The UFC was back on Fight Island last weekend for a very solid UFC 253 card that saw two titles on the line.
In the main event of UFC 253, Israel Adesanya remained undefeated as he scored a second-round TKO win over Paulo Costa. The co-main event saw Jan Blachowicz become the promotions new light heavyweight champion with a TKO win over Dominick Reyes.
Now, following UFC 253, here is what I think should be next for the fighters involved in the title fights.
Israel Adesanya said he would shock people on how easy he would make his win over Paulo Costa look, and he was right. The middleweight champion used his technical striking to piece up the Brazilian and used leg kicks to damage the lead leg of Costa.
After the win, Adesanya said he wants Jared Cannonier next which is the fight to make barring Cannonier beats Robert Whittaker at UFC 254. If Whittaker wins, perhaps enough time has passed that they can do an Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker 2. So, there is no question “The Last Stylebender” will be watching the UFC 254 middleweight bout.
Even though Paulo Costa lost at UFC 253, he still remains one of the best middleweights in the world and will only need a few more wins to earn another crack at the belt.
In the fight, many were surprised Costa didn’t try and blitz Adesanya but the champ is a dangerous counter-puncher so it does make sense. The Brazilian will likely not fight again until 2021 and he should take on the winner of Jack Hermansson vs. Darren Till in December where the winner could earn a title shot.
Jan Blachowicz pulled off the upset to score a TKO win over Dominick Reyes and become the new light heavyweight champion.
For his first title defense, there is only one matchup that makes sense and that is Thiago Santos vs. Glover Teixeira. Blachowicz told BJPENN.com he wants to rematch Santos for the belt to get that fight back. The UFC has also been adamant about making Santos-Teixeira happen to make the top contender at 205-pounds. So, expect Blachowicz to fight the winner sometime in early 2021.
Dominick Reyes has now lost two in a row and is back to the drawing board at 205-pounds. Although many thought he beat Jon Jones, Reyes didn’t pull the trigger enough and Blachowicz made him pay for it at UFC 253.
It is likely Reyes will take a couple of months off and when he returns should fight the winner of Volkan Oezdemir vs. Nikita Krylov on October 17. Reyes and Oezdemir fought in March of 2019 with Reyes winning a very controversial decision and the Swiss native has wanted to get that fight back ever since. If Krylov wins, it gives him a step up the rankings that he no doubt deserves.
What do you think should be next for the stars of UFC 253?