This past Saturday the UFC returned to the APEX for the fourth time this year, as light heavyweight contenders were set to collide in the UFC Vegas 70 main event.
Number six ranked, Nikita Krylov, was just moments away from taking on the number eight ranked, Ryan Spann, when the UFC broadcast team gave an update live-on-air that the aforementioned Krylov had to withdraw due illness, rumored to be food poisoning. “The Miner” made his way to the facility a few hours before his scheduled fight to receive fluids to try and overcome the issues he was having, but unfortunately he was pulled from his impending fight.
Although it was a main event that would likely not have done much for either fighter, it was still extremely unfortunate to lose one half of the main event due to illness. That fight has now been re-booked for the event on March 11th.
Let’s take a look at what could be next for the winners this past weekend.
Due to the scheduled main event falling apart, the UFC bumped the original co-main event of Andre Muniz vs Brendan Allen to the main event.
As it was late notice, the middleweight bout remained as a three round fight. With that, Brendan Allen went out and made the most of the situational spotlight. Before the bout, Andre Muniz was listed as rank 11 in the 185lb division, with Brendan Allen not occupying a ranked spot. Due to his impressive work though, the 27-year-old can expect to find a number next to his name come Tuesdays ranking update.
The consensus to many before the fight was that Muniz held a big advantage over Allen on the ground, with Allen possessing the cleaner more crisp striking of the two.
The striking exchanges between the two were extremely competitive and there wasn’t much separating either man. That was until the fight went to the ground. Quieting the naysayers, Allen managed to get to the back of the Brazilian Black-Belt and sunk in a rear-naked-choke that Muniz just couldn’t escape.
With Allen now likely to be matched up with a top 15 contender, there are a few options that I like the look of. Despite him having called for rematches with both Chris Curtis and Sean Strickland, it is Jack Hermansson that I’d most like to see defend his ranking.
Allen’s Next Fight: Jack Hermansson
The Brazilian, Sakai, snapped a four fight losing skid with his win over Don’Tale Mayes, and a win in which he impressed.
The powerful volume striking of Sakai proved too much for Mayes who somehow managed to hold on for 15 minutes. During the three round fight, Sakai landed 107 total strikes with 53 of them being of the significant variance. As well as that, he secured himself a takedown and controlled in the clinch, clocking up over eight minutes of control time.
With Sakai’s prior four losses all coming to top contenders, maybe he should be eased back into fighting heavyweights with a low number next to their name.
Number 13 ranked, Chris Daukaus, has been in a similar position. A fight between these two men could make sense for both parties next.
Sakai’s Next Fight: Chris Daukaus
One of the most anticipated comebacks this year came to fruition on Saturday night in what was the peoples’ main event. Not only that, but it was everything we expected from the returning Suarez.
With her coming into this fight at Flyweight, she made it clear at the Media Day on Wednesday, that she wanted to return to the 115lb division after this tune up fight. Due to her having been gone for just under four years, the top of the strawweight division has changed a lot, but this makes for even more exciting match-ups.
Depending on how fast she decides to come back, and to what calibre of opponent, means that there are a lot of options. As well as that, it depends on who the UFC decide is next to challenge the current champion, Zhang Weili. The likes of Tecia Torres, Polyana Viana and Amanda Lemos all make sense in their own ways.
The option I personally like the most, is Amanda Lemos, but as mentioned, it depends on which path the UFC decide to go down for Zhang Weili’s next fight.
Suarez’ Next Fight: Amanda Lemos
In a battle of Canadians, Mike Malott was the one who came out victorious, making him 2-0 in his short UFC tenure since winning on the Contender Series. Not only that, but he has exhibited his well roundedness in those two fights.
Selfishly, one fight I’d love to see next is Malott vs Michael Morales, as I think that could be an extremely fun match-up.
Malott’s Next Fight: Michael Morales