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What's next for Tyron Woodley, Darren Till and other UFC 228 fighters?

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Woodley submits Till to defend title (1:19)

Tyron Woodley picks up his first submission victory since 2008, courtesy of a second-round D'Arce choke of Darren Till at UFC 228. (1:19)

There's a good chance Darren Till will have multiple shots at a UFC title before his career is over, but his first crack at one could not have gone worse on Saturday against Tyron Woodley.

Woodley submitted Till in the second round of their welterweight title fight in Dallas, and he didn't absorb a single significant strike in the process. It was a shockingly one-sided victory for the defending champion, who was awarded his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt in the cage immediately after.

What's next for the defending champ and the other major players of UFC 228? Here's my take.


Tyron Woodley, welterweight champion

Result: Defeated Darren Till via second-round submission

Next: Colby Covington (unless Georges St-Pierre is interested)

Covington won an interim title three months ago but has already been stripped for refusing to meet Woodley in Dallas. So there's no title unification storyline here, but Covington is still the easy call. These two have a history, both coming up at American Top Team in Florida. Covington will play the role of a heel in the build-up, which is great for Woodley at this point in his career.

If, however, St-Pierre is willing to take this fight, I would be surprisingly in favor of it. I say surprisingly, because I wasn't a fan of St-Pierre jumping the middleweight line in 2017, and I really would have a problem with him jumping the lightweight line in 2019 (to face the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor).

But at welterweight, it's a different story. St-Pierre is the greatest welterweight of all time. Woodley has forced his name into that conversation. St-Pierre has constantly said he's interested in only a "legacy fight" -- something that lifts his achievements in a significant way. Trying to say a fight against Woodley wouldn't qualify for that doesn't fly anymore. This would be a mega-event.


Darren Till, welterweight

Result: Lost to Tyron Woodley via second-round submission.

Next: Winner of Nov. 17 bout between Santiago Ponzinibbio and Neil Magny.

I am all for Till moving to middleweight, and it sounds like his team will strongly consider it. But if I had to guess, something tells me he'll stay at welterweight. He spoke about how easy this most recent cut went, and he did weigh in at 169 pounds -- one pound under the limit. To me, these are signs that Till will put off moving up.

There's no need to rush him back, coming off his first professional loss. He's expecting a child in November. The winner of Ponzinibbio-Magny will be deserving of a big fight, and Till still qualifies. Additionally, this kind of time frame also lets us see the results of several key middleweight fights at UFC 230 on Nov. 3. Let some of these fights play out, then book Till's next move.


Jessica Andrade, strawweight

Result: Defeated Karolina Kowalkiewicz via first-round knockout.

Next: Rose Namajunas

If we're being honest, Andrade's first UFC title fight -- a decision loss to Joanna Jedrzejczyk in May 2017 -- was a bit disappointing. The sheer punching power and authoritative style of Andrade make her one of the most entertaining women in the division, but she never got going at all against Jedrzejczyk and failed to win a single round.

It's important to remember, though, that Andrade was 25 years old in that fight. She appears to have progressed tremendously since that loss, racking up three wins. Namajunas is a young champ. This will be a fight for the future of the division. Each woman has plenty of reasons to feel confident going in. This will be a heck of a matchup.


Zabit Magomedsharipov, featherweight

Result: Defeated Brandon Davis via second-round submission.

Next: Chad Mendes

Magomedsharipov asked for Mendes immediately after his win on Saturday, and it's a callout that makes sense. It's a big jump in the rankings for Magomedsharipov, but frankly, there's no reason to slow-play this guy. He's 4-0 in the UFC and looks title-ready now.

If there's anyone who wouldn't want this matchup, it's Mendes. But if it comes with a guaranteed title shot, that should be a sweet enough offer. This might sound like preferential treatment for Magomedsharipov, putting him on this type of fast track, but again, he's not one to slow-play at all. The talent is so obvious. Turn him loose and see what happens.


Tatiana Suarez, strawweight

Result: Defeated Carla Esparza via third-round TKO.

Next: Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Had UFC 228 not been so full of standout performances, Suarez might have led the headline stacks on Sunday morning. Like Magomedsharipov, Suarez looks ready for the biggest tests now, but Andrade is clearly ahead of her for the next title shot.

Obviously, Kowalkiewicz may need some time to recover from a vicious loss to Andrade, but once she's ready, this is the fight. A win for Suarez would solidify a future No. 1 contender. For Kowalkiewicz, it would be the biggest opportunity out there, other than a rematch against Joanna Jedrzejczyk, to regain the ground she lost to Andrade.