Sean Shelby’s Shoes: What’s next for Conor McGregor and UFC 246’s key winning fighters?

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(ALSO SEE: Sean Shelby’s Shoes: What’s next for Donald Cerrone and UFC 246’s losing fighters?)

After every event, fans wonder whom the winners will be matched up with next.

With another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC 246’s key winning fighters.

Those included Conor McGregor (22-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC), who defeated Donald Cerrone (36-14 MMA, 23-11 UFC) by first-round TKO in the welterweight headliner at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, as well as Holly Holm (13-5 MMA, 6-5 UFC), Diego Ferreira (17-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC), Roxanne Modafferi (24-16 MMA, 3-4 UFC) and Sodiq Yusuff (11-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC).

* * * *

Sodiq Yusuff

Josh Emmett

Should fight: Josh Emmett
Why they should fight: Yusuff continued to be on a tear to begin his UFC tenure when he won an entertaining featherweight bout against Andre Fili by unanimous decision to improve to 4-0 inside the octagon.

Before and after the win, Yusuff said he felt this fight against Fili would propel him into a ranked matchup at 145 pounds. In a fair world, he’s absolutely right.

Emmett (15-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) was recently forced to pull out of a fight due to injury, and while it’s unknown how long his timeline is for a return, he would be the perfect opponent if the timing lines up between his return and Yusuff’s next fight date. Both men hit very hard, and there’s a good chance this one ends in a knockout.

Roxanne Modafferi

Jessica Eye

Should fight: Jessica Eye
Why they should fight: Modafferi shined brightest in one of the most important moments of her career when, as high as a 10-1 betting underdog, the cagey veteran temporarily derailed the hype of Maycee Barber with a bloody unanimous decision win.

The UFC has a habit of putting Modafferi in fights the world believes she will lose. Sometimes it has gone that way, but in recent years she’s surprised with wins over Barber and Antonina Shevchenko. How far can she take this trend? Why not find out against someone who just recently fought for the belt.

Eye (15-7 MMA, 5-6 UFC) may have been blown out of the water when she fought Valentina Shevchenko for UFC gold, but she rebounded with a win over Viviane Araujo at UFC 245 in December. “Evil” is looking to get back to another crack at UFC gold, and Modafferi would help her on the way. The fight could only happen, though, if Eye makes weight – something she was unable to do in her previous contest.

Diego Ferreira

Al Iaquinta

Should fight: Al Iaquinta
Why they should fight: Few saw this rise up the UFC lightweight pecking order from Ferreira, but after six consecutive wins, the Brazilian can only be taken seriously as a real contender.

Ferreira handled former UFC champ Anthony Pettis with relative ease, controlling the action before finishing the fight with a choke in the second round. It was the signature win Ferreira needed, and one that puts him in position for a top 10 fight at 155 pounds.

Given who is available in the weight class, Iaquinta (14-6-1 MMA, 9-5 UFC) is a name who could make for a solid fight. Iaquinta is coming off a pair of losses but he still holds the name value that could carry Ferreira forward into even bigger fights.

Holly Holm

Irene Aldana

Should fight: Irene Aldana
Why they should fight: Holm got a very important victory for her career longevity when she once again beat Raquel Pennington on the scorecards in their rematch.

At 38, the former UFC champ said she’s determined to get back to the belt. She’s one fight removed from losing to Amanda Nunes, and given the number of generous title shots “The Preacher’s Daughter” has already received, she’s going to need more before getting another one.

The women’s bantamweight division is relatively barren on super interesting fights for Holm, but Aldana (12-5 MMA, 5-3 UFC) is an opponent she has yet to share the cage with. Aldana is coming off a thunderous knockout win over Ketlen Vieira at UFC 245 in December, and she’s the perfect foe for Holm at this point.

Conor McGregor

Jorge Masvidal

Should fight: Jorge Masvidal
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why McGregor should fight Masvidal (35-13 MMA, 12-6 UFC) next.