UFC 230 Results: Matches to Make for the Winners and Losers

Nathan McCarter@McCarterNFeatured ColumnistNovember 4, 2018

UFC 230 Results: Matches to Make for the Winners and Losers

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    UFC 230 on Saturday featured the first title defense from heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, and did he ever deliver with a dominant victory.

    Cormier used his elite wrestling skills to dominate "The Black Beast" Derrick Lewis and finished with a second-round rear-naked choke. Cormier then called out Brock Lesnar in the post-fight interview with Joe Rogan—a fight that has been teased since he won the belt in July.

    That seems obvious, right? Is there another fight that should be made instead? And what about Lewis?

    In the co-main event, Jacare Souza stunned Chris Weidman to keep him from getting another title shot. Does Jacare get that title fight now? Where does Weidman go from here?

    We'll answer those questions and more as we look at all the fights to come after a fun night at Madison Square Garden.

    Ready? Here are the matches to make for every winner and loser from UFC 230.

Preliminary Fights Quick Hits

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    Marcos Rogerio de Lima def. Adam Wieczorek by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

    • Adam Wieczorek vs. Daniel Spitz
    • Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Winner of Rashad Coulter vs. Yaozong Hu (November 25)


    Shane Burgos def. Kurt Holobaugh via submission (armbar) at 2:11 of the first round.

    • Kurt Holobaugh vs. Matt Bessette
    • Shane Burgos vs. Josh Emmett


    Matt Frevola vs. Lando Vannata went to a majority draw (29-28, 28-28, 28-28).

    • Lando Vannata vs. Jason Gonzalez
    • Matt Frevola vs. Dan Moret


    Lyman Good def. Ben Saunders by KO at 1:32 of the first round.

    • Ben Saunders should be cut from the roster.
    • Lyman Good vs. Abdul Razak Alhassan


    Sheymon Moraes def. Julio Arce by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-26).

    • Julio Arce vs. Chris Fishgold
    • Sheymon Moraes vs. Raoni Barcelos


    Sijara Eubanks def. Roxanne Modafferi by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

    • Roxanne Modafferi vs. Mara Romero Borella
    • Sijara Eubanks vs. Alexis Davis


    Jordan Rinaldi def. Jason Knight by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-25, 30-26).

    • Jason Knight vs. Loser of Arnold Allen vs. Gilbert Melendez (November 30)
    • Jordan Rinaldi vs. Rick Glenn

Derek Brunson vs. Israel Adesanya

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    Israel Adesanya def. Derek Brunson by TKO at 4:51 of the first round.


    Israel Adesanya has arrived. The star everyone hoped he would be is exactly who he is. This was the coming-out party against a ranked foe. Brunson's performance left a lot to be desired, but a lot of credit for that must go to the accurate and dynamic striker that is Adesanya.

    Brunson's descent has been curious to watch. Against Adesanya, Brunson went for the same takedown attempt again and again without mixing it up. Adesanya caught on, and that's when the fight changed. What happened to Brunson?

    He needs a fight to try to gain past form. Alessio Di Chirico could be the right choice. Di Chirico has won back-to-back fights, and a fight opposite Brunson would give him an opportunity to join the top 15.

    Adesanya is a bona fide contender. Maybe the UFC should make him the alternate for the upcoming Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum title fight. Let's assume both fighters make weight and fight, where does Adesanya go from there?

    The other contender options are limited to Luke Rockhold or the winner of Yoel Romero vs. Paulo Costa. Both are high-risk fights. But that's where he is at as a top contender.

    Wait for the winner of the Romero-Costa bout and make it a title eliminator for 2019.

Karl Roberson vs. Jack Marshman

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    Karl Roberson def. Jack Marshman by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27).


    This fight did not have the biggest stakes, but it was a showcase for Karl Roberson.

    Let's give Jack Marshman a fight against Julian Marquez and maybe put that on a card in Europe somewhere. A reward for Marshman's being a game opponent is to allow him to fight more locally. It would be a decent undercard bout for a Fight Night event.

    A good showing from Roberson, but it is nothing that will vault him into a top-15 contest.

    Even though Trevor Smith is coming off a loss to Elias Theodorou, this seems like the right fight to make. It's a stylistic matchup that should provide a little excitement and favor Roberson. If the UFC is trying to build up Roberson, this is a good fight to test him.

David Branch vs. Jared Cannonier

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    Jared Cannonier def. David Branch by TKO at 0:39 of the second round.


    What a statement. Jared Cannonier made his middleweight debut on short notice and looked sensational, ousting the No. 7-ranked contender with relative ease. And he looks shredded at the new weight class.

    David Branch is still a credible middleweight who can rebound from this loss, but he shouldn't just fight anyone. Uriah Hall would make for a fun fight as a clash of styles and test both men in perhaps their last bids to be top-10 fighters.

    How should the UFC approach Cannonier's showing?

    In spite of dropping back-to-back fights at light heavyweight, this was his first 185-pound match, and he dominated a top-10 fighter. And at 34, the UFC should not waste much time. Give him Luke Rockhold when Rockhold is healthy. It would be a huge fight for Cannonier, and in the increasingly competitive middleweight division, it could set him up to proclaim himself a title contender in the new year.

Chris Weidman vs. Jacare Souza

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    Ronaldo Souza def. Chris Weidman by TKO at 2:46 of the third round.


    Chris Weidman was five minutes away from being the next title contender and meeting the winner of Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum in 2019. But Jacare caught him and finished.

    The easiest part of this is simply to give Jacare that same title opportunity. He deserves it.

    Weidman is a more difficult question to answer. Should he even fight at middleweight anymore? He has a good frame for light heavyweight, and not cutting the weight could help him in a division that has more wrestlers. But he has shown little indication that he's headed that way.

    The only middleweight name that makes sense is Brad Tavares.

    It's not a sexy fight, but if Weidman can rebound against anyone in the top 10, it is Tavares.

Daniel Cormier vs. Derrick Lewis

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    Daniel Cormier def. Derrick Lewis via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:14 of the second round.


    Daniel Cormier had an easy night at the office against Derrick Lewis, who couldn't stop the former Olympian's takedowns. And Cormier's advantage on the mat was too steep a mountain for Lewis to climb.

    Lewis deserves significant time off, and the heavyweight division could alter a lot in that time.

    Andrei Arlovski and Walt Harris fight at UFC 232 on December 29, and the winner will surely get a vacation as well. That should set up a late-winter or early-spring meeting with Lewis. No matter who wins, it's a good return bout for Lewis unless another too-good-to-pass-up opportunity presents itself.

    How about the champ? This is too easy. There is but one name.

    Brock. Lesnar.

    There are some out there who may still try to push a third Jon Jones fight, with this one being at heavyweight, but we have already seen that fight twice. Lesnar is the biggest fight available and would make for a fascinating clash. It's the only choice to be made.

    Cormier has earned that fight. Give it to him.