UFC Vancouver Aftermath: What’s Next For the Key Players?

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Uriah Hall, UFC Vancouver Official Weigh-In Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

Uriah Hall Wins Striker vs. Grappler Battle

Next opponent for Uriah Hall: Derek Brunson, Omari Akhmedov

It was close, it was bloody, but Uriah Hall got the nod against Antonio Carlos Junior at UFC Vancouver. While he spent much of the third round stuck in a body triangle, Hall had already done considerable damage to Carlos Junior, including delivering a busted nose.

Coming into Fight Week, Hall had been talking about serving as a replacement against Israel Adesanya if Robert Whittaker fell out of UFC 243 for any reason. While that’s a fun fight on paper, Hall is sitting outside the top ten, ranked 12th. Although rankings might not matter much when the UFC is booking fights, they do still matter. Post-fight in Vancouver, even Hall had cooled on the idea. Instead, he suggested a rematch with Derek Brunson. Hall has two straight wins, Brunson has two straight wins. That’s not a bad idea, actually. Omari Akhmedov, who recently broke into the top 15, works also, as he’s been on a roll since returning to middleweight.

Shoe Face Needs to Step Back

Next opponent for Antonio Carlos Junior: Marc-André Barriault, Brad Tavares

Antonio Carlos Junior is a talented middleweight and as game as they come. He proved that fighting through a broken nose on Saturday. However, he’s now lost two straight, to Ian Heinisch and Hall. He may slip out of the top 15 later this week, and needs plenty of time to heal up from the Hall fight. If the UFC keeps Marc-André Barriault around, that could be a good match-up, in early 2020. Brad Tavares is actually ranked higher that Carlos Junior, and is expected to face Ian Heinisch in October. If Tavares comes up short, that’s another possibility.

Tristan Connelly Steals the Show

Next opponent for Tristan Connelly: Austin Hubbard, or another Contender Series Alum (at lightweight)

The end of the first round sounded like he’d won a title fight, if the crowd was any indication. Opponent Michel Pereira went to the wrong corner and stayed there, probably because he couldn’t hear himself think. Tristan Connelly was the man of the hour at UFC Vancouver, coming in on five days notice, up a weight class, and defeating a much bigger foe. An insanely acrobatic foe.

Now, it’s time for Connelly to head back to lightweight. He said as much post-fight at UFC Vancouver. There, you can give him just about any lightweight, but a Contender Series alum should do for his next bout. Austin Hubbard, who also won in Vancouver, and is a former LFA champion, would work well.

Michel Pereira Is Too Flashy For His Own Good, But Who Cares?

Next opponent for Michel Pereira: himself

Look, Michel Pereira emptied his gas tank within a round at UFC Vancouver. He flipped his way into the octagon! But who cares — those acrobatics are what gets people watching. He’s 1-1 in the UFC and can get away with these antics for at least another fight or two.

The biggest battle for Pereira moving forward will be with himself. He’s probably not going to come out with a more conservative style, but toning it down a smidgen might help. There’s also the weight cut. Pereira missed weight by a pound, which isn’t a huge miss, but he’s big for welterweight, and if it happens again, middleweight could be in the cards.

Glover Teixeira Returns to Prominence at 39

Next opponent for Glover Teixeira: Volkan Oezdemir

He’s not Dan Henderson old, at least not yet, but Glover Teixeira is 39, and on a three-fight win streak in 2019. A win over Nikita Krylov is going to move him closer to the top five at light heavyweight, in a division where three wins often lands you a title fight. Because he’s already lost to champ Jon Jones, Teixeira will need a few more wins to get into that conversation. He wasn’t calling his shot post-fight, but said he could be interested in fighting a fourth time in 2019.

He’s never fought Volkan Oezdemir, who is coming off a win last month in Uruguay. Teixeira vs. Oezdemir easily headlines a Fight Night card. Book it. Late this year, or early 2020.

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