Payton Talbott targets Dominick Cruz fight to break into top 15 bantamweight ranking

Payton Talbott, the undefeated bantamweight prospect, secured a statement victory at UFC Vegas 89 against South African Cameron Saiman. With a second-round knockout, Talbott became the first fighter to finish Saiman in professional MMA.

The victory over Saiman has motivated Talbott to aim for entry into the rankings of the stacked bantamweight division, where ‘Suga’ Sean O’Malley reigns supreme. To secure a spot in the rankings, Talbott plans to defeat a former champion in the division, widely regarded as one of the best bantamweights of all time.

Payton Talbott wants Dominick Cruz in next fight

Payton Talbott made his plans clear in the post-fight press conference of UFC Vegas 89. The undefeated bantamweight was unbeknownst to the names in the division but wanted to fight Dominick Cruz, the former champion, next.

“I don’t really know too many people in my division, but maybe Dominick Cruz,” said Talbott at the post-fight press conference. “I’m exponentially passing up the rankings, and I’m going to try to get into the top 15 hopefully pretty soon,” Talbott further added.

Talbott has now defeated unranked game opponents in his first two fights with the UFC. Before the win over Saiman, Talbott defeated Nick Aguirre at UFC Vegas 82 via third-round rear naked choke submission

Only his fight in the Dana White’s Contender Series against Reyes Cortes went the full distance. After an undefeated amateur career with the King of the Cage, Talbott went pro and eventually became the bantamweight champion at Urijah Faber’s A1 Combat.

Payton Talbott earns Michael Chiesa’s praise after TKO win

Payton Talbott was showered with praise for his dominant second-round knockout victory over Cameron Saiman. One of the praise came from Michael Chiesa, the ranked welterweight contender and ESPN MMA analyst.

“Talbott has that “it” factor,” Chiesa posted after Talbott’s victory. The welterweight further added that Talbott has also the ingredients to become a superstar in the Ultimate Fighting Championships as per Bloody Elbow.

Sean O’Malley, the UFC bantamweight champion is the dream matchup for Talbott. O’Malley is a big star in the promotion and Dana White has credited Suga for being “That Guy.” Talbott also has an exciting style that could make White say the same about him.

Even though he has finished two fighters in his first two fights in the UFC, the likelihood of him facing a ranked opponent is very low. Talbott desires to fight Dominick Cruz, who holds the 12th rank in the division.

However, his next fight will likely be against an opponent ranked just outside the rankings, such as Adrian Yanez or Davey Grant. Additionally, a matchup with the 15th-ranked Pedro Munhoz could be in the cards for his next bout.

Who do you think is next for Payton Talbott? Leave your prediction below!


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