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Decisions from UFC 245 could result in 2020 title opportunities

UFC President Dana White loves it when a plan comes together. He also loves chaos, as long as that chaos leads to a great plan and profit. UFC 245 is full of chaos with Kamaru Usman facing Colby Covington. The card is also full of possibilities.

There are several bouts on the card that mean more than just a payday. With the Welterweight and Women’s Bantamweight Titles on the line in Las Vegas, regardless of the outcome of those matches, one has to always wonder the most important question: who’s next? Luckily Dana and company have provided us with a variety of outcomes that can result in 2020 clashes.

Here are the top matches to look out for at UFC 245:

– Women’s Bantamweight: Ketlen Vieira vs. Irene Aldana

Amanda Nunes is currently set on defending her Bantamweight Title for the fifth time in her career. In her path is Germaine de Randamie. While she has stated in the past that she will be focusing on defending her Featherweight Title next, Nunes (18-4) will always have a target on her back. Could UFC 245 determine whoever the champion is after the night’s next opponent at bantamweight?

Considered number two in the UFC’s women’s bantamweight rankings, Ketlen Vieira is at the front door waiting to knock it down. The 28-year-old Vieira (10-0) is 4-0 in the octagon, her most recent win a split decision win over Cat Zingano at UFC 222. That was back in 2018, and she would have had more matchups if not for a knee injury she suffered in August of that year. The only person who may be in her way (if she beats Aldana) is Aspen Ladd.

Ranked tenth in the rankings, Irene Aldana (11-5) is looking for her second win in a row, and her fifth win in six fights. Her last fight was a unanimous decision win over Vanessa Melo back in September. She may need to win another fight if she were to beat Vieira, although, beating number two could propel her to the very top of the list.

– Men’s Bantamweight: Petr Yan vs. Urijah Faber

This might be one of the strangest matches to be considered a contender fight, and it is a direct result of who the champion is. Henry Cejudo, who is inactive due to a shoulder injury, is also a double champion. The Flyweight and Bantamweight Champion has plenty of challengers in the latter division but has called out only three fighters that either have not been active in years, or who are just coming back.

Urijah Faber is one of those fighters. A UFC Hall of Famer, Faber (35-10) returned to the octagon in July for the first time since 2016, beating Ricky Simon via TKO. On a two-fight win streak but 3-3 in his last six, Faber is ranked twelfth in the bantamweight division. While questionable, it wouldn’t be surprising for him to get a title shot against a man who has turned into a rival out of nowhere.

It would certainly be an upset if Faber beat the fourth-best fighter in the bantamweight division in Petr Yan. On an eight-fight win streak, Yan (13-1) is 5-0 in the UFC. His last fight was a decision victory over Jimmie Rivera at UFC 238 back in June. With Aljamain Sterling out due to injury, this fight could determine Cejudo’s 2020 dancing partner.

– Men’s Bantamweight: Marlon Moraes vs. Jose Aldo

It was stated before that Sterling is out with an injury, but he is second in the rankings. Number one is Marlon Moraes, who is just coming off of a TKO-loss at the hands of Cejudo for the then-vacant title at UFC 238. Moraes (22-5-1) was on a four-fight win streak prior to that loss. A win could certainly bring him back on the hunt for gold, or a potential Sterling rematch.

One of the most fascinating storylines heading into UC 245 has been the weight of the legendary Jose Aldo. The former two-time UFC Featherweight Champion has moved down to bantamweight for the first time in his career, and it has not looked good if you are on the outside looking in. Aldo (28-5) did end up making weight, however, and appears ready for the fight.

Currently ranked third in the featherweight rankings, Aldo is coming off of a decision loss to current contender Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 237. 3-3 in his last six fights, Aldo is attempting to adapt in an environment filled with stacked talent. A win won’t get him a title shot, but it could give him the boost he needs to move up into the bantamweight rankings.

Which are these fights are more likely to result in a title opportunity? Who do you have winning these bouts? UFC 245 takes place this Saturday, December 13, inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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