What's next for UFC 246 winners?
Chris Unger / UFC / Getty

The UFC's first pay-per-view card of the decade has come and gone.

UFC 246 on Saturday featured Conor McGregor's successful return to the cage, as the Irishman finished Donald Cerrone 40 seconds into the welterweight headliner.

Former women's bantamweight champion Holly Holm got back on track with a dull win over Raquel Pennington, and Diego Ferreira picked up the biggest victory of his career with a second-round submission of ex-lightweight king Anthony Pettis.

Here's what should come next for the notable winners at UFC 246.

Conor McGregor

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Defeated: Donald Cerrone, first-round TKO
Next fight: Jorge Masvidal

All UFC president Dana White wants to see is the rematch between McGregor and lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov.

But BMF titleholder Jorge Masvidal is a better option for McGregor's next fight.

In fact, it's the only fight that makes sense.

Masvidal and McGregor are both down to square off, the media has been clamoring for the fight, and the fans appear in, too.

Don't get me wrong: Nurmagomedov-McGregor 2 would certainly do well on pay-per-view. But the Russian champ is slated to defend his belt against Tony Ferguson in April, and overlooking "El Cucuy" is a bit absurd.

Timetables for each fighter will be another roadblock, even if Nurmagomedov does retain his title in April. "The Eagle" won't fight again until the fall after that as he observes Ramadan. McGregor wants to fight three times in 2020, and to do that, he'll likely have to fight once in the summer.

A lot has to happen before Nurmagomedov-McGregor 2 can line up. But if it does, remember Nurmagomedov dominated McGregor in October 2018, and even though the Irishman looked good on Saturday, there's no reason for me to believe a rematch would go any differently.

There's a more exciting matchup for McGregor out there, and it's just waiting to be booked.

McGregor versus Masvidal needs to happen.

Holly Holm

Defeated: Raquel Pennington, unanimous decision
Should fight: Germaine de Randamie

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Holm has challenged for a title four times in her UFC career but has walked away the winner only once, stunning Ronda Rousey in 2015 to win the women's bantamweight belt.

Over time, "The Preacher's Daughter" has become the Urijah Faber of her division. She's seemingly always one or two wins away from another title shot but has consistently lost to the top two or three fighters.

Holm returned to the win column Saturday night, but her co-main event bout against Pennington was a snoozer, and it won't get many people excited for her next outing.

One that may raise some eyebrows is a rematch against Germaine de Randamie. Holm lost a decision to De Randamie in 2017 in the inaugural women's featherweight title fight. It was a controversial result, as De Randamie landed blows after the bell in multiple rounds, and some scored the fight for Holm.

Although ex-champ De Randamie is coming off a bantamweight title loss to two-division titleholder Amanda Nunes, a second win over Holm would get her moving back in the right direction.

And at this point, Holm avenging that loss might be one of the only results that would get fans even remotely excited for another potential title shot.

Aleksei Oleinik

Defeated: Maurice Greene, second-round submission
Should fight: Ciryl Gane

Chris Unger / UFC / Getty

Oleinik turned back time once again, becoming the first MMA fighter to win a fight in four different decades.

His second-round submission of Greene was bizarre, entertaining, and impressive at the same time. Oleinik, 42, proved that despite his age, he still has what it takes to beat several fighters in the heavyweight division.

No. 11-ranked Oleinik, who snapped a two-fight skid versus Greene, needs one more win before getting another top-10 opponent. The American Top Team product should fight Ciryl Gane, one of the most promising up-and-comers in the UFC.

Gane has been in the promotion for less than a year, but already has a 3-0 Octagon record.

The Oleinik fight would be a great measuring stick for Gane. It would determine if the 6-0 pro is indeed ready to fight the best of the best, or if he needs more seasoning first. Oleinik's dangerous ground game is a solid test for anybody.

And if the 72-fight veteran pulls off a win, it would give him an opportunity to put another winning streak together and return to facing the bigger names of the heavyweight division.

Diego Ferreira

Defeated: Anthony Pettis, second-round submission
Should fight: Islam Makhachev

Steve Marcus / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Ferreira picked up the biggest win of his career Saturday, becoming only the second man to submit Pettis. Ferreira has been considered a rising prospect at 155 pounds for a while, but he finally has a big name on his resume and will be considered a contender from here on out.

A fight with Islam Makhachev might seem like a step down from Pettis, and I admit, it is in terms of name value. After beating "Showtime," Ferreira might only be interested in taking on fighters ranked in the top 10, and I wouldn't blame him. But part of me thinks the Brazilan is willing to fight anybody and he'd find the Makhachev fight quite intriguing.

Makhachev is in a similar spot that Ferreira was in before the Pettis win. He doesn't have a marquee win yet, but the Nurmagomedov teammate has the skills to secure one - he just needs the right opponent to agree to fight him. He was in talks to fight Kevin Lee, but "The Motown Phenom" ultimately went in a different direction.

Ferreira and Makhachev are both tremendous on the mat and continuously getting better in the striking department. It would be an entertaining fight to watch. Whoever leaves the winner would be in a great spot in the division and due for a top-five opponent.

What's next for UFC 246 winners?
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