UFC 250 Results: Predicting What’s Next for Nunes, Garbrandt and Biggest Winners

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JUNE 06: In this handout provided by UFC, (L-R) Amanda Nunes of Brazil punches Felicia Spencer of Canada in their UFC featherweight championship bout during the UFC 250 event at UFC APEX on June 06, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Handout/Getty Images

UFC 250 was marked by big wins from Amanda Nunes, Cody Garbrandt, Aljamain Sterling and Sean O’Malley, so the next obvious question is what are the ramifications for those who walked away from Vegas victorious. 

Nunes showcased an element to her game that we rarely see from her. Going against one of the biggest opponents she’s faced, she went to her grappling and put a five-round beatdown on Felicia Spencer that had a little bit of everything. 

Garbrandt turned back the clock and brought back the form that once made him the champion of the bantamweight division. A former victim of emotion and brawling when he was the better striker, he showed patience and technical prowess in picking apart Raphael Assuncao before unleashing a right hook from his knees that put the Brazilian flat on his back. 

Sterling was possibly the biggest winner on the night, as he likely booked himself a future championship fight. Cory Sandhagen had all the momentum in the world before Aljo marched across the ring, caught a kick and soon put him to sleep with a rear-naked choke. 

It was a night of big statements from some of the top talent in their respective weight classes. So the results will shape the title picture in multiple divisions as the UFC books what’s next for each of the big winners. 

Amanda Nunes: Go Back to Bantamweight to Dominate an Unprepared Challenger

Barring someone making huge improvements that we have yet to see in the cage, it’s hard to envision Nunes getting anyone who can threaten her title reign. 

The only woman who has given her trouble over the last five years is Valentina Shevchenko. The two have fought to the distance in both of their fights, and the two-division champion has earned both decisions. 

Brett Okamoto of ESPN asked Dana White about a third fight between the two, and the UFC president shot down the potential for a third fight. Even though she’s the only person who seems to have a shot at this juncture, there’s no reason for the UFC to put that fight together.

Shevchenko is now the champion at 125 pounds, and it doesn’t make sense for the organization to make an entire division seem trivial by putting its champion in a position to likely lose a third fight to the bantamweight champion. 

Instead, it’s most likely that Nunes returns to bantamweight for her next fight where she will be fed another challenger who will be a big underdog. Irene Aldana is the highest-ranked fighter with any kind of win streak. Aspen Ladd’s only loss was to Germaine de Randamie in 16 seconds, and she fights Sara McMann on June 27. 

If Ladd wins, she might be the most marketable fight in the division. Given her knockout loss to De Randamie it shouldn’t be expected to be competitive, but Nunes has truly cleaned out the division and there aren’t many options. 

Cody Garbrandt: Winner of Frankie Edgar vs. Pedro Munhoz

Given Garbrandt’s position on the card as the co-main event and the potential he displayed as a knockout artist on his way to becoming champion, the UFC has always seemed invested in building No Love as a star. 

So while Marlon Moraes might make the most sense on paper, the UFC might give the 28-year-old an easier matchup as it builds him back toward a title shot. 

Frankie Edgar is scheduled to make his bantamweight debut against Pedro Munhoz in July. The Answer has tried his hand at featherweight for years after holding the lightweight title and is making the cut down to 135 in search for relevance. 

If he proves victorious over Munhoz, it would give Garbrandt a big name who can co-headline another card with him. Garbrandt recently switched to training with Mark Henry, who has been with Edgar for years, so that may be an issue, but it isn’t as though Garbrandt has deep ties and a long history with the gym. 

If Munhoz spoils the 38-year-old’s bantamweight debut, then Garbrandt gets a shot at redemption. Munhoz beat him by knockout in an action-packed one-round fight that Garbrandt was winning right up to the point he started flinging haymakers and got caught. 

He could continue to exorcise his demons and make up for one of his losses by exacting revenge against Munhoz. Considering his name recognition and penchant for knockouts it wouldn’t be hard for the organization to sell a title shot after that. 

Aljamain Sterling: Fight Petr Yan for the Title

There’s nothing left for Aljamain Sterling other than a shot at UFC gold after the performance he put on Saturday night.

Dana White said as much in the post-fight press conference. Of course, he also said the UFC is already close to finalizing a fight between Petr Yan and Jose Aldo, but like the WWE, using a legend to put over a new babyface star seems like a formality. 

Aldo is on a two-fight skid with losses to Alexander Volkanovski and Marlon Moraes. So he’s getting this opportunity more on the strength of his name and career track record rather than what he’s done recently. 

Yan has all the tools and markers of a budding star. He’s undefeated in the UFC with wins over John Dodson, Jimmie Rivera and Urijah Faber. Once he adds another former champion in Aldo to his resume, it will be time to fight his contemporaries. 

That list will almost assuredly start with Sterling, who is now riding a five-fight win streak and showed how dangerous he can be by overwhelming Sandhagen with ease. 

Sean O’Malley: A Ranked Opponent in John Dodson

Bleacher Report’s Tom Taylor threw out this matchup, and it just makes too much sense to pass up for the UFC. 

After watching O’Malley wipe Eddie Wineland off the map with one punch it would be easy to thrust him into the top 10. You can get carried away pretty easily in the fantasy booking with big-name matchups for him already. 

But that’s putting the cart before the horse, and it seems like Dana White and Co. know they have a potential star in the making. Instead, they’ll likely keep giving him favorable matchups against veterans who are past their primes to build his name and credibility. 

Dodson meets that criteria at this stage in his career. He makes sense for all the reasons the UFC booked him against Petr Yan. He’s a recognizable name who fights with enough pace for entertaining fights but doesn’t have big knockout power and isn’t likely to pull an upset. 

O’Malley would tower over Dodson. He’s eight inches taller with a six-inch reach advantage. Dodson would be the best wrestler the prospect has seen to this point, so stylistically there would be a new element for O’Malley to handle. 

It isn’t the kind of fight that will truly test the Suga Show, but it is enough to continue to build his positive momentum before unleashing him in the top 10 of the division to find out what his true ceiling is. 

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