UFC Albany: Post-Fight Matchmaking for Main Card Winners

UFC Albany went down Friday night at the Times Union Center in front of 6,216 people. After a preliminary card filled with decisions, the main card made up for it with all four fights finished. Now it was time to play matchmaker and determine who should be next for the main card victors.

In the main event of UFC Albany, Derrick Lewis came back after be down three rounds to pound Shamil Abdurakhimov. Who is next for “The Black Beast” after his first main event win?

As for the co-main event, Francis Ngannou showed he was also a grappler when he submitted Anthony Hamilton. Will “The Predator” get a higher-ranked opponent for his next fight?

The change in nickname may have helped Corey Anderson after “Overtime” finished a fight for the first time since winning The Ultimate Fighter in 2014 after getting the TKO over Sean O’Connell. He called out Nikita Krylov after the fight. Will he get his wish?

Lastly, Gian Villante opened up the UFC Albany main card with Saparbek Safarov and slugged it out with the newcomer for the first five minutes before finishing him in the second. Who’s next for the New Yorker?

All of these questions will be answered in this UFC Albany edition of Post-Fight Matchmaking.

Derrick Lewis vs. Francis Ngannou

After arguably losing the first three rounds, Derrick Lewis rallied in the fourth to pound Shamil Abdurakhimov for the TKO in the UFC Albany main event.

“The Black Beast” extended his winning streak to five, where four of those have resulted via (T)KO. The 31-year-old heavy hitter residing in Houston is 8-2 since joining the promotion.

In the fight prior, Francis Ngannou (9-1) surprised everyone with his ground game to win the co-headliner. The timing is perfect for Lewis to fight Ngannou next.

Ngannou, 30, only needed less than two minutes to submit Anthony Hamilton with a kimura. As a result, “The Predator” earned his first “Performance of the Night” bonus and his fourth win inside the Octagon.

The Cameroon-born heavyweight fighting out of Paris is on an eight-fight winning streak and has finished all nine of his career wins.

Corey Anderson vs. Misha Cirkunov/Nikita Krylov

Corey Anderson (9-2) dominated Sean O’Connell with his wrestling before eventually earning a TKO in the second-round.

Now nicknamed “Overtime”, the Illinois native has won four of his last five fights. Anderson is 6-2 since competing on season 19 of The Ultimate Fighter, where he won the light heavyweight tournament as a member of Frankie Edgar’s team.

During his post-fight interview, Anderson called out Nikita Krylov (21-4). Depending on the outcome of Krylov’s fight with Misha Cirkunov (12-2) tonight at UFC 206 in Toronto, Anderson might get his wish.

Krylov knocked out Ed Herman with a head kick 40 seconds into the second round in his last fight in July at UFC 201 in Atlanta. “The Miner” has won five consecutive bouts after losing his light heavyweight debut. He is 6-2 inside the Octagon.

Cirkunov submitted Ion Cutelaba via third-round arm triangle in his last fight at UFC Fight Night: Ottawa in June. The 29-year-old Latvian-Canadian is 3-0 in the UFC and has won seven straight fights.

Gian Villante vs. Shogun Rua

In the Fight of the Night, Gian Villante (15-7) earned the second-round TKO over a late replacement and a game Saparbek Safarov in the main card opener.

The 31-year-old light heavyweight fighting out of Bellmore, New York, earned his third “Fight of the Night” bonus and is 5-4 since making the transition from Strikeforce to the UFC. Four of Villante’s five wins come by way of (T)KO.

The next best fighter coming off a win and has yet to be booked is Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (24-10). The former UFC light heavyweight championship be next for Villante.

Rua last fought in May and edged Corey Anderson via split decision at UFC 198 in his hometown of Curitiba. The Brazilian legend has won consecutive bouts for the first time since 2009 and has four “Fight of the Night” bonuses. He is 8-8 since making his UFC debut.