Kamaru Usman successfully defended his title for the third time at UFC 258, in a stoppage win over Gilbert Burns in the third round of their main event. A new contender was born in the women’s flyweight division, meanwhile. That came as Alexa Grasso won a unanimous decision over Maycee Barber. Today we will be looking at what is next for the losers of UFC 258.
Gilbert Burns should still be looked at as a contender in the welterweight division. He had a bunch of bright spots this past Saturday even rocking champ Kamaru Usman once or twice. The top of the welterweight division is a little tied up at the moment. It was recently announced that the UFC is looking to book Leon Edwards against Colby Covington. After his win, Usman called out Jorge Masvidal on a full fight camp for his next fight. If that is Usman’s next fight that means Burns’ next fight would likely be just outside the top five.
Stephen Thompson just announced that his hand is still healing so he will still need a few months before his next fight. Since the top of the division is a little tied up it might be worth it for Burns to wait for Thomson for his next fight.
Burns’ next fight: Stephen Thompson
Maycee Barber made her return to the UFC with a decision loss to Alexa Grasso at UFC 258. This was her first fight back since injuring herself against Roxanne Modafferi in January of 2020. Before their fight on Saturday, Barber was ranked 10th in the women’s flyweight division. Grasso was only ranked at 15th in the division. Barber should be looking to stay inside the top 15 with her next fight. A perfect situation would be against Taila Santos. Santos is 2-1 in the UFC with wins over Gillian Robertson and Molly McCann. A win over Santos would definitely save face for Barber following two straight losses.
Barber’s next fight: Taila Santos
Ian Heinisch lost what was the biggest fight of his career against Kelvin Gastelum this past weekend. Heinisch is now 3-3 in the UFC and is likely fighting for his spot in the promotion in his next fight. Heinisch should be looking to fight another middleweight with a recent setback, Joaquin Buckley. Buckley had a lot of hype around his name following his knockout of the year over Impa Kasanganay. That said he still currently has a UFC record of 2-2. He was finished in his last fight against Alessio Di Chirico in January. So the timing of his comeback should lineup perfectly with Heinisch.
Heinisch’s next fight: Joaquin Buckley
Brian Kelleher came into his fight with Ricky Simon as a big underdog on Saturday night. Simon delivered on that end, winning a decisive decision victory. This loss brings Kelleher to 6-5 in the UFC and 3-2 since the start of 2020. After his loss to Simon, Kelleher should be looking to fight some up and coming fighters that are starting to build a name behind themselves. A good option could be a fight with Movsar Evloev. Evloev is undefeated with a record of 14-0. He is 4-0 in the UFC and has wins over Nik Lentz, Mike Grundy, Enrique Barzola, and Seung Woo Choi. Evloev is also known to be a great wrestler. It would be great to see if Kelleher can work on his grappling and come back ready to stuff takedowns against Evloev.
Kelleher’s next fight: Movsar Evloev
Maki Pitolo was winning most of his fight this past weekend against Julian Marquez. At least until the third round rolled around and Marquez was able to land an anaconda choke and finished Pitolo. This loss makes Pitolo 1-4 in the UFC and he is likely looking at being cut unless he takes a short notice fight in the near future. Pitolo’s only UFC win is a TKO over Charles Byrd. It’s unfortunate, but Dana White warned months ago that cuts were coming.
Pitolo’s next fight: Outside the UFC