MMA fans in Singapore were treated to an entertaining night of fights at UFC 275 that will be remembered fondly. The main event saw Jiri Prochazka submit Glover Teixiera in the fifth round to become the new light heavyweight champion.
Both fighters had their moments throughout the fight, but Texeira had more success with his grappling as the fight progressed. The champion was on his way to retaining the title had the fight gone to the judges’ scorecards.
The co-main event between women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko and Taila Santos was just as eventful. Santos almost pulled off a massive upset, but Shevchenko edged her out on the scorecards and earned a split decision.
The pay-per-view will also be remembered for being the sight of Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s final fight. The former strawweight champion announced her retirement from the sport after a knockout loss to Zhang Weili.
There are plenty of intriguing bouts that can be booked after Saturday’s event. This list will look at five fights to book following UFC 275.
#5. Former UFC title challenger Taila Santos vs. Katlyn Chookagian/Manon Firot winner
Taila Santos took UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko to her limit at UFC 275. One could even argue that she won the fight and should’ve been awarded the decision. She took the champion down on numerous occasions throughout the fight and was successful with her grappling.
Despite the loss, Santos has a great opportunity to build off her performance and get back into title contention. Her performance against the champion makes a strong argument for a rematch compared to other contenders in the division. Based on her performance and ranking, a bout against the winner of Katlyn Chookagian vs. Manon Firot seems logical.
Chookagian vs. Firot is scheduled to take place in September on the promotion’s first-ever event in Paris, France. ‘Blonde Fighter’ is currently riding a four-fight winning streak, while ‘The Beast’ has won nine straight fights.
Santos suffered a broken orbital from the accidental clash of heads with ‘Bullet’, so the timing for a title-eliminator would work.
#4. Former UFC light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira vs. loser of Anthony Smith vs. Magomed Ankalaev
Although Glover Teixeira had an incredible performance at UFC 275, one error cost him his light heavyweight championship. At age 42, Teixeira proved that he could hold his own and remain competitive with the sport’s top light heavyweights.
During his post-fight interview with Daniel Cormier, the former champion confirmed that he’ll continue fighting.
Based on how Teixeira looked against Jiri Prochazka, he could have his sights set on Anthony Smith vs. Magomed Ankalaev. The bout is scheduled for July 30, so the loser of that fight could realistically be his next opponent. An impressive performance from Teixeira could also be enough for him to earn another title shot.
If he fights the ‘Lionheart’, it would be a rematch of their 2020 bout that saw Teixeira earn a unanimous decision. On the other hand, it would be interesting to see how his grappling would fare against Ankalaev’s sambo and wrestling.
#3. UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko vs. winner of Julianna Pena/Amanda Nunes
Valentina Shevchenko’s historic women’s flyweight title reign continued after her split decision win over Taila Santos at UFC 275. It was a much closer fight than many expected, especially considering Santos was a heavy underdog.
She had a clear advantage with her powerful strikes, but the challenger nearly secured a submission win.
‘Bullet’ has defeated everybody there is to beat in the flyweight division. Since defeating Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the vacant title, she has made seven successful title defenses. With that in mind, she may want to attempt becoming a two-division champion by challenging the women’s bantamweight champion.
Reigning women’s bantamweight champion Julianna Pena and Amanda Nunes are scheduled to compete in a rematch next month. Depending on what transpires in that bout, ‘Bullet’ challenging the winner would make sense and would be a lucrative option.
#2. UFC light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka vs. Jan Blachowicz
Jiri Prochazka is the new king of the UFC light heavyweight division after his impressive submission win over Glover Teixeira. He has had a meteoric rise in popularity as he made his promotional debut in 2020 and quickly ascended the ranks.
A logical opponent for his first title defense would be former light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz. He is coming off a TKO win over Aleksander Rakic after an injury forced a stop to the bout. The win was significant as he bounced back from his title loss to Teixeira and got back into contention.
Blachowicz was in attendance this past weekend and had a great view of ‘Desina’s title win. Following the bout, there was an exchange between the two that the promotion could easily be used to sell the bout. He matches up well with Prochazka as he could hold his own in the striking and takeover on the ground.
#1. Zhang Weili vs. UFC women’s strawweight champion Carla Esparza
Former strawweight champion Zhang Weili made a statement with her spectacular knockout at UFC 275. She defeated former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk in a rematch of their all-time classic in 2020.
Weili ended the bout in devastating fashion by dropping ‘Joanna Champion’ with a perfect spinning back-fist.
‘Magnum’ snapped her two-fight losing streak as she lost her title and the following rematch to Rose Namajunas. She also earned a Performance of the Night bonus and is likely to receive the next title shot against Carla Esparza. It's an interesting matchup because of the improvements made since she lost the title to Namajunas.
Weili has looked noticeably better since working on her wrestling and grappling with former two-division champion Henry Cejudo. She showcased her improvements throughout the bout with Jedrzejczyk as she was able to control her on the ground.
‘Magnum’ also had better takedown defense, which could pose a threat for Esparza when she shoots for takedowns.