UFC Vegas 63 this past weekend didn’t have the sort of finish capping off the night that anyone wanted to see. Instead of a bang, the main event ended with a fizzle as Calvin Kattar injured his knee late in the first round (and then marched out for the second despite his corner being aware of the injury, and the cageside doc giving him what amount to a single-question survey on his well-being).
On the flipside, the fight goes down as a win for Arnold Allen — so where does the Brit and the other big winners from Saturday night go next?
Although it may not have ended exactly how he wanted it to, Arnold Allen beat Calvin Kattar in UFC Vegas 63’s main event and showed that he can hang with the elite of the division by out-striking Kattar even before the injury. Undefeated in the UFC and now on a ten-fight winning streak in the promotion, Allen has clearly earned at the very least a number one contender fight. However, with the champion planning to move up to lightweight to fight Islam Makhachev in 2023, the time seems right for the Brit to get his first title shot and face fellow streaking contender Josh Emmett for an interim belt. Even if the UFC decides that an interim belt is not the play to make, Allen against Emmett is still the fight to make to determine the number one contender and next title challenger.
Allen’s Next Fight: Josh Emmett
On Saturday, Max Griffin rebounded from his loss against the top-15 ranked Neil Magny by beating veteran Tim Means. Almost no one outside of the rankings has had as tough of a UFC schedule as Griffin since his debut in 2016 against Colby Covington. Since then, he has fought the likes of Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos, Mike Perry, Curtis Millender, Thiago Alves, Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira, Carlos Condit, and the aforementioned Magny. Due to this, his 7-7 record in the UFC is much more impressive than it seems at first glance. Another dynamic fighter on the verge of a ranking is ‘Khaos’ Williams and he would make a perfect opponent for Max Griffin in a fight that would be sure to entertain.
Griffin’s Next Fight: ‘Khaos’ Williams
Cortes-Acosta beat fellow DWCS veteran Jared Vanderaa on Saturday night in a close fight. The former baseball player had difficulty with defending low kicks and stifling the movement of Vanderaa but was still able to maintain his perfect record and pick up his first UFC victory.
A logical next opponent for Waldo would be the always entertaining and highly personable Chris ‘Beast Boy’ Barnett, who picked up his second UFC win against Jake Collier recently. The two big men would be sure to put together an entertaining fight and as an added bonus, both have an affinity for dancing in the cage; Barnett is known for break dancing after wins and during walkouts while Cortes-Acosta showed off some salsa dancing skills against Vanderaa.
Cortes-Acosta’s Next Fight: Chris Barnett
‘The Ultimate Fighter’ veteran Tresean Gore, who earned a spot in the finals of the show’s 29th season but unfortunately had to pull out with an injury, picked up his first UFC win at UFC Vegas 63 after losing his first two efforts in the promotion. At only 28-years of age with only six pro fights under his belt, Gore has all the time in the world to put together a run towards the rankings, but for now should be booked against fellow entertaining fighters who are still trying to round out their games. Enter Denis Tiuliulin. Tiuliulin picked up his first UFC win with a violent knockout of Jamie Pickett at UFC 279 and would be a perfect opponent to test Tresean against as he looks to figure out his identity as a fighter.
Gore’s Next Fight: Denis Tiuliulin
Khalil Rountree Jr.
The always entertaining Khalil Rountree picked up his third win in a row at UFC Vegas 63, this time against a former GLORY kickboxer as he beat Dustin Jacoby by split decision in an absolute war.
Jacoby came into the fight ranked 13th in the world, so Rountree should see a ranking next to his name on Tuesday despite the somewhat controversial nature of the decision. A good fellow ranked opponent for Khalil to fight would be former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir, who just dropped a decision to Nikita Krylov at UFC 280. Oezdemir, ranked 10th in the world, would present a compelling striking match-up for a Muay Thai specialist in Rountree and the two fighter’s timelines match up, having fought their last fight only a week apart from each other.
Rountree’s Next Fight: Volkan Oezdemir