Derek Brunson proved the doubters wrong by defeating Kevin Holland in the main event of UFC Vegas 22. In the co-main event, Max Griffin knocked out Song Kenan in the first round, another big finish for the welterweight. Today we will be looking into what is next for the winners of UFC Vegas 22.
Brunson’s win this past weekend should give him a shot inside the top five for his next fight. Jared Cannonier would be perfect for Brunson in that case. Cannonier hasn’t fought since his decision loss to Robert Whittaker in October 2020. Cannonier is currently ranked number three in the division. A lot of people are calling for Brunson to fight Paulo Costa next. Costa just had to back out of his fight with Robert Whittaker, so he currently does not have a fight booked. Costa should be ready to take another fight very soon, maybe even sooner than Brunson was planning on having his next fight. It is very possible that Brunson fights Costa next but Cannonier would be a way better stylistic match-up for Brunson, and the timing works.
Brunson’s next fight: Jared Cannonier
Max Griffin’s win on Saturday puts him on a two-fight winning streak. He also finished both of those fights by TKO or knockout. His counter striking is going to be a problem for the welterweight division. Warlley Alves would be perfect for Max Griffin, especially given Alves is also on a knockout spree. He has knocked out his opponents in two of his last three fights. Alves has had somewhat of a rocky UFC career much like Griffin. Both men look to be on better paths in 2021 and they are both looking to make a break for the top 15.
Griffin’s next fight: Warlley Alves
Montserrat Ruiz stepped in on short notice and defeated Cheyanne Buys this past weekend by unanimous decision. Ruiz only has one loss in her professional career and that is a decision loss to Danielle Taylor in 2018. In her next fight, she should be looking to fight someone who is up and coming in the women’s strawweight division. Kay Hansen would be a perfect next fight for Ruiz. Hansen was supposed to fight Buys but Ruiz stepped in on short notice when Hansen withdrew from the fight. Hansen is 1-1 in the UFC and has extremely good jiu-jitsu. Ruiz has shown that she is very well-rounded and a fight against Hansen would just prove that even further.
Ruiz’s next fight: Kay Hansen
Adrian Yanez’s win at UFC Vegas 22 makes him 2-0 in the UFC, with both of those wins being knockouts. Yanez has shown that he has knockout power and should be able to strike with some really talented guys in the bantamweight division. For his next fight, he should think about fighting Kyler Phillips. Phillips is 3-0 in the UFC and has five of his nine wins by knockout. Phillips has also never been finished with his one and only loss being a split decision loss to Victor Henry in 2018. These men striking in a cage would be a perfect candidate for a Fight of the Night on paper.
Yanez’s next fight: Kyler Phillips
Tai Tuivasa was originally supposed to fight Don’tale Mayes at UFC Vegas 22 but instead, he fought Harry Hunsucker, who was filling in on short notice. Tuivasa ended up knocking Hunsucker out in the first round. Tuivasa has fought some pretty respectable guys at heavyweight in his time with the UFC but it looks like the UFC is trying to take it slow with Tuivasa. For his next fight, I think Tuivasa takes a big step up in competition taking on Carlos Felipe. Felipe is 2-1 in the UFC and is coming off two straight decision wins over Yorgan De Castro and Justin Tafa. Felipe has six of his ten wins by knockout and has never been finished in his professional career. This fight would be two guys with great knockout power and great chins.
Tuivasa’s next fight: Carlos Felipe