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What’s Next For UFC 165 Main Card Winners

Jon Jones UFC

Tom Szczerbowski-USA Today Sports

UFC 165 featured a great light heavyweight title fight where Jon Jones was able to narrowly beat Alexander Gustafsson. This type of fight is why fans love this sport. Both warriors went at it for five straight rounds, leaving everything and more inside the cage. There were a ton of other great fights on the night, so let’s take a look and see what’s next for the main event winners.

Jon Jones: Up next for him should be a rematch with Gustafsson. Gustafsson pushed Jon to his limit, preventing him from getting takedowns and making him exchange on the feet. Jones rallied back, landing great spinning elbows and kicks to Gustafsson’s head.

If the UFC doesn’t give him Gustafsson, then Glover Teixeira makes the most sense. Since coming to the UFC, Glover has been able to rack up five straight wins, and he could definitely give Jon a run for his money standing.

Renan Barao: Barao proved he’s the best bantamweight in the division after dispatching Eddie Wineland by way of TKO in the first. Up next for him should be a bout with Dominick Cruz, who is the current bantamweight champ. This fight would unify the titles and prove once and for all who the best bantamweight is on the planet.

If Cruz is not healthy, then the winner of the Michael McDonald vs. Urijah Faber should get a crack at Barao next.

Brendan Schaub: Schaub showcased his ground skills against his friend Matt Mitrione, proving he is still improving as a heavyweight. Schaub has great power in his hands, and a bout with Shawn Jordan, who also has power in his hands, makes a lot of sense. The winner would move up the heavyweight rankings and get them one step closer to being an elite fighter.

Francis Carmont: Carmont earned one of the most dominating victories in his UFC tenure over a tough Costa Philippou. In the bout, Carmont showcased his grappling skills, taking Costa down repeatedly. He should fight Yushin Okami next. Okami is one of the hardest middleweights to take down, so it would be a good test for Carmont and give him the chance to shine against one of the better middleweights in the division.

Khabib Nurmagomedov: Khabib earned a solid victory against Pat Healy, who is one of the bigger, better lightweights in the UFC. This win showcased Khabib’s unorthodox striking and world-class wrestling game. He may very well be the best wrestler right now in the lightweight division.

He should get a top-five contender such as T.J. Grant. Grant was going to be awarded a title shot against Anthony Pettis, but an injury forced him out of the bout. A Khabib vs. Grant bout could be pegged as a no. 1 contender bout, which would be huge for both fighters’ careers.