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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Deiveson Figueiredo

Figueiredo said all week that he would use his fight IQ against Garbrandt and delivered, dominating the former champion with his grappling. With a second-round submission, Figueiredo became the first fighter to submit Garbrandt.

Now 2-0 in the bantamweight division, Figueiredo called for a title fight with champion Sean O'Malley but does not appear to be in the discussion. Ranked no. 8 entering April 13, it remains to be seen if a win over the unranked Garbrandt will move him up in the division but regardless, Figueiredo should face a top-five contender in his next fight. At the minimum, Figueiredo will move up to no. 7 with Aljamain Sterling no longer a bantamweight.

Potential matchups for Figueiredo could get difficult as several of the top bantamweights are rumored to be linked to each other. O'Malley will likely defend his title against no. 1 contender Merab Dvalishvili and recent title challengers Petr Yan and Marlon Vera have called each other out for a fight in November.

The other top contender, Cory Sandhagen, recently mentioned that he would like to rebook his previous matchup with Umar Nurmagomedov but with the latter's lackluster performance against debutant Bekzat Almakhan, the UFC may be hesitant. If Sandhagen was willing to accept a matchup with no. 10 Nurmagomedov, he should be up to accepting the task of no. 7 Figueiredo.

Sandhagen has not lost since 2021 and is a victim of the current title picture while nursing an injury but both fighters' timelines should align for later in 2024. If Sandhagen does get booked with Nurmagomedov, the next highest available contender would be Song Yadong, who sits one spot ahead of Figueiredo. That matchup between two powerful punchers would be a fan delight but after wins over Rob Font and Cody Garbrandt, Figueiredo should compete for a higher ranking, especially given his status as a former two-division flyweight champion.