What’s Next: UFC Vegas 71 Winners

UFC Vegas 71 - Sergei Pavlovich
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 22: Sergei Pavlovich of Russia reacts after his TKO victory over Curtis Blaydes in a heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on April 22, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Heavyweight Sergei Pavlovich continued his winning ways at UFC Vegas 71, earning another first-round stoppage, this time at the expense of the out-gunned Curtis Blaydes. Bruno Silva picked up the biggest win of his career in the co-main event, meanwhile, while a much-anticipated lightweight fight ended early due to a No Contest.

Here’s what could come next for the night’s big winners.

Sergei Pavlovich

Pavlovich got undeniably the biggest win of his career at UFC Vegas 71 when he took out fourth-ranked Curtis Blaydes in the first round for his sixth straight first round knockout. Pavlovich entered the fight ranked third at heavyweight in the UFC, and the only thing keeping him from a title shot now is the potentially upcoming Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic bout.

Even though Stipe has not competed since he lost his belt to Francis Ngannou in March 2021 he has been rumored to be getting the next title shot. Whether or not the fight is deserved is up for debate; Miocic is the consensus greatest heavyweight of all time and a fight against the greatest light heavyweight of all time in Jones is massive. However, Pavlovich has put together a much stronger recent resume and has not been inactive for two years. If negotiations fall through for Miocic vs. Jones then Pavlovich would be the clear choice to step in. If not, then he should face the winner of that title fight.

Pavlovich’s Next Fight: Winner of Jones vs Miocic

Bruno Silva

Bruno ‘Blindado’ Silva snapped his two-fight losing streak in the UFC Vegas 71 co-main event against Brad Tavares when he earned the biggest victory of his career by first round TKO. Silva had lost to now-former champ Alex Pereira and then Gerald Meerschaert in his last two after winning his first three UFC bouts. Now the result against Tavares, a staple of the 185-lb division for years on end, puts Silva right in contention for a ranked opponent soon.

Coming up soon are a few other fights which have implications at the fringe of the middleweight rankings, including Michal Oleksiejczuk vs Caio Borralho, Edmen Shahbazyan vs ‘Fluffy’ Hernandez, and Ikram Aliskerov vs Phil Hawes. The winner of any of those matchups would make a great deal of sense for ‘Blindado,’ but the best choice is perhaps the winner of Oleksiejczuk vs Borralho. Michal is a devastating puncher, like Silva, while Borralho presents an interesting grappling style that will test most middleweights. Either one would make a great fight for Bruno Silva.

Silva’s Next Fight: Winner of Oleksiejczuk vs Borralho

Bobby Green & Jared Gordon

The fight between Bobby Green and Jared Gordon ended in a no-contest at UFC Vegas 71 after Bobby lunged in with a left hand, missed, and clashed heads with Gordon, knocking Jared to the ground. After the fight was stopped, initially as a TKO for Green, the referee and review official got together and discovered the foul which caused the fight to be called as a no-contest.

It was an extremely unfortunate incident as both Green and Gordon must feel cheated in some way, but the most reasonable thing to do now for both men is to rematch at the earliest available opportunity, as is common after no-contests and draws.

Green and Gordon’s Next Fight: Green vs Gordon 2

Iasmin Lucindo

Lucindo’s sophomore effort in the UFC was successful as she dominated Ultimate Fighter finalist Brogan Walker for fifteen minutes at UFC Vegas 71 en route to a decision victory. It may not have been the ‘Fight of the Night’ that her debut against Yazmin Jauregui was, but the youngest female fighter in the UFC got in the win column in the talent-rich strawweight division. Now the twenty-one year old looks to build a resume that will one day see her challenge for a belt, but prospects like this generally should be started slowly as they have about a decade to get to the peak of the sport.

Accordingly, an unranked fighter like Sam Hughes or Montserrat Ruiz who have about a .500 winning rate in the UFC would make the most sense. Sam Hughes just got a win over another hyped-up prospect in Jacqueline Amorim, so perhaps Ruiz – who has not fought since 2021 – makes more sense for Lucindo’s next bout.

Lucindo’s Next Fight: Montserrat Ruiz

Jeremiah Wells

Philly’s own Jeremiah Wells got a tight victory over Matthew Semelsberger to kick off the main card at UFC Vegas 71. Despite getting hurt and dropped in the first and second rounds each, Wells was able to utilize his wrestling and physical gifts to control his opponent and to deal enough damage to Semelsberger to win on two of the judge’s scorecards. Wells now improves to an impressive 4-0 in the UFC and must be nearing the rankings with names like Semelsberger, Warlley Alves, and Court McGee on his resume.

Thus far, Wells has faced mainly strikers or well-rounded martial artists, no grappling specialists. Now might be the time to test him with one who has been in the top-15 at welterweight themselves, such as Gunnar Nelson. ‘Gunni’ took three years off after losing to Gilbert Burns but returned in 2022 and picked up two victories on the bounce. His latest, an armbar over Bryan Barbarena, has him in pole position for a ranked opponent if he can get past the test that is Wells, and the same is true for Jeremiah.

Wells’ Next Fight: Gunnar Nelson


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here