What’s Next: UFC Vegas 59 Winners

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Jamahal Hill, UFC Vegas 59
Jamahal Hill, UFC Vegas 59 weigh-in Credit: Alex Behunin/Cageside Press

On the lead up to UFC Vegas 59, there wasn’t a whole lot of anticipation for the card as a whole, partly due to the promotion returning to the Apex for the 13th time this year. It wasn’t an unlucky number 13 though, as the event succeeded expectation exponentially, with all 10 fights finishing inside the distance.

It marked only the 2nd time in eight years that a UFC card involved all finishes, with the first being UFC Fight Night 55 in Sydney. Sam Alvey found himself involved on that card too, but he came away from that one with the first round finish, not being finished in the first round.

Let’s take a look at what could be next for the winners of the night.

Jamahal Hill

“Sweet Dreams” Hill was entering what was his seventh official UFC bout. The Contender Series alumni had accumulated four finishes in that time, though his first round win against Klidson Abreu was overturned after testing positive for Marijuana. On the flip side, Thiago Santos was coming in off the back of a loss to perennial contender, Magomed Ankalaev, and stood as one of Hill’s toughest tests so far.

Santos’ game-plan became apparent early on as he looked to get the fight to the cage and subsequently to the mat at almost every opportunity, to stay away from Hill’s high level striking. He managed to do that up until midway through round four when he found himself trading big shots with Hill, eating a big right hand that dropped him. Some heavy ground-and-pound from Hill gave Herb Dean enough reason to call the fight, with Jamahal Hill making it three in a row.

With it recently announced that Volkan Oezdemir will fight Nikita Krylov, and with Anthony Smith and Aleksandar Rakic both having suffered lengthy leg injuries, there aren’t a whole lot of options for Hill fighting up the rankings. For what it’s worth, I believe Hill may wait to see how the top of the division plays out with it likely Glover Teixeira and champ Jiri Prochazka will meet again, with the assumption that Jan Blachowicz and Ankalaev will fight for number one contention. Dominick Reyes lies as the only top level competition who may be looking for a comeback fight.

Hill’s Next Fight: Dominick Reyes

Geoff Neal

“Handz of Steel” Neal might’ve looked the best he’s ever looked after taking an eight month lay-off. Vicente Luque had not been finished in over seven years in the UFC and then up steps Geoff Neal.

Despite the top of the division being booked up, this fight still had heavy implications for how the division may play out. With the Texas native looking flawless in his performance, even after slowing up in the second round, he came out in round three with a point to prove, showing the rest of the division that he’s not here to just take up a ranking.

After the perfect performance, Neal came locked and loaded with a name on the tip of his tongue. That name being, Gilbert Burns. A fight that makes a lot of sense with Gilbert coming off a loss to Chimaev, but it looks as though Gilbert has eyes elsewhere. Burns has made it clear he wants to dance with Masvidal, telling Neal that if that doesn’t come to fruition, he’ll grant Geoff his wish.

Neal’s Next Fight: Gilbert Burns

Mohammed Usman

Mohammed Usman followed in his older brother’s footsteps, being crowned The Ultimate Fighter 30 winner after a picture perfect knockout of Zac Pauga.

Round one didn’t go the Nigerian’s way as Pauga was moving well and landing the shots he wanted, whilst being able to evade the big shots coming his way. But just 36 seconds after round two began, Pauga found himself eating a short left hook that switched his lights off in an instant.

There’s no doubt that Usman isn’t going to be a fighter that makes huge waves in a heavyweight division that needs waves, but the newcomer will definitely bring some excitement. Josh Parisian could be a good challenge for Usman in his first fight under the banner.

Usman’s Next Fight: Josh Parisian

Juliana Miller

Another fighter who found themselves lifting the TUF trophy was Juliana Miller. Despite being the least experienced woman on the show, “Killer” Miller found herself as the one signing on the dotted lines of a UFC multi-fight contract.

A woman who is recently coming off a decision loss is Mandy Bohm, and a bout between the two could make a lot of sense.

Miller’s Next Fight: Mandy Bohm

Sergey Spivak

“The Polar Bear” Spivak managed to make it back-to-back victories, impressively defeating Augusto Sakai. The Moldovan’s last loss came by way of the impressive Tom Aspinall, who is considered a future champion by many, making that loss not look all so bad on Spivak’s record.

There are a few options for the 27-year-old and his next outing, some that may make more sense than others. One I like the sound of is Spivak vs. Ivanov, however, you could also make a case for Spivak vs. Daukaus. Either bout would be guaranteed fireworks, but I’m leaning more towards the aforementioned Ivanov.

Spivak’s Next Fight: Blagoy Ivanov 

Terrance McKinney

The ever improving Terrance McKinney came out and impressed once again. The Contender Series standout was once again sharing the card with the headliner, Jamahal Hill, with this being the third card they’ve shared, with the first two being a Dana White Contender Series card and UFC 263.

Despite sailing to another first round submission, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 27-year-old. Although McKinney was doing the better work, he did find himself being rocked by a huge shot early on. He managed to eat the shot and stay on his feet, shortly after finding himself on Gonzalez’ back, sinking in back-to-back rear-naked chokes.

McKinney called for “The Baddy” in his Octagon interview, but I doubt that’s a fight the UFC makes right now, as much as it makes sense. Another fight that the fans could be the beneficiaries of is McKinney vs. Jamie Mullarkey.

McKinney’s Next Fight: (If the UFC don’t want to match him and Paddy “The Baddy” up) Jamie Mullarkey

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