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+ 34 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: Pedro Munhoz
The callout: “I’m trying to make my way up the rankings. If Pedro Munhoz wants to do a guillotine battle, I think that would be fun.”
The reality: One of the keys to a good callout is timing, and Brian Kelleher’s call to face Munhoz seems particularly well-timed.
The Brazilian will be looking to bounce back into winning form in his next outing and, after his defeat to Frankie Edgar last time out, he’ll likely have to fight someone ranked below him to right the ship before taking aim at those contenders above him on the bantamweight list.
Kelleher fits the bill perfectly, and by referencing a potential submission battle, the American’s callout may well play to Munhoz’s fighting mentality.
Munhoz needs a fight against a notable lower-ranked opponent, while Kelleher is looking to bat his way up the order at bantamweight after three fights up at 145 pounds. A matchup between the pair might just make sense for both of them.
Wants to fight: Omari Akhmedov
The callout: “I work for the UFC. Whoever the UFC wants to give me, I am going to fight. But I want to compete against Omari (Akhmedov). He fought against Chris Weidman and I think it will be an interesting fight.”
The reality: Clearly, Andre Muniz is a man in a hurry to get to the sharp end of the UFC’s middleweight division and, after his impressive first-round finish of Bartosz Fabinski, he delivered a smart callout as he took aim at a man that few fighters would chase as a possible opponent.
Akhmedov is as tough as they come at 185 pounds, but he doesn’t carry the big-ticket name value of some of his middleweight colleagues. But the Russian is exactly where Muniz hopes to be – right in the thick of the UFC’s middleweight rankings. A win over “Wolverine” would propel Muniz into a fight against a big name of the 185-pound division, so from his standpoint, the callout is ideal.
It remains to be seen whether the matchmakers feel the Brazilian is ready for that sort of step up, however. Muniz has had just two fights in the UFC and may well be asked to defeat another unranked prospect before being pitched in against a fighter with a number beside their name,
Wants to fight: Jorge Masvidal
The callout: “Dana White, Sean Shelby, I want the ‘BMF’ belt! Jorge Masvidal, beware! You are next!”
The reality: Michel Pereira loves producing spectacular performances, and he delivered a spectacular callout when he sent a message straight down the camera lens to Masvidal. However, I very much doubt “Gamebred” will be losing too much sleep about it.
It seems highly unlikely that Pereira will land a shot against Masvidal any time soon. The “BMF” champion looks set to face Nate Diaz, and there are potential bouts with Leon Edwards and reigning champ Kamaru Usman also within touching distance, so a fight with a wild, unpredictable fighter who hasn’t cracked the UFC’s top-15 won’t be on his agenda.
While Pereira’s callout of Masvidal might appear an overreach on the Brazilian’s behalf, it does state his intention to mix it up with some of the bigger names in the division, and while he’s unlikely to get his preferred opponent, he might still land a higher-profile fight next.
Michel Pereira vs. Mike Perry, anyone?
Wants to fight: Jairzinho Rozenstruik
The callout: “Rozenstruik, I destroyed that man. I schooled him. In my opinion, it was a very bad decision by the ref, waiving it off with zero seconds left. I have no problem running that back. In my mind, I already beat him. It’s only on paper that he got it. He knows it, too. I have no problem running that back.”
The reality: At this stage of his career, Alistair Overeem just wants to face whoever he needs to beat to get him into a heavyweight title fight as he bids to end his career with a UFC title. He said he’d be happy to face Derrick Lewis, but stated that Lewis had to deal with Curtis Blaydes first. The topic then turned to a possible rematch with Rozenstruik, and Overeem made his opinion on the matchup very clear.
It’s a matchup that, given the current heavyweight climate, makes sense for both men. Rozenstruik needs to defeat another contender to keep himself in the mix at the top of the division, while Overeem would have the opportunity to avenge his only defeat in his last five outings.
Victory in the rematch would propel Overeem to within touching distance of a title shot, while Rozenstruik can strengthen his case as a top contender by gaining a repeat victory over “The Reem.” It seems to tick all of the appropriate boxes. Book it!