UFC 257 still has fans astounded, with Michael Chandler’s vicious victory over a tough opponent in Dan Hooker in the very fist round. solidifying his place amongst the elite of the UFC lightweight division, and of course Dustin Poirier’s jaw dropping TKO over Conor McGregor in the second round which sent the MMA world into a bit of a frenzy.
After two phenomenal lightweight performances, many questions have risen regarding the future for both winners and losers of the main and co main events, questions we will do our very best to answer.
With a victory over Dan Hooker, and now ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier is in a very good position with his next bout most likely being for 155 pound strap, the big question is who will he face for the title. Depending on who you ask, the answers will most likely be wither Charles Oliviera or UFC newcomer Michael Chandler. The latter proved to be somewhat unpopular with some fans. Most fans seem to believe it is too early for ‘Iron’ Michael Chandler to fight for the belt, and they may be right.
Olivera however is currently riding an eight-fight winning streak and is currently ranked #3 on the UFC lightweight rankings, Justin Gaethje could have also been a viable candidate but believes that he needs to be coming off a win in order to fight for the title.
Conor McGregor made his return to lightweight this past weekend and unfortunately came up short in his highly anticipated return to 155. McGregor has never been knocked out before this fight, suffering only 2 submission losses in the UFC. There is a few ways McGregor can bounce back from this devastating loss, he could take on #5 lightweight Tony Ferguson, which would be one of, if not the biggest fight in the history of the UFC, a guaranteed classic bout pitting two fan favorites up against one another.
Another viable option for ‘Mystic Mac’ could be either Justin Gaethje or Michael Chandler. McGregor and Gaethje are both coming off a loss and both would like a chance at redemption and a chance to claim the 155 title. Chandler on the other hand is a rising force in the UFC and a win over Chandler would definitely put Conor in title contention once more.
After making short work of Dan Hooker at his UFC debut at the co-main event of UFC 257, Chandler has taken a massive leap forward and is much closer to capturing UFC gold. I personally believe Chandler is at least one or two more fights away from earning a title shot, I do not believe he should be the one to face Poirier for the lightweight strap, a bout with either Conor McGregor, Tony Ferguson, or even Justin Gaethje makes more sense. While Chandler is most definitely a force to be reckoned with, he still has to work his way to a title shot just like everyone else, no one gets a title shot after one successful bout. But, a win over McGregor or Gaethje would most definitely get his name thrown into the title picture.
It was a gruesome night for Daniel Hooker, after being knocked out by Michael Chandler in the first round, it was evident in Hooker’s demeanour and facial expressions that he was most decently not happy with what had happened. A loss like this will set Hooker back by a fair margin but it is not the end for the hangman.
The Kiwi can make up for lost ground by securing a convincing victory over a tough opponent, some names that pop to mind are, Tony Ferguson or Rafael Dos Anjos, the latter being more convincing in my eyes. Ferguson I believe will take on McGregor purely for the hype and fan service, a bout between Hooker and RDA however, could send either man a fair way up on the rankings and edging them ever so closer to a title eliminator or even a title opportunity.
These are just some predictions that have been made, we will of course have to wait and see what the UFC and the fighters themselves want to do.