Fights to make after UFC 243


City Kickboxing had a hell of a day yesterday, with all three representatives victorious in their bouts at UFC 243 in Melbourne. After their fights, main and co-main event fighters Israel Adesanya and Dan Hooker were quick to use their moment in the spotlight to call out the fighters they'd like to meet next.

Israel Adesanya - Middleweight Champion - 18-0-0 MMA

Adesanya surely shut down most of his detractors yesterday with an emphatic second-round knockout of reigning Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker. After the fight he made mention of Jon Jones, but quickly turned his attention to Paulo Costa.

Who he should fight next: Paulo Costa.

Paulo 'Borrachinha' Costa was ringside at UFC 243 and tried to make his way into the octagon to stake his claim to the next title shot after Adesanya defeated Whittaker. Costa is ranked #2 in the UFC's official middleweight rankings and is coming off an impressive unanimous decision victory over former title challenger Yoel Romero in August.

As well as calling him an over-inflated balloon animal, Adesanya referred to Costa as 'Porra-chinha' in his post-fight speech. *(Porra, pronounced po-ha, is a Portuguese word meaning sperm. It is used as a swearword in Brazil).

This matchup is an obvious one, with both Adesanya and Costa having asked for the matchup as soon as possible. With the verbal sparring the two have already engaged in, this fight sells itself. Unless injury strikes, we are likely to see this in early 2020.

Dan Hooker - #15-ranked Lightweight - 19-8-0 MMA.

Dan Hooker made a statement yesterday in his clinical shutdown of #6-ranked Iaquinta over 3 rounds, dropping him several times with leg kicks and bloodying his face en route to a dominant decision victory.

Hooker was quick to call out title challenger Dustin Poirier, who is currently ranked at #2 at lightweight and lost his title bout to Khabib Nurmagomedov in August. While this is the kind of fight Hooker wants in order to climb the ranks, for Poirier it doesn't make as much sense to accept the bout. He stated as much on Twitter in the aftermath: "I'm fighting the Irishman next. You're close but not yet buddy keep punching".

Who he should fight next: Donald Cerrone.

Donald Cerrone is the current #5-ranked UFC lightweight, coming off a pair of knockout losses. Most recently to surging brawler Justin Gaethje and before that #1-ranked Tony Ferguson. Cerrone needs a tune-up fight, and Hooker seems the ideal fit. Both men like to strike, meaning we are likely to be treated to a technical stand-up battle.

With a victory over Cerrone, Hooker launches himself into title contention. He asked for Poirier to meet him in New Zealand in 2020. Cowboy Cerrone vs Dan Hooker sounds like an ideal headlining bout for the 3rd event in Auckland, New Zealand.

Brad Riddell - Unranked - 7-1-0 MMA.

Brad Riddell made an impressive debut yesterday, defeating Jamie Mullarkey by violent decision, displaying his crisp kickboxing and dealing a bunch of damage in the process. Prior to the fight he stated he "would make a $50k statement" and this came true, as his performance was awarded the Performance of the Night bonus of $50,000.

Who he should fight next: David Teymur

David Teymur is a Swedish MMA fighter in the UFC with a similar striking background to Riddell. He is the four-time Swedish national Muay Thai Champion and is 5-1 in the UFC. Rather than give Riddell an elite grappler right away - a test which he will eventually have to pass in the UFC - from a marketing perspective it makes sense to give him another striker.

Teymur is 5-1 in the UFC (8-2 pro MMA) and is coming off a submission loss to #12-ranked lightweight Charles Oliveira. He needs a rebound fight and a fight between him and Riddell is sure to bring fireworks and be a crowd-pleaser.

Written by Harry Greenfield

Harry Greenfield is New Zealand Fighter’s Executive Editor. Residing in Christchurch, he has a passion for combat sports, especially MMA, and is our man on the scene down south.

Promoters wishing to contact Harry can reach him at: harry@nzfighter.co.nz