What’s Next: UFC Vegas 76 Losers

Abus Magomedov UFC
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 01: (R-L) Abus Magomedov of Russia punches Sean Strickland in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on July 01, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

UFC Vegas 76 was a great night for Sean Strickland, and a not-go-great night for the little known Abus Magomedov, who was a surprise choice to face Strickland in a middleweight main event. Strickland is now calling for a title shot, and for Magomedov, it’s back to the drawing board.

Abus Magomedov

Abusipuyan Magomedov took on a tall order when he tried to beat the seventh ranked middleweight in the UFC, Sean Strickland, as an unranked challenger in his second UFC fight. Still, Abus did not seem ready for the spotlight, gassing out and giving in to the Strickland boxing onslaught in the second round.

There are a number of unranked middleweights who Abus is more ready to face. He should be treated like any 1-1 UFC middleweight. What opponent would be better, then, than fellow UFC Vegas 76 main card participant Brunno Ferreria, who also is 1-1 in the UFC currently. Both got knocked out on the same night and so their respective availabilities could well dovetail in the coming months.

Magomedov’s Next Fight: Brunno Ferreira

Damir Ismagulov

This may well have been the last fight of Ismagulov’s career. He retired after his last fight, a loss to strong wrestler Arman Tsarukyan, but came back, with mentions of this being the last fight on his UFC contract. If Damir fights again, and in the UFC, he should serve as a test for a rising unranked contender after two clear losses in a row.

The winner of Ludovit Klein vs Ignacio Bahamondes will be such a contender, with this fight representing a fourth consecutive fight unbeaten for either man. Both are exciting striker types, too, giving Damir another look after facing two wrestling-heavy attacks in a row and giving the fans a bout they would look forward to seeing.

Ismagulov’s Next Fight: Retirement OR Winner of Klein/Bahamondes

Max Griffin

Griffin was in an unenviable position on Saturday, fighting a fast-rising, undefeated knockout artist in Michael Morales at UFC Vegas 76. He tested the Ecuadorian, giving him problems at times and taking the fight the full fifteen minutes, but in the end it was Morales who won a comfortable decision.

Griffin is now 1-2 in his last three. However, one could also look at it as 5-2 in his last seven. He may not be in immediate contention to be ranked, but the fifteen fight UFC veteran is not too far away from the rankings and can have a good fight with any other unranked welterweight.

One other welterweight on a two fight losing streak, one who was in the rankings going into his last two fights, is Daniel Rodriguez. ‘D-Rod’ lost to Neil Magny (as did Griffin) and Ian Garry to fall from ranked grace. A fight between these two would be the ultimate proving ground, as one starts to free-fall and the other is right back in the mix at 170lbs.

Griffin’s Next Fight: Daniel Rodriguez

Melissa Gatto

Melissa Gatto lost a close split decision to Ariane Lipski in an entertaining contest at 125lbs. Gatto has now lost two in a row after jumping out to an undefeated 8-0 record. However everyone takes losses in the UFC, and she also has two knockout wins in the promotion.

Another fighter who has lost two in a row after starting hot in the UFC is Mariya Agapova. The Kazakh fighter has a high octane striking style that has left her gassed out in the past. Gatto is a good test for her in that realm as she is in the striking realm for Melissa.

Gatto’s Next Fight: Maryia Agapova

Ismael Bonfim

The elder Bonfim brother was one of the most highly touted lightweight prospects in the world after his UFC debut against Terrance McKinney, but he fell flat against well-rounded athlete Benoit St. Denis at UFC Vegas 76. Bonfim will have to shore up some aspects of his game, particularly his grappling defense, in order to live up to the potential many saw in him.

A good test of his grappling, albeit one perhaps less stiff than St. Denis, is Christos Giagos, a fighter who is 6-6 in the UFC and has been a test for many a young lightweight fighter. Giagos is coming off of a knockout win over Ricky Glenn and deserves a higher profile match-up next time out.

Bonfim’s Next Fight: Christos Giagos

Brunno Ferreira

Brunno ‘The Hulk’ Ferreira lost at his own game on Saturday as he stood and traded with Nursolton Riziboev and was knocked from the realms of consciousness. At risk of repetition, Ferreira now stands at 1-1 in the UFC after losing his undefeated mark. The win over Gregory Rodrigues, however, carries more weight than that record may suggest.

The same could be said of Abus Magomedov’s reputation and his record, due to the spotlight the UFC put on him with the UFC Vegas 76 main event slot and his spectacular debut knockout. It only makes sense to pair the two together for a thrilling fight.

Ferreira’s Next Fight: Abusipuyan Magomedov