If Yancy Medeiros beat Donald Cerrone this past Sunday night, the outlook of the UFC’s welterweight division would have changed dramatically.
Maybe Medeiros, who was ranked No. 15 in the division, would garner enough attention for a potential Top 5 fight against an elite 170-pounder.
Unfortunately, the UFC’s plans to develop Medeiros into a more marketable fighter were thrown out the window after a first-round knockout loss to Cerrone.
A winner of three-straight fights entering UFC Fight Night Austin, Medeiros was knocking on the door at welterweight after a less-than stellar run at lightweight. The UFC has no problem promoting a guy like Cerrone who despite never winning a title, is tied for the most victories inside the Octagon in UFC history.
Even after the loss, Medeiros showed his true colors by going up to Cerrone's grandmother after the fight and embracing her.
But let's move on from what happened in the past, and focus on the real question at hand: What happens next with the Makaha native?
Here’s a look at three potential opponents that Medeiros could find himself sharing an Octagon with next:
Dong Hyun Kim
This fight makes the most sense on paper.
Both fighters are coming off a loss against two of the most recognizable faces at welterweight as Kim lost to Colby Covington in his last fight.
Ranked No. 14, Kim could use a win to get back into the Top 10 conversation while Medeiros would benefit from facing another Top 15 opponent back-to-back. Kim was a winner of three-straight bouts before Covington earned a decision victory against him back in June of last year.
Kim’s last loss before Covington came back in 2014 when he lost to current champion Tyron Woodley.
Both Kim and Medeiros aren’t going to get any Top 10 opponents next, but there’s no reason that both fighters should be punished in terms of matchmaking.
Mike Perry (win or lose against Max Griffin)
Medeiros vs. Mike Perry would be a barn-burner of a fight and should probably be made whether Perry wins or loses this fight.
But seeing as both Perry and Griffin are unranked heading into their showdown this Saturday, it would make sense for the winner of this fight to take on a fighter like Medeiros, who has Top 15 experience.
Perry is as game as Medeiros is, if not more so. In order for this matchup to happen, he’ll have to get past Griffin who has lost two of his last three fights inside the Octagon. Or, as we have seen multiple times since the UFC was sold, this fight could happen regardless of the outcome between Perry and Griffin purely for entertainment value.
Coming off a controversial loss to Santiago Ponzinibbio, Nelson needs a big fight to get back into the Top 10. Currently ranked No. 13, Nelson seemed to be in line to face welterweight newcomer Darren Till at UFC London, but that fight fell apart.
The Icelandic fighter hasn’t fought since this past July and needs to stay relevant in a deep, talented 170-pound division. While Medeiros did get knocked out against Cerrone, he didn’t take that much physical damage to warrant any lengthy medical suspension from the UFC.
This isn’t the fight Nelson or his coach John Kavanagh would be hoping for, but it might be the only fight available for Nelson coming off a loss.
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