Brazilian bantamweight Mayra Bueno Silva was unquestionably the biggest winner at UFC Vegas 77, submitting Holly Holm in a possible changing of the guard moment. There were some other big winners as well — as far as the main card is concerned, here’s what could come next for them.
Mayra Bueno Silva
After the biggest victory of her career, over elder stateswoman of the division Holly Holm, Mayra Bueno Silva called out former champion Julianna Pena. Beating the third-ranked contender does absolutely put her on the shortlist for a shot at the vacant women’s bantamweight title alongside Pena and Raquel Pennington – and perhaps Ronda Rousey if rumors are to be believed.
Silva has now won four in a row since moving up from flyweight; 135-lbs is clearly the division for her. Still, Pennington is on a five-fight winning streak and has beaten more high-ranking contenders. But Silva is now just one win away. What better matchup for her, then, than the most recent title challenger, Irene Aldana? A win would put her in line for a shot at whoever wins the vacant belt in the next title fight.
Silva’s Next Fight: Irene Aldana
Jack Della Maddalena
Maddalena infuriated fans and his coaches alike by going for guillotines and ending up on bottom against Bassil Hafez in the UFC Vegas 77 co-main event. He eked out a split decision but it was far from comfortable, especially compared to his first four UFC fights, each of which he finished in the first round.
Hafez was only a short notice debutant and exposed some potentially massive holes in the hot prospect’s game. Jack was ranked fourteenth coming into the fight and before he goes further in the division he needs to have those holes truly tested. Enter Neil Magny. The owner of the most fights in UFC welterweight history has long been the traditional test for rising prospects. Jack Della Maddalena should be no different, and Magny’s wrestling should put him to the test.
Maddalena’s Next Fight: Neil Magny
Prado picked up his first UFC win by knocking out the knockout artist Ottman Azaitar. A spinning elbow and ground strikes got the job done, and now the twenty-one year old Argentinian fighter can look to the future, having proved himself at a high level.
Prado has a long ways to go at such a young age and should be built up slowly in the promotion to give him time to develop before hitting the upper echelon of lightweights. A good opponent for him at the mid-level of the lightweight division would be Loik Radzhabov. Radzhabov lost his last fight after winning his UFC debut, so he is 1-1 just like Prado. Prado would also get a chance to avenge his fellow countryman, Esteban Ribovics, who lost to Loik earlier this year.
Prado’s Next Fight: Loik Radzhabov
Jun Yong Park
‘The Iron Turtle’ has now won four straight fights, including three by finish, and seven of his last eight. That win streak ties him for second longest in the middleweight division. It is clearly time for the Korean brawler to dip his toes into facing ranked competition.
Most of the middleweights ranked tenth to fifteenth who are coming off of losses are already booked, but tenth ranked Jack Hermansson is not. Hermansson has lost two of his last three and he needs to give someone lower than him in the rankings a chance, like Park. Both men have well-rounded skillsets and the bout is competitive on paper.
Park’s Next Fight: Jack Hermansson
Norma Dumont is in a tricky spot. She has fought all but one of her UFC fights at 145-lbs but the women’s featherweight division is nearly empty and may be closing entirely now that Amanda Nunes has retired. Yet Dumont is calling for a title fight after her latest win. Who would she even face though? Is there anyone to face?
She is ranked thirteenth in the bantamweight division. The best option is not to have her fight in a non-existent division. We know she can make the cut to 135-lbs. She has now won three in a row, it makes sense for her to fight a fellow ranked contender, like Julia Avila, who is coming off of a win as well.
Dumont’s Next Fight: Julia Avila
‘The Black Wolf’ improved to 2-0 in the UFC with a second round stoppage of Terrance McKinney to open the UFC Vegas 77 main card. Sadykhov fought smart, weathering the storm of the explosive McKinney in the first round before reversing a takedown and choking him out in the second.
The Azerbaijani fighter who trains under Ray Longo has a bright future ahead of him. At twenty-nine years old he is entering his prime and should look to make a run at the rankings, where teammate Matt Frevola resides. Another well-rounded lightweight on a two-fight winning streak in the UFC is Rafa Garcia. At twenty-eight, Rafa is in a similar spot to Nazim and only one man can move on in the shark tank that is lightweight.
Sadykhov’s Next Fight: Rafa Garcia