UFC 218 Results: Matches to Make for the Winners and Losers
UFC 218 at the new Little Caesars Arena in Detroit Saturday was everything it was built up to be.
Max Holloway defended the UFC featherweight title against Jose Aldo, the man he took it from, with a third-round TKO.
Holloway left no doubt with the TKO. He is the man at 145. But who is next in line?
In the co-main event, Francis Ngannou firmly established himself with a devastating knockout of Alistair Overeem. And that may be understating the power of the KO. It was thunder manifested in a fist.
Lots more action took place, and there are plenty of winners and losers awaiting their next bouts. Who should each of these fighters face? Well, here are your matches to make following the spectacular UFC 218.
Preliminary Fights Quick Hits
Paul Felder def. Charles Oliveira by TKO at 4:06 of the second round.
- Charles Oliveira vs. Drakkar Klose
- Paul Felder vs. Michael Chiesa
Yancy Medeiros def. Alex Oliveira by TKO at 2:02 of the third round.
- Alex Oliveira vs. Muslim Salikhov
- Yancy Medeiros vs. Dong Hyun Kim
David Teymur def. Drakkar Klose by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
- Drakkar Klose vs. Charles Oliveira
- David Teymur vs. Anthony Pettis
Felice Herrig def. Cortney Casey by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28).
- Cortney Casey vs. Angela Hill
- Felice Herrig vs. Claudia Gadelha
Amanda Cooper def. Angela Magana by TKO at 4:34 of the second round.
- Angela Magana should be cut from the roster.
- Amanda Cooper vs. Alexa Grasso
Abdul Razak Alhassan def. Sabah Homasi by TKO at 4:21 of the first round.
- Sabah Homasi vs. Nico Musoke
- Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Sean Strickland
Dominick Reyes def. Jeremy Kimball via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:39 of the first round.
- Jeremy Kimball vs. Bojan Mihajlovic
- Dominick Reyes vs. Jake Collier
Justin Willis def. Allen Crowder by KO at 2:33 of the first round.
- Allen Crowder vs. Yaozong Hu
- Justin Willis vs. Mark Godbeer
Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson
Tecia Torres def. Michelle Waterson by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).
The extraordinary main card of UFC 218 kicked off in the strawweight division. It was Tecia Torres who was able to get the decision nod.
Michelle Waterson struggled once again with an upper-echelon strawweight. Why? She's an atomweight. It is a similar situation to that of Jessica Eye, who had a rough go at 135 because she's a flyweight. Eye was competitive enough against top-end talent, but she kept ending up on the losing side.
But the UFC has no atomweight division. As such, a matchup with Tatiana Suarez may be in order. Suarez is a rising prospect and bad stylistic fight for Waterson, but we aren't here to play favorites.
Torres could get a rubber match with Rose Namajunas, but that doesn't appear to be the case. Joanna Jedrzejczyk will get rematch she wants. And Karolina Kowalkiewicz will meet Jessica Andrade in an apparent title eliminator on February 24. That leaves Torres in limbo.
Claudia Gadelha is also in limbo. Pitting those two against each other makes sense.
Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje
Eddie Alvarez def. Justin Gaethje by TKO at 3:59 of the third round.
What a fight. It lived up to the hype and then some, and it was The Underground King who came out on top.
Justin Gaethje suffered his first career loss. Because he is such an exciting fighter and a fan favorite, he won't drop too far. A fighter who needs a big challenge? James Vick. Gaethje vs. Vick is a barn-burner in itself and an excellent matchup.
The only fight that makes sense for Eddie Alvarez is running back the bout against Dustin Poirier. That's it.
Alvarez vs. Poirier is the rematch we need in the lightweight division. It was a great fight until its unfortunate ending the first time, and this will be the resolution the fans and fighters deserve.
Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
Henry Cejudo def. Sergio Pettis by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Henry Cejudo put in a workmanlike performance in getting past Sergio Pettis.
Pettis, at 24, is still young and learning. He'll be around for quite a while. Wilson Reis is a name that pops up when thinking of a possible opponent. Pettis shouldn't get an unranked or lower-ranked fighter. Reis is still in the Top 10 and poses stylistic threats.
The real question is what Cejudo does for his next fight.
Under normal circumstances, this victory would net him a rematch with Demetrious Johnson. But Johnson is likely going to fight T.J. Dillashaw next. And Cejudo has beaten Joseph Benavidez, who is ahead of him. That leaves one option: Ray Borg.
It's the only fight that makes sense.
Alistair Overeem vs. Francis Ngannou
Francis Ngannou def. Alistair Overeem by KO at 1:42 of the first round.
It was one of the most violent and scary knockouts in UFC history. Francis Ngannou laid out Alistair Overeem with an uppercut and followed it up with an earth-shattering punch on the ground to finish it off. Overeem laid motionless for some time before regaining consciousness.
Overeem should take considerable time away from the cage before returning. Who knows what the landscape of MMA will look like then. He will still get a Top 10 fight, but that's too far off to determine which man he will face.
Picking Ngannou's next opponent is easy.
Ngannou will meet Stipe Miocic for the UFC Heavyweight Championship in 2018. There's no date yet, but that's the fight. Only injury will sideline the heavyweight tilt.
Max Holloway vs. Jose Aldo
Max Holloway def. Jose Aldo by TKO at 4:51 of the third round.
Max Holloway defeated Jose Aldo once again Saturday. The fight played out similar to their first contest. Aldo was winning early but faded late.
If you're looking for a firm pick for Aldo, you will not find it here. He will have to regroup, and there's no telling when, or if, he will return. And if he does, will it even be at featherweight? There are a lot of X-factors with Aldo's next fight.
Aldo has lost a little speed, but he's still talented. He should do what's best for his longevity, and perhaps cutting to 145 is not that.
Holloway has no shortage of challengers, and Saturday's fight between Cub Swanson and Brian Ortega has the feel of a title eliminator. But there's also Frankie Edgar waiting in the wings. Edgar should get first dibs. But if he's not ready, then give it to Swanson or Ortega.