The UFC 255 main card didn’t produce much in the way of surprises. The betting favorites came out on top in 4 of the 5 fights, with only Katlyn Chookagian pulling off the upset (and even she was the higher ranked fighter). So with all of these underdogs failing to play spoiler, we look to what is next for them as they try to get their feet back underneath them.
Perez’s rise to the top was a fast one, but also one that did not include many high ranked opponents. While he did beat Jordan Espinosa and Jussier Formiga, noticeably absent from that resume is a top level striker in the division. Kai Kara-France is also coming off a high level loss and would be a great way to find out a little more about Perez’s game. Should he have no problem with Kara-France, he would quickly be back near a contender fight.
Alex Perez’s Next Fight: Kai Kara-France
Maia shocked the world for one whole round on Saturday. Round 2 saw her control Valentina Shevchenko in a way nobody really expected her to. Despite the positives, the loss brings her record to 2-2 in her last 4, which includes missing weight twice. As such, she’s going to have to do some work to get herself anywhere near a title shot. Standing in a similar position is Jessica Eye, who also flopped in her efforts to wrangle the belt from Shevchenko. This would give either one of them a step in the right direction.
Jennifer Maia’s Next Fight: Jessica Eye
After missing weight fairly badly after joking about eating burgers (and that’s not even to mention domestic abuse allegations and a litany of other shenanigans), it’s hard to imagine that this next bout would be in the UFC. With that being said, the UFC has a way of surprising us regarding these types of things. If we ignore all of that, we all know what we want to see for Mike Perry fights. We want to see him mix it up with a fearless, power puncher. Abdul Razak Alhassan has dropped two in a row, including a brutal one to Khaos Williams. If Perry is still in the UFC, let’s allow these two to throw caution to the wind and duke it out.
Mike Perry’s Next Fight: Abdul Razak-Alhassan
Calvillo’s run in the flyweight division has been quick and very high level. In just two fights, she fought two title challengers and finds herself ranked in the top 5. However, this past weekend, she found out that the wrestling skills that brought her to so many wins in her career are a little less absolute up at flyweight. Some of that was due to the fact that Chookagian is a master of keeping the distance. To test and see if that is the sole reason, let’s pair Calvillo with Roxy Modafferi. Roxy loves the clinch and likes to mix it up on the ground herself, and therefore would be the perfect test to see if Calvillo’s style is going to keep working at 125lbs.
Cynthia Calvillo’s Next Fight: Roxanne Modafferi
Shogun will turn 39 later this week and just had the momentum of a 3-fight unbeaten streak halted — and in dominant fashion. This loss is likely going to drop him from the rankings and into that zone known as “fun fights.” When you think about light heavyweight and having fun striking contests, Sam Alvey is always a name at the tip of your tongue. Given a partner willing to throw, Smilin’ Sam never disappoints. Rua seems willing to let those hands go now, and it seems like his wrestling has waned a bit. As a result, Alvey might be just the partner he needs to bring out the classic Shogun.
Shogun Rua’s Next Fight: Sam Alvey