This past weekend in Vegas was about as wild as they come. Two massive favorites fell to a pair of unheralded opponents at UFC Vegas 7. Plus, we saw two of the greatest comebacks in the entire year (maybe longer?). While we are all still reeling from the event, let’s take a look at what could be next for some of the winners.
Edgar’s win likely boosts him right into the mix in his third division. However, that mix is a mess right now with no title fight booked and plenty of fighters already matched up. If Edgar’s dream is to be a two-division champion, he needs to do what he can to stay active. A match-up that still gets him where he’s going without waiting for a winner is Jimmie Rivera. Rivera has only lost to the very top of the division and his staunch takedown defense would make it interesting for Frankie.
Frankie Edgar’s Next Fight: Jimmie Rivera
The Massachusetts native got back into the win column for the first time in three fights, and did so in emphatic fashion. His clinch work and knees have always been something that would give a lot of fighters problems, but he hasn’t always been able to force it. Another fighter who got back into the win column last time out is Kennedy Nzechukwu. Nzechukwu winds up in the clinch quite a bit himself, which is what would make this match-up intriguing to watch — Rodriguez would be able to test his clinch work against the size and athleticism of Nzechukwu.
Mike Rodriguez’s Next Fight: Kennedy Nzechukwu
In his fight this weekend with Austin Hubbard, he followed the blueprint that a lot of grapplers who fought Hubbard laid out for him. He used his hands to set up a grappling exchange and capitalized on it. So why not set him up with one of those grapplers that came before him? Olympian Mark Madsen saw similar dominance, but was unable to finish Hubbard. It would be interesting to see whether Madsen would control Solecki with his wrestling, because if he can’t Solecki is definitely ready for big things in this division.
Joe Solecki’s Next Fight: Mark Madsen
One of the largest underdogs to win a fight ever, Dobson shocked the world as she met Mariya Agapova punch for punch during her early onslaught and then took over as Agapova couldn’t keep up. This moment was even bigger for Dobson, who was coming off of three straight losses, seemingly with her job on the line. Given that she is now just 1-3 in her last four, a huge step up is probably not in order. Luana Carolina may be on the shelf a bit for her knee, but the striking styles of the two would be fun to watch. I’d understand if Dobson doesn’t want to wait to build her momentum, but that’s what I’d like to see.
Shana Dobson’s Next Fight: Luana Carolina
Rodriguez is now the owner of one of the greatest comebacks of the year. After being tagged by a back peddling right hand from Dwight Grant, he seemed close to being stopped. After recovering though he seemed to be the fresher of the two, and finished the fight. I want to see him test that mettle against another hot prospect who can put people away. Miguel Baeza is fresh off of finishing Matt Brown, which is no easy feat. I’d love to see what happens when these two let their hands fly.
Daniel Rodriguez’s Next Fight: Miguel Baeza