5 Fights You Want to See After UFC 265

Tom Taylor@@TomTayMMAContributor IAugust 9, 2021

5 Fights You Want to See After UFC 265

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    UFC 265 is now in the rearview mirror.

    The card, which went down in Houston, Texas, on Saturday night, was topped by an interim heavyweight title fight between unbeaten Frenchman Ciryl Gane and prolific knockout puncher Derrick Lewis. Gane defeated Lewis with a masterful performance, confounding his foe with a blend of footwork and distance management en route to a third-round stoppage win.

    UFC 265 was co-headlined by a bantamweight fight between former featherweight king Jose Aldo and long-time contender Pedro Munhoz. Aldo put forth a vintage performance, touching Munhoz up for three rounds to earn an impressive decision victory.

    Other highlights of the card included a huge win from welterweight contender Vicente Luque, who defeated grappling specialist Michael Chiesa with a first-round D'Arce choke, and a pair of decision wins from Tecia Torres and Song Yadong, who beat Angela Hill and Casey Kenney, respectively.

    We've already told you what we think should be next for the stars of UFC 265, now we're giving you the floor. Here are some of the fights you want to see following this action-packed card in Houston.

Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane

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    This was far and away the most frequently suggested fight in the aftermath of UFC 265—and for good reason.

    Having won the interim heavyweight title, Gane has all but guaranteed himself a crack at undisputed heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. While Ngannou will first need to sort out his contract dispute with the UFC, this fight seems inevitable, and it's an excellent one.

    Not only are Ngannou and Gane seemingly the two best heavyweights in the world at present, but they're also former training partners, having come up together at the MMA Factory in Paris, which gives the matchup plenty of added heat.  

    Throw in the champion versus champion stakes, and it's no surprise readers like @wessonsmith called for this fight to be made.

Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic

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    If we get a Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane fight next, which feels like a certainty, it's difficult to say what the future holds for the heavyweight division's two other biggest stars: Stipe Miocic and Jon Jones.

    Miocic, who is the most successful heavyweight champion in UFC history, lost the title to Ngannou in March, but he remains one of the division's key players and top contenders. Jones, meanwhile, ruled over the light heavyweight division for many years but recently committed to move up to heavyweight.

    Before Gane won the interim title and cemented himself as the next man in line for Ngannou, it seemed plausible that either Miocic or Jones could get that opportunity themselves. Now that they're seemingly out of luck, reader @blakachu is hoping they'll be matched up against each other. 

    It remains to be seen whether Jones can be coaxed into a non-title fight, but UFC President Dana White recently said Miocic has already been offered and accepted this fight. 

    If it happens, it would be a truly massive fight, and it would make the winner's claim to a fight with the Ngannou vs. Gane winner undeniable.

Jose Aldo vs. TJ Dillashaw

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    After he defeated Pedro Munhoz in the UFC 265 co-main event, former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo is now on a two-fight streak in the bantamweight division. That streak should be enough to earn him another huge opportunity in the weight class—perhaps even a title eliminator.

    User @DrNice is hoping to see Aldo matched up with former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw next.

    Dillashaw recently returned from a two-year suspension after testing positive for EPO. In his first fight back, he burst back into title contention with an impressive—if slightly controversial—decision win over Cory Sandhagen.

    Given that Dillashaw and Aldo are both positioned inside in the bantamweight top five, the matchup certainly makes sense from a rankings perspective. The real appeal of the fight, however, is that it is a clash between two decorated MMA legends.

    We're all for it.

Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor 2

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    After watching Jose Aldo outfight Pedro Munhoz in the UFC 265 co-main event, user @PoolSideLasagna is hoping to see the Brazilian get a shot at redemption against Conor McGregor.

    Aldo and McGregor first met in the featherweight division back in 2015. At the time, Aldo was the division's undisputed champ, while McGregor had recently won the interim strap with a defeat of Chad Mendes. 

    McGregor famously won that fight with a 13-second knockout, and he subsequently took off to the lightweight division, depriving Aldo of an immediate chance for revenge. 

    Today, when McGregor is on a losing streak at lightweight—and has recently fought in the welterweight division—and Aldo is on a winning streak way down at bantamweight, the rematch seems like a very long shot. That being said, if the two men can agree on a weight class, it does seem like the kind of fight they'd both be willing to run back. McGregor is frankly in desperate need of a win—any win—and Aldo has made no secret of his desire to even the score with the Irishman. 

    It's unlikely, but hey, it's not impossible.

Vicente Luque vs. Kamaru Usman-Colby Covington Winner

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    Vicente Luque picked up one of the biggest wins of his career on the UFC 265 main card, choking out submission specialist Michael Chiesa in the first round.

    With that win, Luque is now on an impressive, four-fight streak, having also recently beaten Niko Price, Randy Brown and former welterweight champ Tyron Woodley. User @blakachu believes that streak should earn the Florida-based fighter a crack at the winner of an upcoming welterweight title rematch between champ Kamaru Usman and challenger Colby Covington.

    While many fans will surely agree that Luque has earned a title shot, there is one problem with this suggestion: it ignores the existence of Leon Edwards.

    Edwards, the No. 3-ranked welterweight contender, is on a 10-fight unbeaten streak—which includes a 2017 decision win over Luque—and is waiting on a title shot of his own. It's frankly hard to imagine Luque being given the opportunity before Edwards is. 

    That being said, they could conceivably fight each other for the No. 1 contender spot. That fight would make an excellent addition to the UFC 268 lineup, which is where the Usman vs. Covington rematch is slated to land.