What’s Next: UFC Atlantic City Losers

Erin Blanchfield, UFC Atlantic City
Erin Blanchfield, UFC Atlantic City ceremonial weigh-ins Credit: Jake Noecker/Cageside Press

Another week, another six-fight UFC main card and Fight Night that saw some extremely entertaining fights and a lot of finishes. Eight total finishes on UFC Atlantic City including three on the main card.

In the main event, a likely title eliminator for the UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship, in which contender Erin Blanchfield lost a unanimous decision to Manon Fiorot.

A few fighters will need to reevaluate where they fit into the elite crop of fighters and for some others where they fit into the organization as a whole.

Erin Blanchfield

Erin Blanchfield lost just her second professional MMA bout on Saturday night; her last one was to Tracy Cortez in February of 2019.

The 24-year-old’s six-UFC-fight unbeaten streak was snapped by Manon Fiorot and done so in a decisive manor as the youngster was shut down in many of aspects of her game but especially the striking department. 45-50 scores from all three judges.

Blanchfield’s UFC record boasts wins over the likes of fighters like: Miranda Maverick, JJ Aldrich, Jessica Andrade and Taila Santos.

Currently, UFC flyweight champion Alexa Grasso is coaching on The Ultimate Fighter: Season 32, opposite of former champ and #1 contender, Valentina Shevchenko. With Manon’s win over Blanchfield, it positions her to likely be next for a title shot.

However, due to TUF 32 filming, this fight could easily be delayed. A world where Manon has to defend her spot from the likes of Maycee Barber is not a far-fetched one, at all. If that ends up being the case Blanchfield would be out of her next fight.

Rose Namajunas would be a great back up opponent for Blanchfield as she just competed last Saturday at UFC Vegas 89. Namajunas won her fight last weekend against Amanda Ribas and lost a decision to Manon Fiorot in her flyweight debut. It’d be another high-level competitor for Blanchfield, in a former champion like Rose. Timelines would match up and they have similar fight results to a common opponent. (Both lost decisions to Manon)

Blanchfield’s next fight: Maycee Barber or Rose Namajunas 

Vicente Luque

Vicente Luque entered his fight at UFC Atlantic City with a #11 ranking in the UFC’s welterweight division. Luque was originally slated to take on #8 ranked UFC welterweight, Sean Brady on Saturday night. However, Brady would withdraw from the fight, leaving room for an unranked Joaquin Buckley to step up, in his place.

The worst thing that could happen for Luque Saturday night, happened, as he both lost and was finished by a fighter that didn’t have a ranking, while ranked.

Luque has kind of struggled as of late and has now only won three of his last four, although only faltering to elite level competition. Buckley became just the second fighter to finish Luque in his very-respectable 21-fight UFC career.

For Luque, I think it’s time to take the foot off of the throttle as far as the matchmaking is concerned. The result of this fight essentially moves Vicente out of the Top 15.

Luque has fought some very dangerous men and only lost to some of the best fighters. Luque lost a five-round fight against Belal Muhammad in 2022 and lost to Geoff Neal via a vicious third round stoppage later that year.

The only win Vicente has picked up since mid 2021 is against a nearly 39-year-old Rafael dos Anjos. A solid win, but not necessarily enough to move into the top 15 of the welterweight division currently.

Almost exactly one year ago, Li Jingliang pulled out of his bout with #15-ranked Michael Chiesa due to a spinal injury. “The Leech” had built momentum steadily and taken out some solid names like Elizeu Zaleski, Santiago Ponzinibbio and Muslim Salikhov.

It’d be a great fight to evaluate just exactly where each fighter is in their respective careers.

Luque’s next fight: Jingliang Li

Bruno Silva

This fight and finish would have a lot of controversy around it as both fighters especially Silva, suffered from eye pokes on multiple occasions.

The end of the fight would see Silva moving forward and striking with Weidman utilizing a long guard. Thats when the pokes would occur, so bad, that judges judged the fight as a whole. From a TKO to a unanimous decision win for Weidman.

With the loss on Saturday night, Silva has now lost five of his last six fights. Of course, some of those losses are against stiff competition including the current UFC light heavyweight champion, Alex Pereira, 23-5 fighter Brendan Allen and budding undefeated contender Shara Magomedov who now has a 12-0 record.

So, taking that into account, Andre Petroski would be a good next opponent for Silva. Petroski fought on the same card and lost to Jacob Malkoun. Andre is on a two-fight losing streak. Petroski and Bruno Silva both have a unanimous decision win over a common opponent in Wellington Turman.

And even though Petroski is 5-2 with the UFC this will be a step up for him as Silva has the experience.

Silva’s next fight: Andre Petroski

Sedriques Dumas

Dumas looked like he had a little trouble finding his opponent in his fight on Saturday night at UFC Atlantic City. Nursulton Ruziboev, Dumas’ opponent, is very experienced and has about as many wins in his lead up to fighting in the UFC, as Dumas does in his entire career.

The end of this fight would also not be without its share of controversy. Dumas fell victim to an open framing lead hand that brushed his face and poked his eye. Much like in the Weidman vs. Silva fight, this poke led to the finish.

Sedriques is now 2-2 with the UFC, with his other loss coming in his debut back in March of 2023. (Second round submission to Josh Fremd).

Dumas could have a solid opponent in the loser of Julian Marquez vs. Zach Reese fight. That fight is scheduled for June 8. Or, if either fighter falls out ahead of the bout, Dumas would be a solid replacement.

Marquez is a 2017 Contender Series project that is 3-3 with the UFC, has lost his last two fights and been plagued by injury. Reese is a 2023 Contender Series project that is 0-1 in the UFC with a loss to Cody Brundage. Dumas only has 12 pro fights so a fight against fight Julian or Marquez would be appropriate.

Dumas’ next fight:  Loser of Julian Marquez vs Zach Reese 

Bill Algeo

Algeo had not been finished in the UFC and was only finished two other times in his career, most recently in 2014 against Shane Burgos.

Bill had won four of his last five heading into UFC Atlantic City, only having lost a split decision to Andre Fili in September of 2019.

Truly a heart-breaking loss for Algeo. Last week, What’s Next: UFC Vegas 89 Losers article, mentioned that Billy Quarantillo not only has a win over a common opponent in Alexander Hernandez but also that the two were supposed to fight back in July of 2022.

Just so happened to work out that this fight would now be a perfect one to make and it’d make sense. Not to mention it will be a great fight as both fighters are very entertaining.

Algeo’s next fight: Billy Quarantillo

Rhys McKee

With the loss on Saturday night, Rhys McKee is now 0-4 in the UFC. To be incredibly fair to McKee, he has never missed weight, always fought hard and has taken on the likes of Khamzat Chimaev, Alex Morono, Ange Loosa and now, Chidi Njokuani. Very good competition and Chimaev was the only fighter to finish him.

Rhys was in the fight against Chidi early but then his striking output dropped off wildly in the second and third rounds. Rhys was also notably unsuccessful with his takedown attempts after the first round.

Njokuani did an excellent job of countering Rhys and his jab and towards the end of the bout McKee’s cardio was suffering badly (to be fair, so was his opponent’s).

It’s tough to come up with an opponent for McKee as regardless of the competition four losses is four losses. The loser of McKee’s next fight will most likely be cut.

A Contender Series fighter or another fighter that is looking to keep their roster spot would work best. AJ Fletcher would be a good fight as they both have lost a decision to Ange Loosa and Fletcher is 1-3 with the UFC.

McKee’s next fight: AJ Fletcher