Sean Shelby’s Shoes: What’s next for Germaine de Randamie and UFC on ESPN+ 13’s other key winners?

After every event, fans wonder whom the winners will be matched up with next.

And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC on ESPN+ 13’s most noteworthy winning fighters.

Those winners included Germaine de Randamie (9-3 MMA, 6-1 UFC), who defeated Aspen Ladd (8-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) by first-round TKO in the main event at Golden1 Center in Sacramento, Calif., as well as Urijah Faber (35-10 MMA, 11-6 UFC), Josh Emmett (15-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC), Julianna Pena (9-4 MMA, 5-1 UFC) and Ryan Hall (8-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC).

* * * *

Ryan Hall

Should fight: Renato Moicano
Why they should fight: It came as no surprise to him, but Hall opened a lot of eyes when he used striking technique to defeat Darren Elkins in a relatively one-sided decision.

Hall was credited with two knockdowns in the fight, and if he’s striking game continues to improve at this rate, he’s going to be an even bigger problem than he already is. Hall’s skillset is extremely interesting for the featherweight division, and after running into almost no struggles against Elkins, he needs a bigger test.

With hopes of fighting a top-10 opponent at UFC on ESPN 7 in December, Hall should gets what he wants.

Moicano (13-3-1 MMA, 5-3 UFC) took a tumble down the 145-pound rankings with back-to-back knockout losses against Jose Aldo and Chan Sung Jung. He will likely have to fight beneath him before moving back up, and that could present Hall’s opportunity to capitalize on a contender who had a ton of momentum just a few fights ago.

Julianna Pena

Should fight: Winner of Raquel Pennington vs. Irene Aldana at UFC on ESPN 4
Why they should fight: Pena returned to the octagon after a 29-month layoff and was able to pick up a notable victory for her resume against former UFC champion Nicco Montano.

It wasn’t the most decisive of performances, but Pena was able to outwork Montano for a unanimous decision in a hard-fought contest that consisted of some exhausting grappling. She took some damage to the face, as well, but more important than that left the cage with her first win since UFC 200 in July 2016.

Prior to the multi-year layoff that she used to start a family, Pena was a top-three contender in the UFC women’s bantamweight division. She lost an important fight to Valentina Shevchenko that could’ve led to a title shot, and the win against Montano was a reminder that she’s still very much a player in the division.

A single win isn’t enough to warrant a title shot, but the fact Pena hasn’t fought champion Amanda Nunes should make her path easier. One or two more quality wins would put her right there, and the same could be said for the winner of Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 4 matchup between Pennington (9-7 MMA, 6-4 UFC) and Aldana (10-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC). If Aldana in particular emerges from the fight, a matchup with Pena would be hight-stakes at 135 pounds.

Josh Emmett

Should fight: Yair Rodriguez
Why they should fight: Emmett showed once again that his power is to be feared in the featherweight division when he stopped Mirsad Bektic with strikes in the first round of an important featherweight fight.

Emmett has a remarkable eight knockdowns landed in just five fights since dropping to 145 pounds, and with several quality wins in that stretch, it’s time to looking at him as a potential title threat in the weight class.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Max Holloway if he defends his title against Frankie Edgar at UFC 240 later this month, but regardless of the result Emmett doesn’t seem like the frontrunner for the next shot. One more win could possibly get him there, though, and there’s a number of interesting fights for him.

A matchup with Rodriguez (11-2 MMA, 7-1 UFC) might be atop the list, though, because both men have shown a pension for scoring spectacular knockouts in the octagon. Rodriguez is set to compete at the UFC’s return to Mexico this fall, and Emmett is a perfect candidate to be his opponent.

Urijah Faber

Should fight: John Dodson
Why they should fight: Faber’s return to the octagon after multiple years ended in a best-case scenario when he picked up the quickest victory of his entire career with a 46-second knockout of surging bantamweight contender Ricky Simon.

The UFC has an interesting case on its hands with Faber. The UFC Hall of Famer obviously still has a lot of star power behind his name, and with all this talk of a fight with current 135-pound champion Henry Cejudo, it’s entirely possible the promotion tries to capitalize on the 40-year-old with one last title fight.

That simply wouldn’t be fair to a proven contender like Aljamain Sterling, and frankly Faber should have to put more work in before a fifth UFC title shot. If he can beat another fighter in top 15 – and especially in a fashion like he did to Simon – then fighting for gold would be slightly more justifiable.

Faber should fight someone with a name, too, and while Dodson (20-11 MMA, 9-6 UFC) hasn’t been giving his best performances in recent fights, he could be a potentially exciting matchup for “The California Kid.”

Germaine de Randamie

Should fight: Amanda Nunes
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why de Randamie should rematch Nunes for the women’s bantamweight title next.

For complete coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 13, check out the UFC Results.

Germaine de Randamie: Amanda Nunes ‘is beatable’

This weekend, in the main event of UFC Sacramento, former UFC women’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie will take on Aspen Ladd in a pivotal women’s bantamweight contender bout. If she’s victorious in this outing, she’ll be looking for a shot at redemption opposite reigning champ Amanda Nunes, who she lost to in 2013.

While De Randamie respects Nunes, she sees the champion as a beatable fighter.

“I agree she’s one of the best fighters, but remember: Everyone is beatable, and as soon as a person comes and beats Amanda Nunes, they are the GOAT,” de Randamie told MMA Junkie ahead of UFC Sacramento. “One thing is for sure, at this point right now in the last couple years, she has been the best UFC fighter. Without any doubt. She has proven it over and over again. But she is beatable. Everyone is beatable. So every time when somebody gets beat there’s a new GOAT, right? She’s the champion, she’s a true champion, and she’s an absolute world class. But she is beatable.”

That being said, Germain de Randamie recognizes the scale of the task at hand. She’s not looking passed Ladd.

“To be honest [the Nunes fight is] not something that’s on my mind,” she said, assuring she’s focused on Ladd. “A lot of people have asked me about the title shot as if this fight might be an elimination for the one next for Amanda. Right now I have one obstacle, and that’s Aspen Ladd. I cannot focus or look ahead of Aspen Ladd. That would be very disrespectful and very ignorant for me to do. My focus is absolutely on Aspen, and after Saturday night you can ask me the same question and I’ll have an answer for you.

Do you think we’ll see a rematch between Germaine de Randamie and Amanda Nunes in the future?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/12/2019.

The post Germaine de Randamie: Amanda Nunes ‘is beatable’ appeared first on | BJPenn.com.

Germaine de Randamie wants rematch with ‘beatable’ Amanda Nunes – UFC title or not


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Germaine de Randamie preempted any talk about rematching UFC bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes by stating that she is absolutely not looking past Aspen Ladd, who is her opponent for Saturday’s UFC on ESPN+ 13 headliner.

With dual-champ Nunes (18-4 MMA, 11-1 UFC) coming off a first-round knockout of Holly Holm at UFC 239 last weekend, there’s a lot of focus on de Randamie (8-3 MMA, 5-1 UFC) vs. Ladd (8-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) as the fight which could produce the next women’s bantamweight title challenger.

De Randamie had no time for questions about the belt, though.

“To be honest that’s not something that’s on my mind,” de Randamie told MMA Junkie at UFC on ESPN+ 13 media day on Thursday. “A lot of people have asked me about the title shot as if this fight might be an elimination for the one next for Amanda. Right now I have one obstacle, and that’s Aspen Ladd. I cannot focus or look ahead of Aspen Ladd. That would be very disrespectful and very ignorant for me to do. My focus is absolutely on Aspen, and after Saturday night you can ask me the same question and I’ll have an answer for you.”

UFC on ESPN+ 13 takes place at Golden1 Center. The entire card streams on ESPN+.

The media can be a pushy bunch, though, and while de Randamie made it clear she doesn’t want to show Ladd disrespect by discussing other fighters, the topic of Nunes is one that’s hard to avoid.

Nunes, the current UFC champ at 135 and 145 pounds, defeated de Randamie by first-round TKO at UFC Fight Night 31 in Nov. 2013. Both women have come a long way since, with “The Lioness” conquering two weight classes while de Randamie had a brief reign with the women’s featherweight belt.

Belts aside, de Randamie couldn’t hide her excitement about the prospect of potentially avenging her loss to Nunes, whether it was a title fight or not.

“Yes, absolutely (things would be different),” de Randamie said. “I believe that’s the fight to make in a way. I’m very explosive, everybody knows that. I like to knock people out, Amanda likes to knock people out. She’s a wrecking machine, she is a true champion. I absolutely respect her, but I would love to face her again. It would be an honor for me to face her again. And even if it’s not a title fight, I would still love to meet her again in the octagon.”

At this point Nunes, the No. 1 women’s pound-for-pound fighter in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie MMA rankings, is looking peerless across two weight classes. No. 12-ranked De Randamie doesn’t see the Brazilian in that light, though, and believes Nunes can be dethroned.

“I agree she’s one of the best fighters, but remember: Everyone is beatable, and as soon as a person comes and beats Amanda Nunes, they are the GOAT,” de Randamie said. “One thing is for sure, at this point right now in the last couple years, she has been the best UFC fighter. Without any doubt. She has proven it over and over again. But she is beatable. Everyone is beatable. So every time when somebody gets beat there’s a new GOAT, right? She’s the champion, she’s a true champion, and she’s an absolute world class. But she is beatable.”

For more on UFC on ESPN+ 13, check out the UFC Schedule.

Henry Cejudo challenges Amanda Nunes: Who would win?

Amanda Nunes and Henry Cejudo

Henry Cejudo is a UFC champ-champ. So is Amanda Nunes. So hey, in this age when trash talk rules above all, why shouldn’t Cejudo call out Nunes?

Yeah, you heard right. In a recent interview with TMZ Sports, Cejudo jumped on his latest headlines with gusto, saying he’d welcome fight with Nunes and flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko.

Cejudo is currently the UFC’s 125- and 135-pound champion on the men’s side of the board. Nunes holds belts at 135 and 145 pounds in the women’s divisions.

Though he was initially talking about moving up to 145 pounds to challenge the winner of the upcoming UFC 240 headliner between featherweight champion Max Holloway and former lightweight titleholder Frankie Edgar, Cejudo isn’t opposed to crossing over in order to win a third belt. 

TRENDING > Dana White: ‘I don’t blame Cyborg for not wanting (to fight Amanda Nunes)’

“I’m taking everybody from 99 pounds to 149 pounds. You know what? If Amanda Nunes wants to get it too, Valentina (Shevchenko), I’m calling you guys out too. I take no prisoners,” said Cejudo.

“I’m such a gold digger, I want (Nunes’) gold too.”

The big question is this: If they did fight, would Henry Cejudo be able to defeat Amanda Nunes?

(Video courtesy of TMZSports | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)

UFC rankings update: Amanda Nunes climbs p4p list, Jorge Masvidal cracks welterweight top 3

The official UFC rankings have been updated in the wake of last Saturday’s UFC 239 card, and as expected, there have been some big changes.

Most notably, reigning UFC women’s bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes has taken a big climb up the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings, carried by her head kick induced stoppage of former champ Holly Holm.

And of course, Jorge Masvidal has taken a nice climb up the welterweight rankings on the strength of his record-breaking, five-second knockout win over Ben Askren.

The men’s bantamweight rankings have also experienced some changes, thanks in part to Song Yadong’s big win at UFC 239, but also to the UFC release of long-time contender John Lineker.

Here are the latest UFC rankings (h/t MMA Mania):

Note:
+/- = movement in rankings
*NR = Not previously ranked
T = Tie

POUND-FOR-POUND
1 Daniel Cormier
2 Jon Jones
3 Khabib Nurmagomedov
4 Henry Cejudo
5 Amanda Nunes +1
6 Max Holloway -1
7 Kamaru Usman
8 Dustin Poirier
9 Conor McGregor
10 Robert Whittaker
11 Stipe Miocic
12 Tony Ferguson
13 Valentina Shevchenko
14 Tyron Woodley
15 Jessica Andrade

FLYWEIGHT
Champion: Henry Cejudo
1 Joseph Benavidez
2 Jussier Formiga
3 Alexandre Pantoja
4 Deiveson Figueiredo
5 Tim Elliott
6 Rogerio Bontorin
7 Ryan Benoit
8 Jordan Espinosa
9 Kai Kara France
10 Alex Perez
11 Raulian Paiva
12 Matt Schnell
13 VACANT
14 VACANT
15 VACANT

BANTAMWEIGHT
Champion: Henry Cejudo
1 Marlon Moraes
2 Aljamain Sterling
3 Raphael Assuncao
4 Petr Yan
5 Pedro Munhoz
6 Dominick Cruz
7 Cody Garbrandt
8 Jimmie Rivera
9 Corey Sandhagen
10 Cody Stamann +1
11 Rob Font +1
12 John Dodson +1
13 Song Yadong *NR
14 Thomas Almeida +1
15 Ricky Simon *NR

FEATHERWEIGHT
Champion: Max Holloway
1 Alexander Volkanovski
2 Brian Ortega
3 Jose Aldo
4 Frankie Edgar
5 Zabit Magomedsharipov
6 Chan Sung Jung
7 Yair Rodriguez +1
8 Jeremy Stephens -1
9 Renato Moicano +1
10 Josh Emmett -1
11 Calvin Kattar
12 Mirsad Bektic
13 Arnold Allen *NR
14 Shane Burgos
15 Ricardo Lamas -2

LIGHTWEIGHT
Champion: Khabib Nurmagomedov
1 Dustin Poirier (Interim Champion)
2 Tony Ferguson
3 Conor McGregor
4 Donald Cerrone
5 Justin Gaethje
6 Al Iaquinta
7 Edson Barboza
8 Kevin Lee
9 Anthony Pettis
10 Paul Felder
11 Charles Oliveira
12 Gregor Gillespie
13 Alexander Hernandez
14 Islam Makhachev
15 James Vick

WELTERWEIGHT
Champion: Kamaru Usman
1 Tyron Woodley
2 Colby Covington
3 Jorge Masvidal +1
4 Rafael Dos Anjos -1
5 Darren Till +1
6 Stephen Thompson +1
7 Anthony Pettis +1
8 Santiago Ponzinibbio +1
9 Ben Askren -4
10 Robbie Lawler
11 (T) Leon Edwards
11 (T) Demian Maia +1
13 Neil Magny
14 Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos
15 Vincente Luque

MIDDLEWEIGHT
Champion: Robert Whittaker
1 Israel Adesanya (Interim Champion)
2 Yoel Romero
3 Kelvin Gastelum
4 Jack Hermansson
5 Ronaldo Souza
6 Chris Weidman
7 Paulo Costa
8 Derek Brunson
9 Jared Cannonier
10 Ian Heinisch
11 Brad Tavares
12 Uriah Hall
13 Antonio Carlos Junior
14 David Branch
15 Anderson Silva

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT
Champion: Jon Jones
1 Daniel Cormier
2 Thiago Santos
3 Anthony Smith
4 Dominick Reyes
5 Jan Blachowicz +1
6 Alexander Gustafsson -1
7 Volkan Oezdemir
8 Corey Anderson
9 Ilir Latifi
10 Glover Teixeira
11 Aleksandar Rakic
12 Johnny Walker
13 Mauricio Rua
14 Nikita Krylov
15 Misha Cirkunov

HEAVYWEIGHT
Champion: Daniel Cormier
1 Stipe Miocic
2 Francis Ngannou
3 Junior Dos Santos
4 Curtis Blaydes
5 Derrick Lewis
6 Alexander Volkov
7 Alistair Overeem
8 Cain Velasquez
9 Aleksei Oleinik
10 Shamil Abdurakhimov
11 Blagoy Ivanov
12 Tai Tuivasa
13 Marcin Tybura
14 Walt Harris
15 Augusto Sakai

WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT
Champion: Jessica Andrade
1 Rose Namajunas
2 Tatiana Suarez
3 Nina Ansaroff
4 Joanna Jedrzejczyk
5 Claudia Gadelha
6 Weili Zhang
7 Michelle Waterson
8 Tecia Torres
9 Carla Esparza
10 Alexa Grasso +1
11 Cynthia Calvillo -1
12 Felice Herrig
13 Karolina Kowalkiewicz
14 Cortney Casey +1
15 Yan Xiaonan *NR

WOMEN’S FLYWEIGHT
Champion: Valentina Shevchenko
1 Jessica Eye
2 Katlyn Chookagian
3 Liz Carmouche
4 Joanna Jedrzejczyk
5 Joanne Calderwood
6 Roxanne Modafferi -1
7 Andrea Lee
8 Alexis Davis
9 Jennifer Maia
10 Lauren Murphy
11 Montana De La Rosa
12 Mara Romero Borella
13 Maycee Barber
14 Paige VanZant
15 Poliana Botelho

WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT
Champion: Amanda Nunes
1 Germaine de Randamie
2 Ketlen Vieira +1
3 Holly Holm -1
4 Aspen Ladd
5 Raquel Pennington
6 Cat Zingano
7 Yana Kunitskaya
8 Marion Reneau
9 Irene Aldana
10 Sara McMann
11 Macy Chiasson
12 Lina Lansberg
13 Tonya Evinger
14 Sijara Eubanks
15 Bethe Correia

What do you think of these updated UFC rankings?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/11/2019.

The post UFC rankings update: Amanda Nunes climbs p4p list, Jorge Masvidal cracks welterweight top 3 appeared first on | BJPenn.com.