After the fights this past weekend kicked off with four straight submissions, the UFC Vegas 8 card closed with six straight decisions. Those decisions came in a wide variety in terms of the level of competitiveness. Whether those fights took a beating or gave one in their loss, we’re tasked with letting you know where to go after their setbacks.
The last two bouts of Anthony Smith have not been pretty to watch. The top game of both Glover Teixeira and Alexander Rakic put him in bad spots for over half an hour. Although this loss leaves him quite a distance from the top contender position he was in during the not so distant past, he still shouldn’t be written off completely. Both those opponents are a fight or two away from a title shot themselves. The right answer here is to test Smith against a guy on the periphery of the top ten with a less suffocating top game. While Nikita Krylov has some sub skills, he’s much less imposing and it would give us a better idea of where Smith stands.
Anthony Smith’s Next Fight: Nikita Krylov
Lots of people are worried about the career of Robbie Lawler after his fourth straight loss. During Neil Magny’s clean sweep of Lawler, there weren’t all that many bright spots for the veteran. After losing to some tough ranked fighters (largely who were all wrestlers), it’s time for Robbie to take a step back and face an unranked fighter. Anthony Rocco Martin recently lost to Neil Magny as well. Although he’s recovering from an injury, Lawler likely needs some time himself. Should those timelines match up, it would be a logical step for each.
Robbie Lawler’s Next Fight: Antony Rocco Martin
Ji Yeon Kim
In her loss to flyweight newcomer Alexa Grasso, Kim showed signs of some solid boxing. Ultimately, the speed of Grasso was just too much for her though and kept her from getting anything significant going. She needs to face another boxer to show off those skills yet again and see if she can hang with the speed at flyweight. Molly McCann also needs a dance partner who wants to throw with her after getting out-grappled by Talia Santos. Let’s them throw those mitts.
Ji Yeon Kim’s Next Fight: Molly McCann
Despite the loss, the stock of Bill Algeo just went up for a lot of people. At times he traded with and even tagged former title challenger Ricardo Lamas. His striking style was fun, but ultimately the grappling of Lamas and the gas tank cost him in the third. Similar to Kim, the UFC should pair Algeo with a fun striker for maximum fun, and to see what they are made of. Sean Woodson is coming off of a loss himself. Both have those lanky frames and like to throw knees. I feel like a fight between the two couldn’t miss.
Bill Algeo’s Next Fight: Sean Woodson
The loss is the second in just three weeks for Pitolo. Although that is never something you want to do, especially when the most recent one was to a UFC newcomer, Pitolo was exciting and had some good spots against Kasanganay. I say give him another Contender Series signee to see if he should hang around longer. Jamie Pickett just cashed in on his third chance in the division. He’d be a good test for Pitolo.
Maki Pitolo’s Next Fight: Jamie Pickett