The UFC Octagon touched down in San Antonio, Texas, this past weekend with top bantamweights headlining the UFC San Antonio card in what was an unofficial title elimination bout.
Cory Sandhagen and Marlon “Chito” Vera were the two men in question, with the aforementioned Sandhagen being the one with his hand raised at the end of the five round clinic.
Let’s take a look at what could be next for the winners of the night.
This past Saturday, Cory Sandhagen put on a career best performance over the dangerous Marlon Vera.
Coming off the back of a win over the powerful Song Yadong, Sandhagen was going into another bout with an extremely powerful striker in Vera. The 30-year-old started the fight off on the front foot, as expected, with Vera taking the slow approach that has caused him to fall behind previously. That was the case again this time out for “Chito,” as Sandhagen’s pace didn’t show any signs of letting up, and the variance of strikes made it difficult for Vera to work his way into the fight.
Sandhagen dominated his way to a decision victory, but one in which was controversial as one of the judges disgustingly scored Vera as the winner. Luckily, the egregious scorecard didn’t cause the result to sway from the correct one, and Sandhagen was victorious.
With his time on the mic, Sandhagen called for a fight with the recently impressive, Merab Dvalishvili. That’s a fight that could make sense for both, as Merab won’t be fighting for a title while Sterling is still on the throne.
Sandhagen’s Next Fight: Merab Dvalishvili
“The Preachers Daughter” Holly Holm returned to the win column after a truly dominant victory over kickboxer Yana Santos.
In this fight, Holm totted up over nine minutes of control time, noticing the weakness in Santos’ game and using that to her advantage. Throughout the 15 minutes, Holm secured four takedowns, landing at a 66% success rate.
The 41-year-old now finds herself in a slightly weird spot as the women’s bantamweight division is crying out for decent talent. Holm has just recently signed a new six-fight-deal with the promotion, and is trying to work herself back up to a title fight.
There are many matchups that just don’t make sense for her though, as she is currently occupying rank number three. The only thing that makes the slightest bit of sense for her at the moment is a rematch with Ketlen Vieira as their first bout ended in a split decision.
Holm’s Next Fight: Ketlen Vieira
Nate “The Train” rolled through to San Antonio this weekend and on its way, picked up another win.
Landwehr was originally scheduled to take on Alex Caceres, but the latter pulled out of the bout just weeks prior to their scheduled date. Austin Lingo stepped in on short notice though, as he was scheduled to face Ricardo Ramos just a few weeks ago at UFC Las Vegas, but Ramos pulled out.
Landwehr extended his win streak to three wins on the bounce, continuing his rise up the division. Since his move from M1, the brawler has quickly become a fans favourite.
Having said that, Landwehr has earned himself a fight with someone inside the top 15 of the rankings. Alex Caceres occupies a ranked spot and with that fight having already been scheduled, it still makes sense.
Landwehr’s Next Fight: Alex Caceres
Controversial scoring in the main event wasn’t the only occasion on Saturday. Maycee Barber picked up a split decision win over Andrea Lee, with the majority of fans believing Lee had done enough to win the fight.
In my opinion, Barber herself did enough to win what was a close fight, and there was some agreement on social media that that was the case too. Therefore, I think it is unfair for this fight to be labelled a ‘robbery’ as it has been by some.
Having said that, with this going down as a controversial decision, it leaves Barber in a strange spot for her next fight.
Lauren Murphy is coming off a beatdown by Jessica Andrade; a fight with Barber could make sense for both parties.
Barber’s Next Fight: Lauren Murphy
The Russian, Duraev, picked up his second win since joining the promotion in 2021. In this outing, he showed his well roundedness against a dangerous competitor in Chidi Njokuani.
In the first round, he secured himself two takedowns accumulating just over three minutes of control time, nullifying dangerous powerful striking of Njokuani. However, in round two, the 34-year-old didn’t attempt any takedowns and instead decided to showcase his skills on the feet, sailing to a split decision victory.
Gregory Rodrigues is someone who is more often than not, in exciting fights. A matchup between these two men could be fun.
Duraev’s Next Fight: Gregory Rodrigues
Daniel “The Pit” Pineda caused the biggest upset win of the night with his victory over Tucker Lutz.
With that, he picked up his 19th win by submission, showing where the threats lie when facing off against him. Getting the win in his home state, Pineda scored his most impressive victory so far.
Isaac Dulgarian is someone who was scheduled to make his UFC debut at the start of the year, but unfortunately his bout fell through. Daniel Pineda could be someone to welcome him to the big leagues.
Pineda’s Next Fight: Isaac Dulgarian