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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Arman Tsarukyan

Tsarukyan played the role of the "bad guy" all fight week against fan-favorite Charles Oliveira but ultimately delivered and cemented himself as a top-three contender. The state of the lightweight division is currently muddled at the top but Tsarukyan is now firmly in the title conversation.

Unlike Max Holloway, Tsarukyan does not have multiple enticing options and the only next logical step for him is to rematch Islam Makhachev for the belt. Makhachev will be busy in June with Dustin Poirier but if the champion is intent on keeping his word in being active in 2024, he could turn around for his next title defense in the fall.

With the win over Oliveira, Tsarukyan now has two wins over top-five lightweight contenders after last knocking out Beneil Dariush. Oliveira entered the matchup ranked as the no. 1 contender, suggesting Tsarukyan will take that place and be sitting cage-side at UFC 301 to watch his next opponent emerge.

Tsarukyan is one of the few top-ranked lightweights that Makhachev owns a win over, but the fight was the short-notice debut of Tsarukyan in 2019. Makhachev scrambled his way to a close decision win and the bout was given Fight of the Night. If anything, the first meeting has increased the intrigue in a rematch with fans and media members clamoring to see the style clash once more.

This is given the assumption that Makhachev retains the belt against Poirier, a task that he will be favored to do. If Poirier wins the belt, all hell will break loose and Tsarukyan will likely be forced to take another fight. But under the assumption that Makhachev can do what his predecessor Khabib Nurmagomedov did at UFC 242, Tsarukyan should next step into the Octagon in a lightweight title fight in late 2024.