5 Fights We Need to See After UFC Fight Night 205
On Saturday night, Jessica Andrade managed to add some historical significance to an event that looked utterly forgettable on paper.
The event was UFC Fight Night 205 out of the promotion's Apex facility in Las Vegas. Andrade, the former strawweight champion, was back in action in the card's headlining attraction, taking on her fellow Brazilian Amanda Lemos.
Andrade, who was returning to the division after a short stint at flyweight, derailed Lemos' five-fight win streak in emphatic fashion, choking her countrywoman out with a standing arm-triangle choke in the first round. It was the first submission of its kind in UFC history.
While Andrade was the only fighter on the UFC Fight Night 205 bill to do anything of long-term significance, she certainly wasn't the only one to add to their highlight reel.
Of the 11 fights on the bill, seven ended by stoppage, and six of those in the first round. Among the most impressive were a pair of guillotines from Canadians Charles Jourdain and Marc-Andre Barriault, who choked out Lando Vannata and Jordan Wright at featherweight and a 190-pound catchweight respectively on the main card.
Peruvian featherweight Claudio Puelles also picked up a submission on the main card, tapping out UFC veteran Clay Guida with a kneebar, while long-absent Australian light heavyweight Tyson Pedro did great work on the undercard, stopping Ike Villanueva with a leg kick and volley of follow-up punches.
Keep scrolling for the fights we're hoping to see next for some of the night's biggest winners.
Jessica Andrade vs. Marina Rodriguez
After her history-making submission of Amanda Lemos in the UFC Fight Night 205 main event, Jessica Andrade will return to the rankings in the strawweight division, where she enjoyed a brief reign as champion in 2019.
While the win reaffirmed that Andrade remains one of the best strawweights on earth, she has a lot of competition as she looks to reposition herself for a title shot. Carla Esparza will get the next crack at champion Rose Namajunas at UFC 274 next month. Andrade's fellow Brazilian Marina Rodriguez has arguably earned a shot at the winner of that fight with four straight victories. Former champions Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who will fight at UFC 275 in June in Singapore, have both beaten Andrade decisively in the fairly recent past and are probably still a step ahead of her as a result.
All that to say, Andrade is still a few fights away from a title shot. As for her next matchup, we're hoping it's against Rodriguez.
Haters will say it's too risky a gamble for the streaking Rodriguez, who could conceivably get a crack at the Namajunas-Esparza winner without taking another fight in the meantime. But there's a queue forming in this division. It's time to get things moving.
Call it an unofficial four-woman tournament with Andrade and Rodriguez on one side of the bracket and Zhang and Jedrzejczyk on the other. Whoever makes the loudest statement gets the Namajunas-Esparza winner.
Claudio Puelles vs. Mark Madsen
Claudio Puelles is still a relatively new face in the crowded UFC lightweight division but somehow found himself fighting experienced veteran Clay Guida in the UFC Fight Night 205 co-main event nonetheless.
He definitely made the most of that unlikely platform. The Peruvian took care of the veteran in just over three minutes, sealing the deal with a kneebar. With the win, Puelles is now on a five-fight win streak—quite a way to rebound from a second-round TKO loss to Martin Bravo in his UFC debut back in 2016.
From here, we'd like to see him matched up with Mark Madsen, another lightweight on a nice streak but still a win or two shy of a fight with a ranked opponent. The Dane, an Olympic silver medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling, returned to the Octagon at UFC 273 earlier this month, defeating Vinc Pichel with a workmanlike decision. That win pushed him to 12-0 as a pro mixed martial artist and 4-0 in the UFC.
He is in a similar position to Puelles, and it would be great to see how his wrestling stacks up against the Peruvian's slick submissions.
Charles Jourdain vs. Edson Barboza
Canadian featherweight Charles Jourdain picked up one of the biggest wins of his career at UFC Fight Night 205, defeating the always dangerous Lando Vannata with a first-round guillotine choke.
The win was the Canadian's second in a row after a decision win over Andre Ewell late last year, and it should set him up for another exciting opportunity in the featherweight division.
In his post-fight interview, he set his sights on a fight with all-action Brazilian veteran Edson Barboza.
"I have a name in mind, but I would love to face Edson Barboza," he said. "I want to leave my life in there, and I want to face the best strikers."
Barboza is a few rungs above Jourdain on the featherweight ladder, perched at No. 12 in the rankings, which would ordinarily make this callout a bit premature. But let's face it: as great as the Brazilian knockout artist has been over the years, his days as a title contender are seemingly over, and this would be a great fight.
So why not book it? Throw it on a Fight Night main card and get a bonus check ready ahead of time. One guy—possibly both—will most likely deserve one by the time all is said and done.
Marc-Andre Barriault vs. Marquez-Rodrigues Winner
Charles Jourdain wasn't the only fighter on the UFC Fight Night 205 bill to win with a first-round guillotine choke. In fact, he wasn't even the only French-Canadian on the card to do so.
In the opening bout of the main card, Jourdain's fellow Quebecer Marc-Andre Barriault won a 190-pound catchweight contest with Jordan Wright with the same maneuver in almost the exact same amount of time. He did it in 2:36; Jourdain did it in 2:32.
The victory got Barriault back on track after a quick knockout loss to Chidi Njokuani in his last fight. While that was easily the worst loss of his career, he is still a decent 3-1 in his last four.
Unfortunately for Barriault, it seems like every middleweight on the UFC roster is booked right now, so he might need to sit out a little longer than he'd like after such a quick win. If he's prepared to do so, we're hoping to see him matched up with the winner of a June 18 fight between Julian Marquez and Gregory Rodrigues. Either matchup looks like great fun on paper, and it makes sense in terms of their positions in the division.
Tyson Pedro vs. Alonzo Menifield
Prior to UFC Fight Night 205, Australian light heavyweight Tyson Pedro had been out of action so long that you could be forgiven for forgetting he existed. We hadn't seen him since a 2018 stoppage loss to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
When Pedro finally stepped back into the Octagon on the event's undercard, he did a great job of reminding fans who he is and what he's all about, chopping down his adversary Ike Villanueva with a leg kick and a storm of follow-up punches in Round 1.
Granted, Villanueva is far from a world-beater—he's now lost his last three fights by stoppage—but it was still a nice win and one that will serve Pedro well as he looks to get back into the swing of things at light heavyweight.
From here, we'd like to see him pitted against Alonzo Menifield, another light heavyweight who has shown flashes of potential but struggled greatly with consistency. The American lost a decision to William Knight in his last appearance, so will definitely be eager to get back on track with a nice knockout win.
Pedro should be more than happy to let him try for one.