The first Ultimate Fighting Championship event of 2024 is done and dusted. The UFC Fight Night 234 main event helped sort out the light heavyweight hierarchy. Magomed Ankalaev, the Russian fighter, delivered a brutal knockout against Johnny Walker. After his win, Ankalaev called for a title shot. However, it’s still not clear whether he’ll be vying for championship gold in his next outing.
So, what’s next after UFC Fight Night 234? Here are five fights to make.
First up, we have Magomed Ankalaev versus Alex Pereira. Ankalaev has some unfinished business with Jan Blachowicz, with whom he fought to a draw in 2022. However, Blachowicz is sidelined due to a shoulder injury. This means Ankalaev could either go for a title shot or face the winner of the Jiri Prochazka versus Aleksandar Rakic fight. If Jamahal Hill isn’t ready to return yet, then a title shot against light heavyweight champion Pereira makes sense.
Next, we have Jim Miller versus Paul Felder at UFC 300. Miller showed he’s still got it against Gabriel Benitez. He dominated Benitez until he secured a face crank in the third round. Miller has the unique distinction of fighting at both UFC 100 and 200. It’s only fitting that he would appear on the UFC 300 card. After his win, Miller called out Paul Felder. This promises to be a fun fight no matter where it goes.
Then, we have Mario Bautista versus Jonathan Martinez. Bautista picked up a statement win against Ricky Simon. He punished Simon over three rounds en route to a unanimous decision victory. Bautista has now won six straight fights inside the Octagon and deserves to fight another surging bantamweight. That’s where Martinez steps in.
Next, there’s Brunno Ferreira versus Roman Kopylov. Ferreira rebounded from a loss to Nursulton Ruziboev by viciously knocking out Phil Hawes in a single round. Ferreira is now 2-1 inside the UFC with both victories coming via KO. After dropping fights to Karl Roberson and Albert Duraev, Kopylov has been on a four-fight win streak.
Finally, we have Waldo Cortes-Acosta versus Rodrigo Nascimento. Cortes-Acosta looked good outpointing former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski over three rounds. Going up against another rising heavyweight should be next, and Rodrigo Nascimento fits the bill. The fight would be a good test for both men.