Tue. Mar 21st, 2023

After a triumphant return to London last week, the UFC stayed on the road, returning to Columbus, Ohio for the first time since 2009, and it was a good one.

Here are fights to make for the winners and losers of UFC Columbus

Curtis Blaydes

Curtis Blaydes knocked Chris Daukaus out in the first round and shut up all of his doubters. Especially the ones who called him boring. He is riding a two-fight win streak since getting knocked out by Derrick Lewis. After his fight, he called for a fight with Ciryl Gane and I completely agree. Book it.

Alexa Grasso

Alexa Grasso picked up her first submission win as she choked Joanne Wood. Grasso is now won three straight after alternating wins and losses to start her career. She will take Wood’s No. 7 ranking on Tuesday. For her next fight, she should fight Manon Fiorot who won earlier in the card and will be ranked No. 4 on Tuesday. The fight could be a No. 1 contender fight.

Bryan Barberena

What a fight. Matt Brown vs. Bryan Barberena was fucking awesome. Barberena won the fight via split decision. Columbus….how are you going to boo Barberena after a fight like that?? C’mon. 

‘Bam Bam’ has now won two straight after a rough stretch. Barberena is never in a boring fight, and why don’t we just give him another exciting matchup – Jack Della Maddalena

Kai Kara France

What a win for Kai Kara France; he defeated Askar Askarov via a unanimous decision. Kara-France took Askarov’s 0 and his No. 2 ranking. “Don’t Blink” is riding a three-fight win streak, and he should get his title shot next. Book Kara-France against the winner of Brandon Moreno vs. Deiveson Figueiredo

Neil Magny

Neil Magny successfully defended his No. 9 ranking by defeating Max Griffin via split decision. Magny is now riding a two-fight win streak. He also tied Georges St-Pierre for all-time welterweight wins. Wild. Magny called for a Khamzat Chimaev as he has been, but he’s booked against Gilbert Burns. Magny can fight the loser of Belal Muhammad vs. Vicente Luque.

Marc Diakiese

Marc Diakiese played the grinch and defeated ‘Slava Claus’ via unanimous decision. Diakiese was fighting for his job, and he showed up, essentially dominating Viacheslav Borshchev with wrestling. ‘Bonecrusher’ snapped his two-fight win streak. With the UFC going back to Europe later this year, book Diakiese vs. Jai Herbert.

Sara McMann

Sara McMann defeated Karol Rosa via unanimous decision. The Olympic silver medalist, McMann, successfully defended her No. 9 ranking and got back in the win column. With most of the bantamweight division booked, she could fight the loser of Holly Holm vs. Vieira.

Chris Gutierrez

Chris Gutierrez definitely earned himself 50k when he finished Danaa Batgerel with a spinning back fist. ‘El Guapo’ has been on a roll, winning five in a row, earning himself a top 15 in his next outing. The bantamweight division is so stacked and sometimes impossible to matchmake, but Gutierrez vs. Sean O’Malley would be an incredible fight.

Aliaskhab Khizriev 

Welcome to the UFC, Aliaskhab Khizriev. He put Denis Tiuliulin to sleep in the second round. The Russian’s debut was very anticipated, and he lived up to the hype. He is now 14-0 and is going to be a problem. After his win, he told Dana White he wanted to go to welterweight, which would be a great idea. If he does go down to 170, a fight with Jeremiah Wells would be awesome.

Manon Fiorot

The hype on Manon Fiorot is real. She just took Jennifer Maia’s No. 4 ranking by defeating her via unanimous decision. Fiorot is now 4-0 in the UFC and has looked impressive. We could really see her fight for the title in the next 18 months or so. She should fight Alexa Grasso, who won in the co-main event.

Matheus Nicolau

Matheus Nicolau snapped David Dvorak’s 16-fight win streak, winning a very close unanimous decision. Nicolau has been on a roll since returning to the UFC. Can you believe the UFC cut him in 2019 after one loss? Insane. The Brazilian should face Askar Askarov, who lost to Kai Kara-France on the main card.

Luis Saldana

Luis Saldana got back into the win column by handing Bruno Souza his second consecutive defeat. Saldana got back into the win column and is now 2-1 in the promotion. The Arizona native should fight fellow striker Ludovit Klein next.

Chris Daukaus – Sergei Pavlovich
Joanne Wood – Mariya Agapova
Matt Brown – Nick Diaz
Askar Askarov – Matheus Nicolau
Max Griffin – Matt Semelsberger
Viacheslav Borshchev – Mike Davis
Karol Rosa – Josiane Nunes
Danaa Batgerel – Trevin Jones
Denis Tiuliulin – Jamie Pickett
Jennifer Maia – Viviane Araujo vs. Andrea Lee loser
David Dvorak – Muhammad Mokaev
Bruno Souza – Joanderson Brito

By Alex Behunin

Alex has been an avid fan of MMA since 2005. He watched The Ultimate Fighter and was hooked ever since. His work has been featured on BloodyCanvas, MMAProspects, MyMMANews, The Sundial, as well as his own 'Humanizing Athletes' series. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @Alexbehunin.