The UFC returned to the Apex for the second time this year this past Saturday, with another Fight Night Event. Middleweights, Nassourdine Imavov and Roman Dolidze faced off in the UFC Vegas 85 main event.
Despite only being used since 2020, the UFC Apex has now hosted 14% of UFC events, ever. This marked Imavov’s fourth fight in the Apex and Dolidze’s fifth.
Let’s take a look what could be next for the winners on the night.
The “Russian Sniper” returned to the win column with a majority decision win over the dangerous, Roman Dolidze.
His prior bout with Chris Curtis came to an unfortunate end, as the referee stopped the contest after an accidental clash of heads. The 27-year-old was then scheduled to fight Ikram Aliskerov at UFC 294, but he withdrew from the bout.
The MMA Factory product currently sits rank 11th in the 185lb division, but will likely take the Georgian’s rank 8 spot after the win.
The top of the middleweight division has been somewhat stagnating for what seems to be a while now. Fortunately, the majority of the fighters making up the top 8 are booked into fights. Jared Cannonier, who is currently ranked fourth, doesn’t have a dance partner.
It could make sense for Imavov’s next fight to be against “The Killer Gorilla,” as Cannonier will likely need another win before he fights for middleweight gold again.
Imavov’s Next Fight: Jared Cannonier
After a largely comprehensive performance from “Money” Moicano, one of the most bizarre, yet entertaining Octagon interviews ensued.
As advertised, Moicano vs Dober got messy throughout their 15 minute brawl at UFC Vegas 85. As soon as this fight was announced, it was being marked on the majority of people’s calendars, due to the fan favourite style of both lightweights.
The Brazilian had an extended time away from the Octagon as his most recent fight was back in November of 2022, where he impressively beat Brad Riddell in the first round of their UFC 281 bout.
He was then scheduled to fight Arman Tsarukyan in April last year, but he withdrew because of injury. The infectious 34-year-old finally returned this weekend, and ground out a tough win over the dogged, Dober.
A few days after his hard fought victory, Moicano has made it clear on social media that he wants Beneil Dariush next. That fight could make sense, depending on what Dariush’s next move is, following his loss to Arman Tsarukyan back in December.
Moicano’s Next Fight: Beneil Dariush
“Rudeboy” Randy Brown successfully rode the momentum of his last fight, coming in and knocking out Muslim Salikhov in the first round at UFC Vegas 85.
This win over Salikhov marked just his third win by TKO during his eight year UFC tenure. Despite that, the 33-year-old has put on a run of impressive performances throughout his 17 fight UFC career, and may now be ready for a fight inside the top 15.
Michael Chiesa is currently occupying rank 14, and that is a fight that could make a whole lot of sense. Failing that, even the rank 15, Rinat Fakhretdinov could be a valid dance partner for the “Rudeboy”.
Brown’s Next Fight: Michael Chiesa
The insanely impressive Natalia Silva extended her win streak to 11 this weekend, with her highest rank win thus far, coming against Viviane Araujo.
The Pingo d’Agua native has undoubtedly highlighted herself as a future title contender, and there won’t be many UFC flyweights putting their names in the hat to fight the striking specialist.
Despite having to fight the majority of the fight on her back foot, she was at no stage in danger of losing her win streak.
The name Maycee Barber has been thrown out there by some fans, however, she is currently scheduled to fight Katlyn Chookagian in March. Unfortunately for Silva, everyone ahead of her in the rankings is already booked.
Depending on how quickly the 27-year-old wants to return, she may find herself having to fight down the rankings to stay as active as possible. The only fighter beneath her that could make sense, is Tracy Cortez.
Natalia Silva’s Next Fight: Tracy Cortez
Aliaskhab Khizriev and Makhmud Muradov
Due to the unfortunate circumstance of this fight being declared a no contest, just 11 seconds into the first round, this fight should be re-booked.
Aliaskhab Khizriev and Makhmud Muradov: Rebook this fight for a later date
Opening up the UFC Vegas 85 main card with an emphatic win was the controversial Charles Radtke. Due to his on-mic antics in Australia at UFC 293, the fans were locked into this fight for their own reasons.
Radtke found a home for a blistering left hook late into round one, knocking Urbina out. What followed was a light-hearted yet strange Octagon interview with Cormier. That wasn’t the strangest part of “Chuck Buffalo’s” night though.
In his post fight press conference with the media, Radtke stated that he wanted payment for the post-fight media appearance he is contractually obliged to do, which resulted in an awkward silence and subsequently, no questions asked by the media.
The 33-year-old is clearly happy to lean into the heel persona he has created for himself, however, he may want to slow down with it. During his Octagon interview, he asked where Leon Edwards was at and proceeded to timidly call him out. Although it was likely a joke, it didn’t result in any laughs from the fans.
If a Brit is what he’s looking for, then why not Sam Patterson? Coming off the back of a first round submission of Yohan Lainesse and in his more natural weight class, Patterson could be a fun next fight for Radtke.
Radtke’s Next Fight: Sam Patterson