UFC 295 fight fall: Alex Pereira vs. Jamahal Hill, Tom Aspinall vs. Cyril Gane among the next fights to be made
The UFC’s 30-year anniversary celebration has come to an end but there are always more fights to be had. There are interesting options on the table now that Alex Pereira and Tom Aspinall are the interim light and heavyweight champions, respectively, after UFC 295 in New York City on Saturday.
The futures of the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions look promising. Pereira has surprisingly become a two-division UFC champion just seven fights into his UFC run. Aspinall has the stuff. The promotion of Pereira and Aspinall will come at the expense of Jiri Prochazka and Sergei Pavlovich, but there are opportunities for redemption.
It was a short night with five knockout finishes on the main card. Take a look below at the fights that fans deserve to see in the light and heavyweight divisions after UFC 295.
Can’t get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat by Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news, including instant analysis of UFC 295 at the end of the PPV event from New York below.
Light weight division
UFC Lightweight Championship – Alex Pereira (c) vs. Jamahal Hill: Pereira vs Hill mirrors the story of Pereira vs Prochazka. Both Prochazka and Hill defeated Pereira’s close friend and mentor Glover Teixeira to become the champion. Prochazka and Hill did not lose their titles in a fight but were forced to leave due to injury. Prochazka can no longer claim to be the lightweight ace, but Hill still has a legitimate case to be the best fighter in the division. If Pereira wants to complete the revenge arc and eliminate all doubts about his rule, he will have to engage Hill in an exciting duel.
Jiri Prochazka vs Aleksandar Rakic: There is some bad blood between Prochazka and Rakic from their days as rising rivals. It should play nicely into a main pay-per-view card or Fight Night headliner. Rakic was a promising face in the division before he was sidelined with a knee injury early in his fight with Jan Blachowicz. UFC should consider booking this fight if Rakic can best Blachowicz in their rumored rematch. If not, the promotion has the right to reschedule Magomed Ankalaev vs. Johnny Walker. Matching the winner of that fight with Prochazka or booking one of them against Prochazka instead are viable alternatives.
UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship – Tom Aspinall (ic) vs Cyril Gane: An interim champion is usually paired with the undisputed champion, but Aspinall admitted the chances of that happening are low. The UFC plans to reschedule Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic at a later date for the UFC heavyweight title, but there is always the belief that both men will retire after that fight . Even still, Jones will be sidelined for at least another six months to recover from a torn pectoral muscle. If that happens, the interim camp will automatically graduate to undisputed status. Regardless of the label, it is unlikely that Aspinall will fight Jones or Miocic next. Gane looked very sharp against Sergey Spivak and put in some of the holes that were trailing him. Frankly, it would have been nice to see Gane tested against a strong grappler with a more rounded game, but such are the joys of being a title contender in a shallow division. Aspinall vs Gane could make for some amazing chess if Gane can prevent Aspinall’s edge.
Sergei Pavlovich vs Alexander Volkov: Volkov has never been this good in the UFC. The former Bellator champion is finally firing on all cylinders six years deep into his UFC run. Volkov has earned his chance to become the No. 1 contender after stopping Tai Tuivasa, Alexander Romanov and Jairzinho Rozenstruik in consecutive fights. It’s a make-or-break situation for Volkov. His last two losses came against Aspinall and Gane. Pavlovich completed the triad of the new heavyweight elite. If Volkov can’t crack the code, his days as a bubble contender are officially over. It is also a must for Pavlovich who needs to finally prove that he has more than five good (or bad) minutes in him.