UFC 214 Results: Matches to Make for the Winners and Losers
The king of the light heavyweight division reclaimed his throne.
Jon Jones defeated Daniel Cormier by knockout in the third round early Sunday morning to once again claim the UFC light heavyweight championship. He got on the microphone after the bout to call out Brock Lesnar, but is that the fight to take? And what about Cormier's next chapter?
In the co-main event of UFC 214, Tyron Woodley avoided all takedown attempts from Demian Maia to breeze to a decision victory. The crowd didn't enjoy the display, but he did what needed to be done against one of the most dangerous ground threats in the sport.
A third title was on the line as well, but it was no contest. Cris Cyborg captured her first UFC belt by bludgeoning yet another soul in Tonya Evinger.
And there were still nine other contests on the card with each winner and loser wondering—what's next?
Well, that's what we are here to examine. Let's break down what's to come for each victor and runner-up on the UFC 214 fight card. Here are the matches to make following all the action in Anaheim, California.
Preliminary Fights Quick Hits
Drew Dober def. Josh Burkman by KO at 3:04 of the first round
- Josh Burkman should be cut from the roster.
- Drew Dober vs. James Vick
Jarred Brooks def. Eric Shelton by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Eric Shelton vs. loser of Jenel Lausa vs. Naoki Inoue (September 23)
- Jarred Brooks vs. Deiveson Figueiredo
Aleksandra Albu def. Kailin Curran by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Kailin Curran should be cut from the roster.
- Aleksandra Albu vs. JJ Aldrich
Calvin Kattar def. Andre Fili by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Andre Fili vs. Godofredo Pepey
- Calvin Kattar vs. Jeremy Kennedy
Brian Ortega def. Renato Moicano via submission (guillotine choke) at 2:59 of the third round
- Renato Moicano vs. Dennis Bermudez
- Brian Ortega vs. Yair Rodriguez
Aljamain Sterling def. Renan Barao by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 30-26)
- Renan Barao vs. Albert Morales
- Aljamain Sterling vs. John Lineker
Ricardo Lamas def. Jason Knight by TKO at 4:34 of the first round
- Jason Knight vs. Mizuto Hirota
- Ricardo Lamas vs. Cub Swanson
Jimi Manuwa vs. Volkan Oezdemir
Volkan Oezdemir def. Jimi Manuwa by KO at 0:42 of the first round
Jimi Manuwa was on the precipice of a title shot. Had either Jon Jones or Daniel Cormier fell out of the main event, he would have slid into their spot but that didn't happen. So, he was fighting for a title bid. All of that hard work washed away in under a minute.
Volkan Oezdemir continued his ascent from complete obscurity to title contender with a 42-second knockout.
Manuwa will have to do a bit of work to get back into position after such a definitive ending to the fight against Oezdemir. However, his No. 3 ranking means he'll likely still garner a ranked opponent. The best option for Manuwa is the winner of Ilir Latifi and Tyson Pedro who meet on September 9.
It's a strong reset for Manuwa and a quality opponent no matter who wins in September.
Oezdemir is a legitimate title contender now with a claim for a bid, but his name recognition will keep him out of a title fight for the immediate future. The problem is there isn't a clear-cut answer for who he matches up against. Perhaps it'll be Cormier, but after his loss to Jones, there's no telling when he'll be back.
That leaves the winner of Mauricio Rua vs. Ovince Saint Preux. Those two will rematch on September 23, and if OSP is victorious again, it would set up a rematch with Oezdemir. It's not the most enticing situation, but given all of the current results, it may be the best plan.
Robbie Lawler vs. Donald Cerrone
Robbie Lawler def. Donald Cerrone by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
This fight was everything you could want it to be—to the point where if they decided to run it back for no good reason, no one would have any problem with it. But that's not the UFC's style.
Donald Cerrone came up just short. The best opponent would be the loser of Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Neil Magny on September 9. Cerrone would be an excellent opponent for either man, and the winner would go right back into the hunt in the upper level of the welterweight division.
Lawler would have been a tougher puzzle to solve had it not been for the post-214 announcement that Michael Bisping will meet Georges Saint-Pierre (h/t Dave Doyle of MMA Fighting). That left Tyron Woodley without an obvious opponent.
Well, now he has one.
Lawler vs. Woodley II is the fight to book.
Cris Cyborg vs. Tonya Evinger
Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino def. Tonya Evinger by TKO at 1:56 of the third round
This fight went just about as expected, other than Tonya Evinger showing her trademark grit to make it to the third round.
Evinger, the former Invicta FC bantamweight champion, will move back down to 135 pounds now. Her performance at UFC 214 earned her a premiere slot at bantamweight. Why not a title eliminator against Holly Holm? Both women earned it, and the winner of Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko does not have a clear opponent for their next defense.
Cyborg's next fight is much easier to pick. Because there is only one other competent featherweight in the world: Megan Anderson.
Anderson likely isn't ready for Cyborg, but this is the draw she gets. These are the only two credible women at 145 today, but hopefully their performances in the UFC inspire a new generation to come up. And quickly. After this fight, it's back to leading lambs to slaughter.
Tyron Woodley vs. Demian Maia
Tyron Woodley def. Demian Maia by unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 49-46)
Demian Maia is now a part of two of the worst UFC title fights in history. It's almost unthinkable he'll get another crack at the gold, but he'll try his best.
Santiago Ponzinibbio is the only name that springs to mind for the UFC to book against Maia. It's a big test for Ponzinibbio. Maia could be used as a top-tier gatekeeper for the title unless he proves to submit everyone thrown his way in quick fashion to generate interest in another title tilt.
As previously stated, Tyron Woodley should fight Lawler.
It was looking like Woodley vs. GSP was the correct course to take, but with GSP fighting Bisping, it puts Woodley in a tight spot. The Lawler rematch is the best the UFC can do, and perhaps we'll get a longer contest that forces Woodley to be more active. And Lawler getting a chance at redemption.
Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones
Jon Jones def. Daniel Cormier by KO at 3:01 of the third round
Jon Jones is back and he is the man. Period. The greatest light heavyweight of all time returned in spectacular fashion to finish off Daniel Cormier in the third round.
Cormier is not likely to see another title shot while Jones is the champion, and at 38 years old, the clock is ticking on his professional career. It's too difficult to pick a singular person for his next fight because there is no clear idea when, or if, he'll come back.
If he wants a retirement fight, the UFC should oblige with a light heavyweight on the cusp of breaking through. Cormier would get a favorable matchup but not devoid of meaning. If Cormier wants to continue on as a top-tier fighter, then the choice will have to be another fighter in contention.
As for Jones, he wants Brock Lesnar.
That's not going to happen...yet. Give it time. The current WWE Universal champion has a lot on his plate.
As such, it only makes sense to book the long-awaited rematch with Alexander Gustafsson.
Jones vs. Gustafsson II is the right fight to book for everyone, and even if Jones were to lose, the fight against Lesnar would not lose any steam. This is a win-win for the UFC. Hype up the rematch and start building toward a true superfight.