What's next for UFC 283 winners?


Another UFC event is in the books.

Jamahal Hill won the vacant light heavyweight title, Brandon Moreno became flyweight champion for the second time, and Gilbert Burns returned to the win column with an impressive finish.

Here's what should come next for UFC 283's notable winners.

Jamahal Hill

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Defeated: Glover Teixeira via unanimous decision
Should fight: Magomed Ankalaev

If Jiri Prochazka can make it back to the Octagon sooner than expected, then the former light heavyweight champion is the no-brainer choice for Hill's first title defense. Prochazka never lost the belt in the cage, and from all accounts, he's the division's top fighter. He needs to fight for gold in his next bout.

But it sounds like it'll still be several months before that can happen. In the meantime, the UFC should turn to Ankalaev as the next challenger at 205 pounds.

For the longest time, Ankalaev was one of the most promising up-and-comers in the division. He finally broke through as a contender in the last 15 months with wins over Anthony Smith, Thiago Santos, and Volkan Oezdemir.

Most recently, Ankalaev fought Jan Blachowicz to a controversial split draw in a December vacant title bout. However, many thought Ankalaev did enough to beat Blachowicz. In that case, Ankalaev would be the champion right now, and Hill wouldn't have even gotten this opportunity to fight for the championship.

UFC president Dana White didn't seem all that thrilled with Ankalaev's last performance, but the Russian is still most deserving of a title shot.

Brandon Moreno


Defeated: Deiveson Figueiredo via third-round TKO
Should fight: Alexandre Pantoja

Moreno's back on top of the flyweight division, and his rivalry with Figueiredo is finally in the rearview mirror. There's a clear answer for who his first challenger should be: Pantoja, the No. 2-ranked contender.

Pantoja has won three fights in a row, each a big-time performance: A submission of former title challenger Alex Perez, a submission of Brandon Royval, and a unanimous decision over rising star Manel Kape.

Not only is the well-rounded Brazilian one of the biggest talents at 125 pounds, but Pantoja also has an extensive history with Moreno. That could make for quite an intriguing title fight.

Moreno and Pantoja competed on "The Ultimate Fighter 24" in 2016. They squared off in the opening round, with Pantoja advancing by first-round submission. It seems crazy now, but Pantoja was the No. 1 seed, and Moreno, just 23 years old at the time, was the last selected fighter at 16th.

Neither Pantoja nor Moreno made it to the final, but both wound up on the UFC roster after the show. They met again in 2018 - this time in a professional bout, not an exhibition - and Pantoja again had the edge, winning by unanimous decision.

A third matchup gives Pantoja the long-awaited opportunity to win the title and Moreno the chance to make things right and get on the board in their series.

Gilbert Burns

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Defeated: Neil Magny via first-round submission
Should fight: Belal Muhammad

Nine months after losing to Khamzat Chimaev in a "Fight of the Year" candidate, Burns is back on track. There's likely a big fight in store for him as he works toward another title shot.

The No. 5-ranked welterweight called out Colby Covington in his postfight interview, and he's been adamant on social media about getting that matchup next in the days since. The UFC couldn't go wrong with Covington-Burns, but a fight with Chimaev would be even more fascinating for Covington. Let's go with someone else for Burns.

Enter Muhammad, No. 4 in the division. Muhammad might think he should get a title shot next, but that probably won't happen. Leon Edwards is set to defend his belt against Kamaru Usman, and Chimaev still waits in the wings.

So, pair up a former title challenger in Burns with a rising contender in Muhammad, and let's find out who's truly ready to make a run to the top.

Jessica Andrade

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Defeated: Lauren Murphy via unanimous decision
Should fight: Zhang Weili or Manon Fiorot

Andrade is in a unique position: She's ranked in the top five at both strawweight and women's flyweight. And lately, she's flipped between the divisions.

After demolishing Murphy, the former strawweight champion said she wants a rematch with current champ Zhang. Even though the Murphy fight took place at 125 pounds, why not give it to her? The only other option for Zhang at 115 pounds is Amanda Lemos, and Andrade submitted Lemos just last year. (Lemos then rattled off wins against Michelle Waterson-Gomez and Marina Rodriguez, but it's hard to argue she's more deserving than Andrade given how their fight played out.)

If Andrade sticks around at women's flyweight, then a No. 1 contender bout with Fiorot makes a lot of sense.

What's next for UFC 283 winners?
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