Last Sunday, at UFC Fight Night 124 in St. Louis, Mo., fight fans were treated to exciting WMMA action in four fights across three divisions. The night started with a strawweight brawl on UFC Fight Pass between Danielle Taylor and JJ Aldrich. The training partner of Rose Namajunas, Aldrich, utilized her range and striking to neutralize the offense of Taylor en route to a unanimous decision.
Up next, Jessica Eye made her UFC flyweight debut against Kalindra Faria in a close, back-and-forth scrap. In the end, the takedowns of Eye led her to a split-decision win that snapped a four fight losing streak.
On the UFC on Fox Prelims, bantamweights Irene Aldana and Talita Bernardo did battle. The Mexican prospect, Aldana, put on her best performance to date, winning a dominant decision over an ultra-tough Bernardo.
Finally, in the night’s co-main event, Paige VanZant made her long-awaited flyweight debut opposite Jessica Rose-Clark. PVZ showed improvements in her game, however, was limited in her attack when she broke her arm off a spinning back fist to start the second round. A well-rounded Clark controlled the grappling exchanges and landed solid counter shots to score a UD win.
So, what’s next for the women of UFC Fight Night 124?
Danielle taylor (9-3)
Despite being a constant height and reach disadvantage in all of her fights, “Dynamite” Taylor has shown the ability to win fights in this weight class. Though she couldn’t do enough to get the judge’s nod vs Aldrich on Sunday, Taylor’s got some interesting fights ahead of her. Perhaps a match with Jodie Esquibel, who’s coming off a tough loss to Karolina Kowalkiewicz in October, is a good fight where both fighters will be hungry to get back in the win column.
J.J. Aldrich (6-2)
Aldrich made it two in a row when she outpointed Taylor on Sunday. Still very young in her career, JJ has a lot of promise as she continues to grow and develop. Maryna Moroz, who’s UFC 220 bout with Jamie Moyle was scrapped due to Moyle injury will likely be looking for a fight rather soon. Moroz vs Aldrich is a quality fight to make, telling of which fighter is ready for a step up.
Kalindra Faria (18-7)
Faria dripped a split-decision go Eye, but it was a close fight that arguably could have went either way. Kalindra’s aggressive and exciting striking style leaves a lot of fun potential match-ups for the Brazilian flyweight. Perhaps a match against TUF 26’s Melinda Fabian— another exciting striker still establishing herself in the division.
Jessica Eye (12-6)
In a hard fought win, “Evil” Eye likely saved her UFC career. Now the number ten ranked flyweight, Eye is in a good position to claim the rankings. There are two fights that make sense for her– Jessica Rose-Clark and Lauren Murphy. A fight with Rose-Clark, who also was victorious at St. Louis, is a quality fight to make– Rose-Clark has the potential to add another high-profile name to her record and Eye has the chance to continue climbing the ranks. A fight vs Lauren Murphy would capitalize on their ongoing, super intense beef that started last year on social media.
Talita bernardo (5-3)
It was a tough out for Bernardo on Sunday. The BJJ black belt is dangerous on the ground but showed vulnerability on the feet. With the division light on contenders, Talita can find herself climbing the ranks with some quality wins. Bernardo should face Ashlee Evans-Smith next. In a classic wrestling vs BJJ match, both fighters will be hungry to get back in the winning column.
irene aldana (8-4)
This was Aldana’s breakthrough performance in the UFC. The Mexican striking specialist looked as crisp and powerful as ever. After a two-fight skid, Irene has re-inserted herself as one to watch as she continues to develop. What’s a solid next move for the Invicta FC standout? A fight vs Gina Mazany. Who will impose their will– Aldana with her boing and footwork or Mazany with her strength and wrestling?
Paige VanZant (7-4)
After a successful arm surgery, PVZ is suspended indefinitely until she can be cleared. The new flyweight isn’t letting a loss stop her though and is already looking toward her return. It’s tough to call a match for her just yet. Perhaps a fight with Rachael Ostovich makes for a high-profile return? Other names that come to mind are Karine Gevorgyan and Emily Whitmire, both TUF 26 alums who have yet to find their footing in the UFC.
Jessica Rose-Clark (9-4)
Rose-Clark made it two in a row in the UFC in under sixty days! She will likely take some time to recover but upon returning she should expect a ranked opponent. The aforementioned Jessica Eye is an exciting bout for the Aussie to return to. Another possibility is Alexis Davis, who’s riding the momentum of a tough win over Liz Carmouche. Davis, who also fought at bantamweight in the past, and Rose-Clark would likely put on a great show.
What do you think of these possible matches? You play matchmaker– what fights would you make?