On Saturday, the UFC returned to the Apex with another stacked Fight Night card headlined by ranked lightweights Arman Tsarukyan and Mateusz Gamrot. Prior to UFC Vegas 57, there were complaints from some in the MMA community that Tsarukyan vs Gamrot wasn’t a worthy main event. The two Europeans put on a spectacle in what turned out to be the Fight of the Night.
Let’s take a look at some potential match-ups for the main card winners.
Scramble mania. A main event that gave us everything we could’ve hoped for. An extremely closely contested bout seems to be the norm these days, when it comes to Fight Night main events between contenders. There is no doubt the MMA community will be scrutinizing the scorecards over the weekend and finding complaints in the ways that the 3 judges scored the contest. But regardless of the complaints, it will be the former KSW Lightweight champion, “Gamer” Gamrot, who will be the beneficiary of a top 5 contender in his next outing.
There are several potential match-ups for the Pole, but one in particular I would love to see is Fiziev vs. Gamrot. The possibility of that match-up alone sends shivers down my spine. And it is one that we may well see, depending on the outcome of Dos Anjos vs. Fiziev on July 10. The “Highlight Reel,” Justin Gaethje may also be in search of new blood, however, he may not be setting his sights as low as rank 12.
Gamrot’s next fight: Winner of RDA vs Fiziev
The “Nomad” gets even more terrifying by the fight. After going to 16-0, with all wins coming by way of finishes, Rakhmonov has become one of the most feared fighters across all weight divisions. Magny is by far Shavkat’s toughest test to date, and he passed it with flying colours, completely unscathed. Wherever the fight goes, Rakhmonov is a truly dominant martial artist. In round one, Magny threatened with a heel hook, but he never fully had it locked in as the Kazakh stayed calm and collected. The 27-year-old is still yet to see the third round in the UFC, as in the dying embers of round two, he managed to cinch the neck of Magny, getting the secnd round submission victory.
The terrifying prospect came locked and loaded with a name that he wants to meet in the Octagon next time out, Stephen Thompson. The possibility of that fight though doesn’t enthrall me too much. I would instead prefer to see Rakhmonov face the winner of Luque vs. Neal, as that would for sure be a barnburner.
Rakhmonov’s next fight: Winner of Luque vs Neal
In the only Heavyweight fight at UFC Vegas 57, Josh Parisian faced a great deal of adversity to battle his way to a second round stoppage. From the first bell, Heavyweight leather was being slung and midway through round one, Parisian was dropped from a big uppercut in the clinch by Baudot. Despite having to weather the storm for the remaining minutes of the first round, he managed to finish round one with a big takedown of his own. Round two began how the first had ended, with a Parisian takedown. He didn’t just score the takedown, but he also reigned down extremely viscous ground-and-pound, subsequently scoring the second round stoppage.
William Knight has recently returned to the heavyweight division and a potential fight between the two could produce fireworks.
Parisian’s next fight: William Knight
The Brazilian got back into the win column after back-to-back losses to top Lightweight contenders. The Contender Series alum hasn’t had the easiest of rides in his UFC tenure, however, he may have earned himself a ranked opponent next after his first round submission victory. Early in the fight, Moises managed to get the fight against the cage, subsequently jumping on the back of Giagos, only needing to sink in one arm under the chin of the 32-year-old, tapping him out.
Guram Kutateladze came up short against Damir Ismagulov at UFC Austin, and a fight between the “Georgian Viking” and Moises makes a whole lot of sense. The time works out well also.
Moises’ next fight: Guram Kutateladze
The Bantamweight division gets deeper and deeper by the week. Not only did Umar Nurmagomedov move to 15-0, but he did it in pretty flawless fashion against a tough opponent. There was never any doubt in Umar’s ability to out-wrestle his opponent, but there may have been a small question mark over his striking ability. During his bout with Maness, he exhibited that he will also likely hold an advantage on the feet against several top Bantamweight contenders.
The Russian was set to enter the home territory of Jack Shore back in March, however the bout fell through. With the Welsh contender set to face Ricky Simon in mid July, a bout between Nurmagomedov and the winner of the aforementioned fight may be on the horizon.
Nurmagomedov’s next fight: Winner of Ricky Simon vs. Jack Shore
“The Action Man” made it three wins in three UFC fights on Saturday night with another tremendous performance, this time against Jiu-Jitsu specialist Rodolfo Vieira. Curtis’ investment in body strikes paid off for him over 15 minutes, as after the first 10 minutes, Vieira began to visibly tire. In 20 takedown attempts, Vieira failed to complete a single one, with Curtis showing excellent takedown defence throughout. Despite him being behind after the first five minutes due to being second in the striking exchanges, he made the adjustments through rounds two and three, getting the win via unanimous decision.
In his first three fights under the UFC banner, Chris Curtis has fought and beat some stiff competition, and in some cases in emphatic fashion. With the Middleweight division being stacked from top to bottom, Curtis has shown he is able to hang with the upper echelon of the division. Although Joaquin Buckley is also coming off the back of a great win himself and has called for a fight with training partner Curtis, former champion Chris Weidman is also looking to get back into competition before the year is out, after recovering from a brutal leg break. A fight between Weidman and Curtis makes sense from all angles.
Curtis’ Next Fight: Chris Weidman