Callout Collection: Who UFC Vancouver winners want next – and how likely they'll get them

Earning wins in the UFC is certainly no easy task, but what comes next is often even more important: the post-fight callout.

So after Saturday’s UFC on ESPN+ 16 event in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada who took advantage of their time on the mic? See below for this week’s Callout Collection – and just how realistic each one is.

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First up, let’s take a look at the night’s prelim winners.

Misha Cirkunov

Wants to fight: Corey Anderson

Corey Anderson

The callout: “I remember back in the day, Corey Anderson called me out, so maybe we can do it Maybe I could fight him. That would be a good fight. He’s a good wrestler. I think I can outwrestle him.”

The reality: Challenges just don’t get much more Canadian than this, do they? It’s not really a callout. It’s just a reply to a previous callout. And to top it off, it’s polite, as well. Still, it’s not a bad idea. Of course, there’s one major problem with this for Misha Cirkunov: Corey Anderson is currently booked to face Johnny Walker at November’s UFC 244.

Cirkunov is wise to look up the rankings when making a challenge, but this may be a little too far up the list. While the four submission wins he earned to open his UFC career had Cirkunov looking like a bona fide contender, he’s just 2-3 since. Yes, his Peruvian necktie win over Jimmy Crute was impressive but not enough to jump that far up the ladder.

If Anderson beats Walker, he’ll have a case for a title shot. Now if he loses, well, now it makes a whole lot more sense. For now, it’s going to be a wait-and-see for me, but I don’t necessarily see this fight coming together either, regardless of Anderson’s UFC 244 result.

Uriah Hall

Wants to fight: Israel Adesanya

Israel Adesanya

The callout: “If I really want to be honest, Israel Adesanya, I’m coming, baby. I’m coming, and you know what? Whoever the UFC needs to put in front of me, whoever the UFC needs me to beat, I’m coming. Right now, I’m at the point of my life where my want becomes a must. I’ve been doing this for so long. I don’t know why the hell I’m afraid every time I come in here. I love this stuff.”

The reality: OK, it’s clear this fight is absolutely not happening next, but it was more of a long-term call from Uriah Hall, and it’s one you can certainly understand. Israel Adesanya is currently the UFC’s interim middleweight champ, and he’ll fight next month in an attempt to unify the titles. Every fighter should be looking to challenge the champion of their division.

But even more so with these two, you’re talking about a pair of striking wizards that could potentially combine for an incredibly stylistic clash. From those two perspectives, it all makes sense. But again, it’s not happening next. We’re going to have to get a little more creative with this one.

Hall entered the weekend as an honorable mention in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie MMA middleweight rankings. He beat Antonio Carlos Junior, who was sitting at No. 15, but many of the middleweights ahead of him are already booked. David Branch was a fellow honorable mention, so that might be an option. The only other fighters without an opponent? Derek Brunson, who previously beat Hall, Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa, who also already handed Hall a loss. Do any of those make sense?

Justin Gaethje

Wants to fight: The winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson

Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson

The callout: “The Irishman is retired. I want a real fighter. I want the winner of Tony and Khabib. I want to fight Khabib before he’s gone, and if Tony wins, nobody is going to miss that fight. We could put a million people in a stadium.”

The reality: After his third consecutive first-round knockout, you’d be hard-pressed to deny Justin Gaethje a title shot. The man is must-see TV, and he’s capable of beating absolutely anyone. The only concern is timing.

Undefeated champ Khabib Nurmagomedov and former interim champ Tony Ferguson haven’t officially been given a date for their matchup yet. Worse yet, the fight has fallen apart every other time it’s been put together. So what could Gaethje do while he waits? The Irishman, of course, Conor McGregor.

Anything Gaethje does is going to be fun. From McGregor’s perspective, Gaethje would provide someone who’s not looking to wrestle, but rather stand and bang, exactly what “The Notorious” would likely hope to do, as well.

Of course, as Gaethje said, McGregor has been sitting on the sidelines since his October loss to Nurmagomedov, and he’s only teased returns to the cage. If he’s willing to sign a contract, this definitely seems like the fight to make. Truthfully, the ball is in Gaethje’s court right now.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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