MacMally’s UFC 297 Recap: What Next?

The dust has well and truly settled on UFC 297. But what next for the headline names? Our man MacMally offers his thoughts.

UFC 297 recap

The UFC has once again graced the land of the North. Was UFC 297 their best card? No. However, there are two new champions and some banger fights we could put together. The fans are split on what should be next for the main eventers but I’m going to chug a bottle of maple syrup and make my case for some matchups.


Sean Strickland

Let’s kick things off with Strickland. I’ll start by saying this… *clears throat*… NOT EVERY CLOSE DECISION IS A ROBBERY, FELLAS. I didn’t even really have a dog in that fight. I like both. Stats don’t always tell the full story of a fight even when broken down round by round. That fault lies undeniably in the way the rules define a significant strike. It’s always the strike stats people point out. This one wasn’t even that wide of a margin. I genuinely had no idea who was going to get the nod when they went to split decision. It was close. Now, usually with such a close fight you would immediately want them to sort it out in a rematch but… hear me out. UFC 300 needs a big fight, and you have one now. Israel Adesanya vs Dricus Du Plessis. Look me in the eyeballs and tell me that doesn’t make you feel some feelings. Think of all that sh*t talk and now Dricus has his old belt. I realise that might seem unfair to Sean being that it was so close but there’s some banger fights we could make in the meantime. Marvin Vettori is an acceptable answer but just doesn’t do anything for me. Like him or not, Sean has become a big name and deserves bigger names and if I’m honest, that fight sounds as boring as the co-main event was. The clear answer is the winner of Robert Whittaker and Paulo Costa. Sean vs Paulo makes me foam at the mouth.

Raquel Pennington

Look bro, I have no issues with Raquel Pennington other than her fighting style making fights so slow paced and honestly, not violent. There’s never any spinning stuff, huge knockdowns, explosive takedowns or really anything unpredictable at all. It’s actually fairly impressive in that sense. The bantamweight title needed some new life to it, and this just feels incredibly underwhelming. So, who do we go to? Pena seems to be the obvious pick until Amanda Nunes hinted at a possible return. She was apparently so bored during that fight she said she’d rather unretire and come clean up shop than watch someone fight for her old belt like that. Amanda, we’re sorry, come back. I’d rather watch you predictably demolish women again in style until we get some new contenders.

Neil Magny

Neil Magny has been around forever. The word gatekeeper is thrown around a lot, but I think he’s transcended that moniker. Gatekeepers don’t stay in the top 15 for as long as he does. It’s actually insane when you go look at his fight history. Mike Malott looked fantastic and will grow from this late 3rd round Hail Mary ass whoopin’ Magny gave him. Beating Magny like that for most of three rounds is a statement in itself. Not many can turn the tables in a lopsided fight like that but if anyone can, it’s Neil Magny. With all that said, give Magny whatever he wants. He wants a fun fight? Give it to him. Has anyone earned it more?

Movsar Evloev

There is no denying Movsar now. He’s good. Really good. He is now ranked 5th in the division. There are two possibilities in my mind. You could do winner of Yair vs Brian Ortega or Josh Emmett. With that performance not necessarily demanding the attention of the fans, Josh Emmett is my preferred matchup. Josh Emmett comes to bang. If Movsar can beat him, even if it’s boring, there’s no denying a #1 contender fight is next. Book it.



Would you like to see any of these fights take place in 2024? Let us know over on ‘X’.