UFC Fight Night 37 marked the return of the company to the United Kingdom, as the Octagon touched down in London. The card was headlined by British striker Jimi Manuwa and Swedish superstar Alexander Gustafsson.
The fight went into the second round, as Gustafsson controlled much of the action. Then, midway through the second, he finished Manuwa with a nice flurry of strikes to put himself back into top contention.
For Manuwa, it marks his first career loss. That being said, it was against a top-tier light heavyweight with vast big-show experience.
Where does Manuwa go from here? Here are three fights he can take on the rebound.
Sometimes, striker vs. grappler matchups are interesting—especially when each man's glaring weakness is the other man's strength.
That's what we would get in Anthony Perosh vs. Jimi Manuwa: a ground ace with decent-at-best striking in Perosh against a power striker with subpar ground skills in Manuwa.
It would come down to who lands the first punch or secures the first takedown. It would also show if Manuwa can recover from his first loss or struggle against another scrappy vet in the Aussie.
Loser of Gian Villante vs. Fabio Maldonado
In the near future, Gian Villante and Fabio Maldonado are set to square off in Brazil. Whoever should fall in that bout could be a potential dance partner for Manuwa.
Both men are strikers, as Villante represents more of a kickboxer to Maldonado's technical boxing style. Either man would give Manuwa a fun fight on the feet.
This bout could be a featured prelim that leads into a pay-per-view. Either man combined with Manuwa would put on a barnburner for sure.
Loser of Ovince St. Preux vs. Nikita Krylov
What was said about Villante and Maldonado can be said about Ovince St. Preux and Nikita Krylov. Both men have styles that would contrast well against Manuwa.
St. Preux and Krylov are set to fight at UFC 171. The winner will ascend the ladder, while the loser will be looking to get back on his feet.
That's why the loser of that bout should meet Manuwa. It would give one fighter a chance to stand back up, while the other would have to return to the drawing board to get his career back on track.