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 Fight Night 187 event in Las Vegas, who took advantage of their time on the mic?
See below for this week’s Callout Collection – and just how realistic each one is.
Wants to fight: [autotag]Urijah Faber[/autotag], [autotag]Alex Caceres[/autotag], [autotag]Enrique Barzola[/autotag]
The callout: "Three names that I would like to fight: One is Urijah Faber. He's been fighting for a long time, same as me, and he's still active. I think we should do this fight now. The other name is Enrique Barzola. We fought my last fight before that and it was a draw. I think we have to figure out and find a winner for the fight. I think we should fight. And the third name is another guy who has been fighting for a long time, too. The guy has a lot of hype, Alex Caceres. I think (it) would be a good fight against him, too." The reality: [autotag]Rani Yahya[/autotag] made sure he gave the UFC matchmakers plenty of options as he offered not one, but three names as potential next opponents. Urijah Faber is a fellow veteran of the game, and any fight that gets "The California Kid" back into the cage is one that will bring longtime fans of the former WEC champion back to their screens. But Faber is far from active, and it's unclear what his next move might be. It's a long shot, but it would be an interesting matchup, if booked. The callout of Caceres was a bit of a head-scratcher, though. "Bruce Leeroy" is on a tear and riding a four-fight winning streak, but he's doing it at 145 pounds – a weight class Yahya hasn't fought at since 2013. The name that undoubtedly made the most sense was Barzola. He and Yahya fought to a draw one year ago at UFC Fight Night 170, and the opportunity for the pair to face off in search of a definitive result would surely make sense for both men. Barzola said he was open to the rematch following their draw last year, and now Yahya has expressed his wish to run it back, too. It's a bout that would make a lot of sense for one of the upcoming summer cards. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQTGvwq2-AU
Wants to fight: [autotag]Chan Sung Jung[/autotag]
The callout: "I would love to face 'The Zombie,' man. I've been trying to fight this guy forever. He says he doesn't know who I am. I went on a tear, I went on a six-fight win streak, fell short, got a sweet knockout (Saturday). Please, man: Give me 'The Zombie.'" The reality: When Dan Ige settled in for his pre-fight nap before UFC Fight Night 187, even he couldn't have foreseen a win as resounding, or as swift, as the one he picked up against Gavin Tucker on Saturday. It meant "50k" picked up another cool $50K, and also gave him the opportunity to call his next shot, and he returned to a familiar target by calling out "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung once again. The South Korean star is 2-2 in his past four outings and is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Brian Ortega, so isn't in a position to pick and choose his next opponent. With Ige bouncing back into the win column in stunning style, it means he's right back in the mix, and a matchup between the pair seems a lot more realistic than it did a couple of months ago. Ige's 22-second win also snapped a four-fight run of fights that went to the scorecards, and showed that he has the punch power to match his work rate and controlled pressure game. If it wasn't considered the right time to book Ige and Chan before, it might well be now. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=havZuQbbnsE
Wants to fight: Winner of [autotag]Jimmy Crute[/autotag] vs. [autotag]Anthony Smith[/autotag] bout at UFC 261
The callout: "I want to say Jimmy Crute and Anthony Smith. That fight's still lined up? I'll take the winner of that. What'll that be? Top six? Winner of that? Give me that guy." The reality: [autotag]Ryan Spann[/autotag]'s superb run of form certainly warrants respect and, after bouncing back from his first career defeat in emphatic fashion, a move up in competition is no more than "Superman" deserves. Potential options could include a rematch against the man who defeated him, Johnny Walker, or a bout with Nikita Krylov, but Spann's pitch to take on the winner of the bout between Crute and Smith at UFC 261 offers the best realistic chance of making significant strides up the 205-pound rankings. I suspect a matchup against Krylov, who is on a similar timeline after his defeat to Magomed Ankalaev at UFC Fight Night 186, might be the most likely route, but Spann is in a good spot and deserves a chance to fight up the rankings in his next outing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4C6irKdox0
Wants to fight: For the UFC welterweight title
The callout: "I believe a title shot should be next. I've rebuilt myself back up after last competing against Usman. (I) went on an eight-fight win streak, just (Saturday) was going to be nine. ... So I believe I should be next for a title shot. Like I said, I've built myself back up, so that's what should be next, I think." The reality: In my "Burning Questions" feature ahead of UFC Fight Night 187, I talked about Leon Edwards' awful luck. Despite the fact it was he who delivered the accidental eye-poke that brought his main event bout with Belal Muhammad to a premature end, it seems that run of bad luck is continuing. Edwards said he should still be next in line for a title shot, and his form and ranking mean he's absolutely justified in that thought. But the nature of his comeback fight makes it a tough sell for the UFC. The issue of [autotag]Kamaru Usman[/autotag] and [autotag]Jorge Masvidal[/autotag]'s likely title matchup in September (and the likely season of "The Ultimate Fighter" that could precede it) means Edwards is almost certainly going to be called upon to fight again. He admitted as much in his post-fight news conference. The big question now is who should he fight? A rematch with Muhammad would certainly seem fair, given the unfortunate nature of Saturday's fight, but arguably a bout with Colby Covington would make more sense if Edwards wants to eliminate any doubt and cement his position as the top contender. Of course, "Chaos" would have to accept that fight, and Edwards stated that the American has already turned him down once. So, assuming Colby turns it down again, a rematch with Muhammad would appear to make the most sense. Of course, it also gives Covington time to fight, and win, again and potentially push himself ahead of the Brit in the queue. It would be yet more bad luck for the Birmingham man, but Edwards could conceivably win a rematch with Muhammad and still not get the next shot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_5c60WEWdg
In pictures: UFC Fight Night 187
In pictures: UFC Fight Night 187 scorecards