Matchmaking for Alex Pereira, Max Holloway other UFC 300 winners

Here's who we think a the winners from UFC 300 should fight next.
Apr 13, 2024; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Alex Pereira (red gloves) reacts after defeating Jamahal Hill
Apr 13, 2024; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Alex Pereira (red gloves) reacts after defeating Jamahal Hill / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Diego Lopes

In his fourth fight in the UFC, Lopes has broken through in the UFC featherweight rankings by becoming the first person to finish Sodiq Yusuff in the Octagon. Since stepping in to make his short-notice debut against Movsar Evloev at UFC 288, Lopes has now run through Gavin Tucker, Pat Sabatini and Yusuff all in the first round.

With the way fans are fully behind Lopes and his star power in Mexico, there is no reason for the UFC to give him incremental steps up the ladder. Following UFC 300, Lopes should receive a bonafide top 10 contender in a prime spot that a win can make him a title challenger.

The UFC tends to give in when they recognize potential stars such as Lopes and give such fighters a recognizable name with a desirable number. Josh Emmett, currently ranked no. 7 and a former title challenger, fits the profile of a potential fighter the UFC will feed to Lopes in hopes of turning him into a star.

Emmett is coming off a violent knockout of Bryce Mitchell but previously lost his last two fights dominantly. Both of the fighters who beat him, Ilia Topuria and Yair Rodriguez, went on to fight for the title and received high remarks from fans for their performances against him. Now 39 years old, Emmett wants one last run at the title and he may not like the offer to fight Lopes but a win for him in such a matchup could push him back into the title picture.

It would be no surprise if Lopes actually received someone higher ranked than Emmett but each of the remaining contenders at the top of the division appears to be at different points in their respective careers. Though not a stereotypical "gatekeeper," Emmett has played a similar role recently and always poses a threat with his fight-ending power, something Lopes has not had to deal with yet in the UFC.