Matches to make for Sean Strickland, Alexander Volkov, other UFC 293 winners

What's next for UFC 293's winners? Let's take a look.
Sean Strickland
Sean Strickland / Mark Evans/GettyImages

Fans worldwide and those who packed Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia for UFC 293 witnessed a main card full of bangers, knockouts, and a dominant win from Sean Strickland to crown a new king of the middleweight division against Israel Adesanya.

Alexander Volkov submitted Tai Tuivasa in the co-main. Manel Kape went the distance to capture his fourth win in a row against Felipe dos Santos. Justin Tafa made good work on his rebooked fight vs. Austen Lane with a first-round KO, and Tyson Pedro opened the main card with a statement win over Anton Turkalj to get back into the winners' circle.

Where do the winners go from here?

Sean Strickland vs. Israel Adesanya 2

The first step for Strickland as the new king of the middleweight division is to book a rematch against the former king and show that this decisive win was nowhere near a fluke, instead a showcase of the new era the UFC has officially entered.

Strickland was able to drop Adesanya in the first round. It seemed like Adesanya was getting into his groove after the second round, however, Strickland pressured and protected his lead heading to the judge's scorecards where he was awarded the victory and the Middleweight championship. A fight against a new contender could make sense if Adesanya were willing to take a step back, but that is the last thing he wants happening in the division he was the ruler of.

Adesanya will have to look to throw a curveball if granted a rematch as he will look to become the first-ever three-time UFC middleweight champion, while Strickland will be prepared to go to war to keep the gold wrapped around his waist.

Alexander Volkov vs. Sergey Spivak

Volkov proved two big points in his win at UFC 293, the first being that his reach was a huge advantage against the smaller Tuivasa and that since he's been in the UFC, Volkov seems to constantly keep getting better at being an all-around fighter who can get out of any horrible situations.

Volkov was able to secure his first submission win since 2016 against Tuivasa at UFC 293, slowly getting better with each fight and walking out with a lesson learned from his opponents. Volkov's official next step should be involved in a headliner for a UFC fight night against Sergey Spivak who's currently coming off a loss against the No. 1 ranked Ciryl Gane. It would be a fresh new face for both men and another test to see if either is ready to take a crack at the top-5 in the heavyweight division.

This fight would be the perfect plan to make before the end of the year and could help shake up the division when it's time to look for a new contender for the heavyweight championship.

Manel Kape vs. Kai Kara-France

Kape not only defeated promotional newcomer dos Santos via unanimous decision, but he also called out the No. 5 ranked UFC flyweight Kai Kara-France and threatened him if he were to pull out for a second time in a row.

Not a lot of fighters want to step in the octagon against Kape and it has shown. Fighters like Alex Perez, former champion Deiveson Figueiredo and Kara-France have all pulled out from scheduled bouts against Kape to the point where he has made it public and personal to those who don't want anything to do with him. But tonight, not only added another win to Kape's record, but he also would spark the fire to the rivalry between him and Kara-France to another level. If both men were able to stay healthy and ready to settle their beef, it would stir up the flyweight division by a lot.

A win for Kape would land him in the top 5 for the flyweights, but a victory for Kara-France could paint the picture of another title fight for him in the near future.

Justin Tafa vs. Derrick Lewis

It's time to see Tafa get a crack at the rankings for the heavyweight division and the right man for the job is none other than Derrick Lewis who is currently ranked No. 10 and knows how to throw hands and end fights early inside the Octagon.

Tafa's 3-fight winning streak should not be awarded another unranked opponent, instead, he should be preparing himself for one of the biggest tests in the heavyweight division with his sights set on an incredibly difficult challenge to get himself into the top-10 rankings to see what else he is capable of doing in the UFC. Lewis is coming off a win over Marcos Rogerio de Lima to break his three-fight losing streak and a clash against the Tafa could be what Lewis needs to build up his next run at a heavyweight title picture.

You can't go wrong with this matchup, and it would definitely make a lot of fans jump out of their seats waiting for the next bomb to be thrown from Tafa or Lewis.

Tyson Pedro vs. Ryan Spann

Pedro welcomed the Sydney crowd to the main card with an explosive win over Turkalj in the first round, his next stop on his journey to the top should be a ranked light heavyweight bout against an opponent who could test how much Pedro wants to be the best.

The opponent who should welcome the challenge of Pedro should be Ryan Spann. Spann is currently coming off a loss in a rematch against Anthony Smith. Spann is currently ranked No. 10 in the light heavyweight division and would be the perfect test to see if Pedro is truly ready to make a step into the rankings. Pedro has shown he has the knockout power, speed and submission skills, but what he needs the most is to make the next big step in his UFC career and to do that, stepping inside the cage against Spann could shape Pedro into a contender in the near future or be a lesson to learn from if he isn't successful if the two were to be matched together.

The fight challenges both Pedro and Spann to have to perfect themselves as an all-around fighter to avoid mistakes to be made. It would be a test both warriors need to take the next step in their careers.

Next. 5 of the best fighters from Australia and New Zealand. dark

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