The main event of UFC Vegas 65 was canceled in the middle of the card due to Derrick Lewis’ illness, one of the most short-notice cancellations in recent history. The UFC accordingly placed the co-main event between Kennedy Nzechukwu and Ion Cutelaba as the card’s new main event.
As the new headliner, Nzechukwu scored a knockout victory over Cutelaba in the second round. Today we will be looking at what is next for the men and women who fell short at UFC Vegas 65.
Cutelaba is now 1-5-1 in the last two years and is it desperate need of a win in his next fight. His flashy fighting style should buy him an extra some extra leeway with the company meaning he should get another shot to turn things around. In his next fight, he should be looking to fight someone who is willing to stand and brawl with him.
Alonzo Menifield is on a two-fight win streak knocking out Askar Mozharov and Misha Cirkunov is his last two fights. Ten of his 13 wins are by knockout and he is 6-3 in the UFC. Menifield is rising in the light heavyweight division and would make for a great matchup for someone looking to keep their job like Cutelaba.
Cutelaba’s next fight: Alonzo Menifield
Chase Sherman lost a decision to Waldo Cortes-Acosta this past weekend. Sherman was recently re-signed to the UFC in April for a short notice fight against Alexander Romanov. Prior to that fight he went 1-3 in the UFC and was released from the company. His last contract was for four fights so we should assume that his current contract is probably also for four fights meaning he has one more fight remaining. Since his return he is 1-2 only beating Jared Vanderaa by knockout in July.
Austen Lane won a UFC contract on the Contender Series back in September with a TKO win over Richard Jacobi. Lane is 8-2 since losing to Greg Hardy in his first appearance on DWCS in 2018. 11 of his 12 wins are by knockout and all three of his losses are by knockout. This is a guy that lives or dies by the sword. That is what makes him perfect for Sherman’s next fight. Sherman has a boxing background and does his best work when he can sit in the pocket and strike with his opponent.
Sherman’s next fight: Austen Lane
Andre Fialho was knocked out by Muslim Salikhov at UFC Vegas 65, well technically. Frankly, Fialho would just not go down, and the ref waved it off on the feet. The fight was back and forth and Fialho landed some good shots but untimely got taken down a few times and was having trouble dealing with the kicks of Salikhov. This loss puts him on a two fight losing streak and makes him 2-3 in the UFC. He is 16-6-1 as a professional with 17 of his fights ending by KO. Making him an exciting fighter that will always be around to beef up some Vegas cards in the future.
Tim Means is also coming off back-to-back losses against Kevin Holland and Max Griffin. Means is tough as nails and is always down to stand and bang. He has 19 wins by knockout but has only been knocked out in two of his 14 losses. Fighting Tim Means would be great for Fialho’s popularity and would give him a chance to get a win over a UFC vet.
Fialho’s next fight: Tim Means
Danny Roberts can be considered the first step up for Jack Della Maddalena, and he passed that test with flying colors. Roberts is a 13-fight UFC veteran, with a 7-6 record who has lost back-to-back fights for the second time in his career.
All is not lost for Roberts, who will hopefully get a return day on an expected London card in the first quarter of next year. As for who he should face, how about another top prospect? Things didn’t go well against JDM; Roberts can try to redeem himself against Ireland’s Ian Garry.
Roberts’ next fight: Ian Garry
The Charles Johnson vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov fight was bumped up to the UFC Vegas 65 main card due to the loss of Lewis vs. Spivac, and Johnson came away from the bout with his first UFC win. Not everyone was on board with the scores in the split decision fight, but a win is a win — and for Zhumagulov, a loss is another heartbreaking loss.
This one led to his retirement. Zhumagulov announced the news on social media, citing several decisions not going his way as his reason for hanging up the gloves.
Zhumagulov’s next fight: none (retired)