What’s Next: UFC Vegas 91 Winners

Alex Perez, UFC 271
Alex Perez, UFC 271 official weigh-in Credit: Dave Noseworthy/Cageside Press

The first card back for the UFC following the massive (and massively successful) UFC 300, UFC Vegas 91 had a tough act to follow. An Apex show was never going to live up to the milestone event that preceded it, but there was some solid action on Saturday’s main card in the end. As for the winners, where do they go next? Let’s take a look.

Alex Perez

After nearly four years without a win, Alex Perez got back on track in a big way, knocking out fifth-ranked Matheus Nicolau in UFC Vegas 91’s main event. Although currently ranked eighth after his recent loss to Mohammed Mokaev, the win against Nicolau will be reflected in the rankings update on Tuesday morning, when Perez will rise again.

Much of the division is not currently booked. After his big win, Perez should be able to fight someone ranked similarly to him, whereas before he was booked against #11 Tagir Ulanbekov. Remaking that fight would make sense, but a bout against Manel Kape would too, as Kape seeks to earn a title shot. Still, Kape has other options like Brandon Royval, Kai-Kara France, or Amir Albazi, so for now we will say Perez vs Ulanbekov will come next (though Nicolau also has history with Ulanbekov – see our loser’s matchmaker piece for more on that).

Perez’s next Fight: Tagir Ulanbekov

Bogdan Guskov

Uzbekistan’s Bogdan Guskov earned the biggest win of his career by knocking out eleventh-ranked UFC light-heavyweight Ryan Spann in this card’s co-main event. Guskov will now enter the top fifteen after only his third UFC fight.

Several of the fighters ranked around him are already booked, but he could face the loser of Smith vs Petrino, Hill vs Rountree, or Menifield vs Ulberg. Anthony Smith vs Vitor Petrino takes place this week on Brazil, so the loser of that fight would likely be on a similar timeline to Guskov. It would be especially interesting if it is Smith, as him and Bogdan have been said to look eerily alike by many fans and pundits.

Guskov’s Next Fight: Loser of Smith/Petrino

Karine Silva

Brazil’s Karine Silva stayed perfect in the UFC with her toughest win yet, a decision over Ariane da Silva, née Lipski. She entered this fight ranked thirteenth after three straight first round submissions, and her ranking will only improve now as she continues to soar upwards after beating her first ranked opponent.

Karine will keep fighting up the rankings until she loses, and no opponent ranked higher than her makes more sense than #7 Kaitlyn Cerminara, née Chookagian. Kaitlyn has been one consistent of this division for the last several years, and many a future title contender has had to get through her on her way to the top. She also fought for the belt once herself, so she should not be underestimated as a tough, well-rounded veteran challenge for the up-and-comer.

Silva’s Next Fight: Kaitlyn Cerminara

Jhonata Diniz

Former GLORY kickboxer Jhonata Diniz had trouble with his opponent’s wrestling at first, but got into his groove in the second round and put Austen Lane to sleep with punches. His exciting, explosive striking could be a lot of fun at heavyweight if he can stay on his feet long enough to use it.

There are a lot of striking specialists at heavyweight to match Diniz up with next to make a fun fight and build him up slowly, but the one that makes the most sense is the man who did the same thing he did, KOed Austen Lane. Junior Tafa is an exciting but flawed striker who would be sure to put on a chaotic battle against Jhonata for as long as it lasts.

Diniz’s Next Fight: Junior Tafa

David Onama

A back and forth fight against Jonathan Pearce led to athletic knockout artist David Onama winning by decision for the first time in his MMA career. Showing new wrinkles is a good sign for the twenty-nine year old featherweight as he enters his prime.

Now on a two-fight winning streak with a 4-2 record in the UFC, Onama can expect a quality opponent next. Fighters on the fringe of being ranked who are available include Billy Quarantillo and Damon Jackson. Quarantillo is coming off a loss, but Jackson is coming off a win and is 5-2 since 2021. That would be a good fight.

Onama’s Next Fight: Damon Jackson

Uros Medic

Electric Serbian striker Uros Medic got a huge win on Saturday at UFC Vegas 91 when he knocked out veteran Tim Means with a clean uppercut. Uros has won every fight when allowed to participate in striking battles, but lost to opponents who could enforce grappling like Orolbai and Turner. However, Medic showed improvement there by stopping Means’ takedown attempts.

This promising fighter can be tested further by facing a solid all-around mixed martial artist next, and not one who is forty. Max Griffin has been a consistent .500 fighter in the UFC and can strike as well as wrestle. He won his last fight, against Jeremiah Wells, and should make a great opponent for Medic next.

Medic’s Next Fight: Max Griffin