanovski Tale of the Tape
Max Holloway vs. Alexander Volkanovski Tale of the Tape

Max Holloway went out there and did it again at UFC Vegas 42. He once again put on a performance that made it clear that he and Alexander Volkanovski are the two best featherweights in the world. There’s little doubt in my mind that he’s the best, and most deserving contender for Volkanovski. While I am generally opposed to trilogies when one side has taken the first two, I think it’s time to run this one back one more time.

Of course, if Holloway or the UFC feel similarly to me, I think there are tons of interesting options at lightweight for him. A lot of people wrote off his ability to go up a weight class when he lost to Dustin Poirier, but I think he’d fare well if he decided to take a fight or two up there. Justin Gaethje, Michael Chandler, Conor McGregor – they’d all be intriguing fights that would be worthy of a move up. At the end of the day though, I think he gets the title shot again.

Yair Rodriguez

On deck: Brian Ortega

Yair Rodriguez vs. Brian OrtegaTale of the Tape
Yair Rodriguez vs. Brian OrtegaTale of the Tape

Rodriguez showed that even with a long layoff, that he continues to be one of the better strikers in the featherweight division. Although he ultimately lost the main event of UFC Vegas 42 by unanimous decision, he took the fifth round on all three judges’ cards, and stole another round on two of them. He’s clearly one of the top five in the division, but will need to stay a bit more active in order to remain relevant in the title picture.

On name I would like to see him against is Brian Ortega. Ortega is coming off of a close loss to champion, Alexander Volkanovski. He has shown some really improved striking, which I would love to see tested by Rodriguez. Plus, his grappling tends to give everybody, champion included, trouble. After showing a relative weakness in working off his back earlier in his tenure, Ortega would be a nice test for Rodriguez’s improvements as well.

Andrea Lee

On deck: Manon Fiorot

Andrea Lee vs. Manon Fiorot Tale of the Tape
Andrea Lee vs. Manon Fiorot Tale of the Tape

At UFC Vegas 42 Andrea Lee wowed the crowd and Dana White with a bonus winning corner stoppage of Cynthia Calvillo. The win had social media buzzing with mentions of Lee. A lot of people were clamoring for her to see a big step up in competition following the win. However, I think we need to pump those breaks just a bit. This win saved her from a four-fight losing streak, which includes Roxanne Modafferi‘s only win in her last four fights. As a result, I think she still needs to prove she can replicate this against someone who is a little bit closer to her size.

One option for this would be the UFC’s new favorite fighter, Manon Fiorot. A fight with these two would be a win-win for the UFC. If Fiorot would win, she would catapult herself to the top of the division, stealing all the momentum we just saw Lee get publicly. If Lee were to win, we’d know her striking is really a threat in this division and could hold up against the top of the division.

Khaos Williams

On deck: Max Griffin

Khaos Williams vs.  Max Griffin Tale of the Tape
Khaos Williams vs.  Max Griffin Tale of the Tape

Another big knockout win for Khaos Williams has him looking like one of the most fun welterweights on the planet. He’s now won four out of five in the UFC and has separated three of those opponents from consciousness. His previous loss to Michel Pereira probably has him just a smidgen away from getting the ranked opponent he’s hoping for. This means we need to book him with another one of the many fun welterweights in a similar spot.

Max Griffin fits that bill to a tee. He’s won three fights in a row, taking a man’s ear off in the process. He’s an absolute violence machine as of late and I can’t imagine a fight with Williams being anything less than a barn-burner. In addition, it would have the added benefit of getting one of them a ranked opponent with a win.

Da Un Jung

On deck: Alonzo Menifield

Da Un Jung vs. Alonzo Menifield Tale of the Tape
Da Un Jung vs. Alonzo Menifield Tale of the Tape

There’s a little bit of a mystery as to what Da Un Jung is and just how good he can be. On one hand, he sometimes looks like a world-beater. He took down William Knight at will and thoroughly dominated him. He also took out Kennedy Nzechukwu at UFC Vegas 42, which has been proven to be a difficult thing to do. On the other hand, he is the same guy who drew with Sam Alvey after dropping the first two rounds.

In order to get a better grasp on him, let’s pair him with another confounding light heavyweight. Alonzo Menifield has looked incredible knocking out Paul Craig, but also was dominated by Devin Clark. He’s now won two straight and both would be the steps up the other deserves.

Song Yadong

On deck: Montel Jackson

Song Yadong vs. Montel Jackson Tale of the Tape
Song Yadong vs. Montel Jackson Tale of the Tape

Song Yadong is another one of those fighters who is difficult to figure out. He has a win over #11 Marlon Vera on his record, but a loss to unranked Kyler Phillips and a rough showing against #14 Cody Stamann. So where exactly does he fit into things after picking up a TKO victory over Julio Arce? My assumption is that he’ll still be facing a fringe top fifteen guy. That person would be looking to use Yadong as a stepping stool into the rankings.

Montel Jackson seems to be a name I like in that spot. The distance striking of Phillips, combined with some nice wrestling, gave Song issues. Jackson can replicate some of those things. It would also be a good test to see if he’s made the improvements since that fight.

Do you agree with these bookings? Did Gumby miss something obvious? Hit us up on Twitter (@TheAllStarSport) and give him the business, or comment down below.

Daniel "Gumby" Vreeland has been an MMA writer for over a decade. He currently hosts The Top Turtle Podcast and is a member of the UFC's ranking panel.

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