The UFC’s return to Madison Square Garden once again made history Saturday night. Three championships changed hands in the same night for the first time, one of which made Georges St-Pierre a two-division champion.
After Conor McGregor pull off the same feat in midtown a year ago, this might seem like a regular occurrence. On the contrary, they are just the third and fourth men who’ve captured UFC gold in two weight classes.
Here’s a look at what’s ahead for the three new champions crowned during UFC 217.
GSP’s return from a four-year hiatus to choke out Michael Bisping for the middleweight crown was marvelous. In MMA, such a return to the cage is unparalleled
The longtime welterweight kingpin can do whatever he wants next. He can unify his belt with interim titleholder Robert Whittaker in what would be a more dangerous fight at 185 than the aging Bisping. He could also forgo the title and challenge Tyron Woodley, who lords over welterweight. Both fights are must-see action.
That knockout of former teammate and now bitter rival Cody Garbrandt had to feel good. In the process, Dillashaw regained the bantamweight title he lost via split decision to longtime champ Dominick Cruz in January 2016. If Cruz wins next month, he’s the most logical challenger.
But Dillashaw now is gunning for flyweight champ and pound-for-pound No. 1 Demetrious Johnson, whom he lobbied unsuccessfully to face over the summer. A potential champion vs. champion bout would be the most compelling option for most fans.
Her stunning upset of dominant women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, as well as her positive message to “be a good person” won over the Garden. As definitive as her win was, a rematch with the deposed queen of 115 makes the most sense. If not, Jessica Andrade is the most logical contender for the 25-year-old’s crown.