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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Bo Nickal

As the only winner of UFC 300 not currently ranked, Nickal is the most interesting winner of the event to predict a future matchup with. Nickal undeniably past another test by submitting Cody Brundage and is content to continue taking small steps towards his ultimate goal of becoming a UFC champion.

Nickal name-dropped Anthony Hernandez as a potential next opponent but in all likelihood will face another unranked opponent next. As the first MMA opponent of Nickal who had a wrestling background, Nickal was challenged in the UFC 300 pay-per-view opener, but still prevailed with a second-round rear-naked choke submission.

In his previous two UFC appearances, Nickal ran through Jamie Pickett — who owned a 2-7 record in the promotion — and Val Woodburn, a career welterweight who stepped in on short notice to make his debut. Nickal needs another veteran test; he clearly has sky-high potential but is largely unproven through six cage fights.

While many would suggest another veteran wrestler, it would be more progressive for Nickal to face an experienced striker who has respectable takedown defense. The Gerald Meerschaert test is a logical next step for Nickal but two other names that stick out are Marc-Andre Barriault and Eryk Anders.

There are several different angles to book Nickal next, but the most valuable experience he can gain is against another opponent who can test him and not one he will run through in 30 seconds. Both Barriault and Anders have recently competed for a top-15 ranking, have respectable striking games and are not a fish out of water in grappling exchanges. Both fights will once again have Nickal as the favorite but should push him into the latter rounds and maybe even his first decision.