Derrick Lewis shocked the world with a terrifying knockout over Curtis Blaydes at UFC Vegas 19. The card started off extremely fast. Impressively, the first five fights ended in knockout. Eight of the 12 fights total were all finished before the final bell. Today we will be talking about what is next for the winners of UFC Vegas 19.
Before defeating Blaydes this past weekend, Lewis was ranked number four in the heavyweight division. He said after his fight that he would like to feature in a three-round fight in his next fight. He also suggested a match-up with the recently defeated Alistair Overeem. That is seemingly impossible as his next match-up will likely be against the winner of Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou, or Jon Jones. Miocic and Ngannou will be fighting in late March meaning that unless Lewis wants to wait until the end of the year he will probably be taking another fight before getting his title shot. That leaves Lewis with the option of welcoming Jon Jones to the heavyweight division. Of course, this only works if Jones isn’t gifted the immediate title shot.
Lewis’ next fight: Jon Jones
Yana Kunitskaya won a unanimous decision this past weekend over Ketlen Vieira. Kunitskaya came into this fight ranked number seven in the division with Vieira ranked number six. Meaning her win over Vieira will likely not push her crazy far in the division and she is probably not next in line for a title shot. Irene Aldana would be a perfect opponent for Kunitskaya’s next fight. Aldana is ranked number four in the division and is coming off a decision loss to Holly Holm in October. Aldana also has a win over Ketlen Vieira right before her loss to Holm. That fight will be a great striking match-up as both women have 50% of their wins by way of knockout.
Kunitskaya’s next fight: Irene Aldana
Darrick Minner dominated Charles Rosa for their whole fight at UFC Vegas 19. That win brings Minner to 2-1 in the UFC. He currently has an overall record of 26 wins and 11 losses. With 22 of those 26 wins coming by submission, impressively. Minner should be looking to climb the ranks by fighting more up-and-coming stars in the featherweight division. Lerone Murphy would fit that bill perfectly. Murphy is 2-0-1 in the UFC and is 10-0-1 in his professional MMA career. Murphy is a much better striker than he is a grappler so it is going to be a completely different fight than Minner versus Rosa.
Minner’s next fight: Lerone Murphy
Chris Daukaus vs. Tom Aspinall
After Tom Aspinall’s second-round submission victory over Andrei Arlovski, he called out the winner of Chris Daukaus and Aleksei Oleinik, which was to take place just a few fights after. Chris Daukaus would win that fight by knocking out Oleinik in the first round. It would be great for these two guys to get some more wins and possibly meet up one day once they are both in the top 15. On the other hand, there is no time better than the present. Both of these men are rising in popularity and both just beat great veterans on the same card. If both men want this fight, it seems like a no brainer to book next.
Phil Hawes won a majority decision over Nassourdine Imavov at UFC Vegas 19. Hawes easily won the first two rounds but lost the final frame. Badly, with one judge even scoring the last round 10-8 for Imavov. Hawes showcased great wrestling and clinch work in this fight. Tafon Nchukwi seems like he would be the perfect opponent for Hawes’ next fight. Both men are somewhat undersized in the middleweight division. Both men have great power in their hands. With Hawes finishing seven out of his ten wins by knockout and Nchukwi finishing four of his five wins by knockout, they could produce fireworks. Both men are also new to the UFC and have won their contracts on Dana White’s Contender Series.
Hawes’ next fight: Tafon Nchukwi