“Not bad for an old man,” Randy Couture once said. That quote pretty much encapsulates the end of UFC Vegas 13, where two fighters on the wrong side of 40 found a way to turn back the clock against much younger opponents. While what happens next for Glover Teixeira and Andrei Arlovski is certainly an interesting question, today we look at what’s next for the young guns they handed an L to, as well as a couple other of the losing fighters from this past weekend.
You have to feel a bit for Santos. After a split decision loss in a title fight to one of the greatest of all time, he was left on the shelf with a knee injury. Yet all that time away only seemed to make a second title shot more likely, with one of his old foes (one he beat, Jan Blachowicz) having taken the title. While it didn’t work out that way, there are still plenty of intriguing fights at 205 that could work him back into that mix in no time — one of which is “No Time.” Volkan Oezdemir represents a much better stylistic match for Santos in that he’ll be more willing to stand and trade with the Brazilian. It’s also hard to imagine Oezdemir taking shots like Teixeira did and still coming forward.
Thiago Santos’ Next Fight: Volkan Oezdemir
Boser came out looking like he knew what he trying to do against Andrei Alrlovski. He knew he had the speed advantage and working the legs seemed to be a priority. However, working the legs and staying away from the big shot seemed to be too much of a priority, resulting in not quite enough volume for him to pick up the win. It might be easier to turn up that volume against someone like Ben Rothwell. Rothwell has been in more than a couple fights that have turned into slugfests. That type of fight would probably be good for Boser after this tame one as it would allow him to use those speedy counters more frequently and effectively. With each coming off of a loss, it would also help one of them get back into the win column.
Tanner Boser’s Next Fight: Ben Rothwell
Khalid Taha has made every fight he’s had exciting with his quick hands and willingness to eat a shot to give one. That was on full display this past weekend when he and Raoni Barcelos both picked up a smooth 50k for their efforts. However exciting on the feet, Taha has shown a bit of a weakness when it comes to actually keeping things standing. In 10 rounds in the octagon, he has conceded 10 takedowns. Usually I would suggest someone who would just slug it out with him to get him back on the right track, but at 2-2 the UFC needs to know Taha can make an adjustment. Irwin Rivera would be an opponent that would satisfy both of those needs. He has a pretty decent wrestling game, but also loves to trade bombs. Pairing those two couldn’t possibly be dull.
Khalid Taha’s Next Fight: Irwin Rivera
Claudia Gadelha continued her trend of having solid, competitive fights with the top of the division, that she ultimately comes out on the wrong side of. Jedzrejczyk, Andrade, Ansaroff and now Xiaonan have now turned her away from the very top of the division by unanimous decision. However, in between these fights, she keeps showing she deserves to get these bookings. In a similar spot right now is Michelle Waterson, who took similar losses to Jedzrejczyk, Namajunas and Esparza. Neither is all that far from being relevant in the strawweight picture, but both need a signature win. Not only would it give both of them that chance, but we’d get another chance to see Gadelha deal with a distance striker and Waterson deal with someone much stronger than her.
Claudia Gadelha’s Next Fight: Michelle Waterson