UFC Vegas 15 got off to a rough start as Curtis Blaydes was diagnosed with COVID-19 and his fight with Derrick Lewis was scrapped. Anthony Smith and Devin Clark stepped into the main event slot and even agreed to a five-round fight. Smith did not need all five rounds though, submitting Clark midway through the first. Today we will talk about what is next for the losers of UFC Vegas 15.
Fighting Devin Clark was a big risk for Anthony Smith. Fighting an unranked opponent is always scary for guys inside the top ten. Smith handled it well though with a beautiful first-round finish. Clark is still a very dangerous fighter at light heavyweight. His wrestling makes him worthy of top 15 ranked guys. In his next fight, he should take on fellow grappler, Paul Craig. Craig is currently on a two-fight winning streak, defeating Shogun Rua on November 21. While Clark is coming off a loss, he was willing to go five rounds on short notice, so there’s no need to drop him too far back in line.
Clark’s next fight: Paul Craig
Takashi Sato lost via submission to Miguel Baeza in their fight at UFC Vegas 15. This loss pushed Sato to 2-2 in the UFC and likely makes his next fight a must-win. Abdul Razak Alhassan would be a perfect opponent for him in his next fight. Alhassan is also in a must-win situation after losing his last two fights. Alhassan would also be a great challenge to Sato’s striking. Both men have very powerful strikes and have shown their knockout power in the past. Sato has 11 out of his 16 wins by knockout while Alhassan has all ten of his wins by knockout.
Sato’s next fight: Abdul Razak Alhassan
Josh Parisian lost a unanimous decision to Parker Porter this past Saturday. Parisian took this fight just three months after winning his UFC contract on the Ccontender Series. His experience matched up well with Porter but it was obvious Porter was just one step ahead of him the entire fight. For his next fight, Parisian should be looking to fight someone like Roque Martinez. Martinez is currently 0-2 in the UFC, losing his last fight to Don’Tale Mayes on November 14. Martinez, like Porter, has just about as much experience in MMA as Parisian. Parisian and Martinez are guys that won’t pull any punches. What more can you ask for in a heavyweight fight?
Parisian’s next fight: Roque Martinez
Spike Carlyle lost all three rounds to Bill Algeo at UFC Vegas 15. Everyone has high hopes for the exciting, energetic Carlyle. Although his UFC career has got off to a pretty rocky start. Carlyle is now 1-2 in the UFC with his only win being a TKO over Aalon Cruz in February. Carlyle is similar to Mike Perry in that he will continue to get good fights because of his big personality. He will continue to be a draw no matter how many losses he takes. Carlyle’s next fight should be against Josh Culibao. Culibao is 0-1-1 in the UFC. Losing to Jalin Turner in his debut and fight to a split draw with Charles Jourdain in October. Both men would benefit from getting a win against someone in a similar position as themselves.
Carlyle’s next fight: Josh Culibao
Ashlee Evans-Smith returned from a 19-month hiatus at UFC Vegas 15 — only to put on a gutsy but ultimately futile effort against Norma Dumont. Whether cage rust from the layoff came into play or not, Smith is now 1-4 in her last five fights, and has lost two straight. That said, the UFC may want to keep her around, given willing fighters are always in need during the pandemic. Plus, Dumont missed weight, so Evans-Smith has both the layoff and that as an argument to keep her spot on the roster. Next, however, she’ll be in must-win territory and should get someone in a similar spot. Vanessa Melo and Sarah Moras were supposed to fight last month, but were moved to January. If either drops out, Evans-Smith would be a short-notice option (she has a previous loss to Moras). If Evans-Smith considers going back to flyweight, where she went 1-1 recently, Lianna Jojua could be an option as well. If she’s sticking around 135 and the Moras-Melo option isn’t there, Sarah Alpar lost her octagon debut back in September, and doesn’t have a fight booked.
Evans-Smith’s next fight: Sarah Alpar