What’s Next: UFC Vegas 59 Losers

Thiago Santos, UFC Vegas 59
Thiago Santos, UFC Vegas 59 Credit: Alex Behunin/Cageside Press

UFC Vegas 59 was a historic night, as the judges were not needed all night long. This was only the tenth time in UFC history where every fight of the night ended in a finish, and just the second time in the modern era. In the main event, Jamahal Hill got a TKO win over Thiago Santos in the fourth round. Today we will be looking into what is next for the losers of UFC Vegas 59.

Thiago Santos

Thiago Santos is 1-5 in his last six fights and should be looking to turn it around in his next fight. In 2018 Santos finished Anthony Smith in a two-round war in the middleweight division. Smith is coming off a loss and would love the chance to get a win over a guy like Santos in his next fight. Now, with both of them ranked in the top ten of the light heavyweight division, it is time we see that rematch at a higher weight class.

Santos’ next fight: Anthony Smith 

Vicente Luque

Vicente Luque was finished via strikes for the first time in his career this past weekend. He was insanely tough to put away, but Geoff Neal landed some heavy shots that eventually finished Luque in the third and final round. Luque is now 4-2 in his last six fights but he is currently on a two-fight losing streak. This loss will likely knock him outside the top ten of the division and he should be looking for a big fight that can get him back in the win column.

Neil Magny is 2-1 in his last three fights and is coming off a submission loss to Shavat Rakhmonov in his last fight. Magny’s grappling style and improved striking makes for a great stylistic match-up for Luque. The fight makes sense for both men especially because they have both been with the company for a long time and have managed to not fight each other yet.

Luque’s next fight: Neil Magny 

Augusto Sakai

Augusto Sakai was dominated by Sergey Spivak at UFC Vegas 59. Spivak was able to finish Sakai in the second round after landing a few takedowns and some powerful ground and pound. Sakai is now on a four-fight losing streak after going 4-0 in the UFC prior to that. In his next fight, Sakai should be looking to get back in the win column against a young up-and-comer.

At UFC 279 next month, newcomer, Jailton Almeida will be taking on UFC veteran Shamil Abdurakhimov. Both fights make sense for Sakai for different reasons. If Sakai was to fight Almeida it would solidify that he is still capable of beating young beasts in the heavyweight division. While a fight with Abdurakhimov would be a “fight for your job” type of situation. Abdurahimov is on a three-fight losing streak and if he losses to Almedia it would make four in a row.

Sakai’s next fight: Loser of Almeida versus Abdurakhimov 

Erick Gonzalez

Erick Gonzalez was submitted by Terrance McKinney in the first round of their lightweight bout at UFC Vegas 59. Gonzalez is now 0-2 in the UFC and needs a win in his next fight if he wants to keep fighting for the UFC. He has had a pretty tough run in the UFC fighting veteran Jim Miller, and now McKinney who is one of the best young finishers in the division. In his next fight, Gonzalez should be fighting another UFC newcomer.

Chris Duncan and Charlie Campbell put on a show at last week’s contender series main event. Campbell rocked Duncan early and Duncan came back to knock Campbell out in the first round. Both of these men will be great additions to the UFC’s lightweight division and Duncan should fight Gonzalez in his UFC debut.

Gonzalez’s next fight: Chris Duncan 

Brogan Walker and Zac Pauga

It’s a bit difficult to do any real matchmaking for Brogan Walker and Zac Pauga, because it’s unclear whether the UFC will actually sign the TUF 30 runner-ups. While that has happened in past seasons (Uriah Hall lost in the TUF 17 finale to Kelvin Gastelum, for example), we’ll have to wait and see whether they get an immediate shot in the big show, or need to work their way back.


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