UFC Vegas 34 is in the books and it was a night filled with wild finishes. While folks like Jared Cannonier and Alexandre Pantoja found themselves taking a huge step towards a title shot on Saturday, many were not as lucky. Today we take a look at those from the main card of UFC Vegas 34 who will be taking a step back next time out and where that step might be.
If you look at just the numbers of Kelvin Gastelum’s last six fights, it isn’t pretty. A decision win over unranked Ian Heinisch is all that breaks up a losing streak that dates back to the beginning of 2019. However, he’s looked much better than the numbers suggest. A close decision with Israel Adesanya, and now a close one with Jared Cannonier at UFC Vegas 34 both seem to suggest he’s still very solid. I, personally, would like to see him try welterweight again, but don’t think he’s into the idea. If not, he should be given someone way down in the rankings to see if he can get back into the win column. Andre Muniz is currently without a dance partner. His grappling chops would make a fight with Kelvin interesting and would help determine if Gastelum can still take out ranked opponents.
Kelvin Gastelum’s Next Fight: Andre Muniz
Veteran Clay Guida put in a solid performance against Mark O. Madsen, stuffing a lot of the Olympian’s takedown attempts. However, the output and power in the strikes simply wasn’t there for ‘The Carpenter’ and he lost a close decision. At this stage of his career, I like him as someone who just takes other fun fights against older veterans. Scott Holtzman is one I’d be down to see. Neither has had the best run as of late and both are often in exciting fights. Let’s see if Holtzman can deal with that storied pace of Guida.
Clay Guida’s Next Fight: Scott Holtzman
For the second straight fight, Chase Sherman was out-boxed and, to an extent, his cardio was part of the blame. He simply could not keep up with the pace and pressure of Parker Porter. Now with two straight losses, he really needs to rebound with a win or risk being shown the door. Don’Tale Mayes is a guy who is going to fight at a much better pace for Sherman. It would allow us to see if it’s just a pace problem here or if he’s going to have trouble boxing with some of the slower, more methodical heavyweights too.
Chase Sherman’s Next Fight: Don’Tale Mayes
Trevin Jones came into the UFC like a wrecking ball. He KOed Timur Valiev in his debut (although that was overturned by a positive test for marijuana). Then he took it to Mario Bautista too. However, a short notice replacement is what got him at UFC Vegas 34. Saidyokub Kakhramonov not only subbed the Guam native, but put him out cold. I’m still high on Jones’ chances at bantamweight, so I want to see him against another strong up and comer. Benito Lopez seems to have been out forever, but when he does return, he is very exciting. I’d love to see those two duke it out on the feet and see which prospect is left standing.
Trevin Jones’ Next Fight: Benito Lopez
So far in the UFC, Austin Hubbard has alternated wins and losses for all even bouts. It seems like all the fighters that have beaten him are ones who have a bit of wrestling (or a lot of it) that can upset his flow on the feet. That’s something he’s going to really need to show he can change. I would suggest a bout with another fighter who can push him in that way – otherwise he may not be cut out for the UFC lightweight division. Alex da Silva has sneaky good chain wrestling and would push Hubbard on the feet too. I’d love to see what he could do with that test.
Austin Hubbard’s Next Fight: Alex da Silva
Since coming to the UFC, Brandon Royval has only faced top 10 opponents. That’s a big ask for a kid who is only 29 years old and has just four UFC bouts. He has shown he can hang with literally anybody in this division, but for his development, I’d like to see a small step back. David Dvorak is currently undefeated in the UFC and has some solid striking. It’d allow Royval a little more opportunity to show off his hands (and feet) to polish that side of his game, while not giving him another enormous test.
Brandon Royval’s Next Fight: David Dvorak