After a week hiatus, the UFC returned to the Apex this past Saturday as two top Strawweight contenders went head to head in the main event of the evening at UFC Vegas 61.
With the event being behind closed doors, and only one specific very special guest being in attendance, the atmosphere throughout the week has been a strange and unique one at that. In hindsight, the event played out to be one that certainly deserved a live crowd.
Let’s take a look at what could be next for the losers of the night.
Coming into the weekend, Jiu-Jitsu specialist Mackenzie Dern occupied rank #5 of the strawweight division, while her opponent, Yan Xiaonan sat just one place below her. The consensus was that if Dern could manage to get the fight to the mat, which is something she struggles with quite often despite being a jiu-jitsu specialist, then she could control the fight in any way she wanted. Things didn’t go her way though. On a side note, over 10 UFC fights, Dern has only managed to accumulate a takedown percentage of just 11%.
The fight began with Yan being able to fight her own fight, using counter striking to maximum advantage. In a fight of polar opposite styles, this was key to how the rest of the fight played out. Midway through round two, Dern managed to unconventionally get the fight where she wanted it. Despite over a full minute of relenting ground-and-pound with some submission attempts sprinkled in, Xiaonan survived and got herself through the rest of the fight, winning a majority decision.
There is no denying that Mackenzie Dern is a world class talent, and being on the right side of 30, she still has time to fix some holes in her game. A camp where she focuses on her wrestling entries and figures out ways to get the fight to where she’s most dangerous is now imperative.
I’d like to see Dern fight the winner of the upcoming bout between Hill and Ducote.
Dern’s Next Fight: Winner of Angela Hill vs Emily Ducote
The ever aging Trinaldo stepped into the Octagon for the second time this year, as he took on Randy Brown. The fight went the way a lot of people expected, but Trinaldo stayed in the fight throughout. There were definitely times in the fight where Trinaldo looked dangerous, but never did he look to be close to getting Brown out of there.
After being in the promotion for 10 years now, and accumulating 26 fights, maybe it’s time for Trinaldo to think about his future in the sport. Having said that, as previously mentioned, Trinaldo still shows signs of being a dangerous fighter, and one that cannot be deterred.
A fun fight that could roll back the years is Trinaldo vs Matt Brown, and that would ultimately guarantee fireworks.
Trinaldo’s Next Fight: Matt Brown
There is no shame losing to Raoni Barcelos. The Brazilian exemplified how well rounded of a mixed martial artist he is, and unfortunately for Jones, he was the one on the receiving end of the complete performance.
With that being Jones’ third loss on the bounce, things are starting to get a bit nervy for the Guam native. Someone who shares a common ground with Jones is Tony Gravely. Both bantamweights have been defeated by Javid Basharat and both are looking to bounce back from their recent losses with a win. Why not match them up together to really see where they’re both at?
Jones’ Next Fight: Tony Gravely
Let’s have it right, there are far easier opponents to make your UFC debut against than Sodiq Yusuff. “Super” Sodiq saw his scheduled bout with Giga Chikadze fall through last week, and then subsequently struggled to find a late notice opponent for this card.
Up stepped “Shameless” Shainis, Cage Titans featherweight champion. What proceeded was nothing more than people expected. Shainis found himself locked into a deep guillotine after just 30 seconds of the opening bell, and couldn’t take anymore, with his UFC debut not going to plan — not surprisingly given it being on extremely late notice.
Another fighter who recently made his UFC debut with that also not going to plan is Jarno Errens. Have the two fight each other on a smaller UFC Fight Night card with the winner sticking around to fight another day, and the loser going back to the regional shows to further work on their craft.
Shainis’ Next Fight: Jarno Errens
Once again, the Russian found himself being out-wrestled for 15 minutes of a fight, highlighting the serious hole in his game that he needs to work on to be able to improve. In his four fights under the UFC banner, his opponents have all managed to score a takedown percentage of at least 60%, with Davis putting a 81% TD accuracy on the board this fight, only failing on two takedowns.
Borshchev has shown in his four UFC fights that he is a skilful opponent on the feet, however, as soon as his opponent shows some sort of poise in the grappling department, he crumbles. As a small consolation, Doug Crosby was the only one of three judges that deemed Borshchev to have won one round, scoring the second round in his favour.
The Canadian, Kyle Nelson, is a lightweight who no matter his opponent, he is going to come in and stand and bang. A fight between the two lightweights looking to taste victory again could be extremely exciting.
Borshchev’s Next Fight: Kyle Nelson