What’s Next: UFC 303 Losers

Jiri Prochazka, UFC 303
Jiri Prochazka, UFC 303 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Eddie Law/Cageside Press

The UFC 303 main card limped to finish line on Saturday, a five-fight main card with only two of the originally booked fights holding together. The card produced, however, with two of the fights ending in finishes including the main event rematch, where Alex Pereira retained his light heavyweight belt against Jiri Prochazka by way of knockout. Lots of ranked fighters are now left to match up in UFC 303’s aftermath.

Jiri Prochazka

Jiri Prochazka was KO’d in the opening seconds of the second round of his main event title fight against Alex Pereira.

The #1 ranked UFC light heavyweight fighter has now lost to Alex Pereira twice and has been finished in both attempts. He’s 1-2 since taking the belt from Glover Teixeira in 2022. Jiri remarked (thru a post on X) after UFC 303’s main event,

“I need to evolve to the next level. Or don’t fight again.”

The perfect matchup for Jiri would be against the #3 ranked heavyweight, Jamahal Hill.  Hill sustained a knee injury that forced him off of UFC 303. But his most recent fight was at UFC 300 when he was finished in the first round by Alex Pereira. That is the fight to make as Hill will be anxious to hop right back into the mix after his untimely injury. And Jiri is itching to prove himself and continue to improve as he stated.

Jiri’s next fight: Jamahal Hill

Dan Ige

Dan Ige lost a unanimous decision to Diego Lopes in the co-main event of UFC 303. Diego’s original opponent, Brian Ortega, withdrew from the fight, day of, citing an illness.  Ige valiantly answered the call mere hours before the bout, to step in and save the card. Needless to say, Ige’s stock was raised despite the defeat.

Ige, the #13 ranked UFC featherweight fighter, should be rewarded.  But not just with the opportunity to fight in the co-main event slot of a PPV card in International Fight Week. His next fight should be against another big named opponent.

Ige was supposed to fight Chepe Mariscal on July 20 and it looks like that is still the plan. Chepe is 3-0 in the UFC since his debut last June. However, a fight against former UFC bantamweight champion and #8 ranked featherweight fighter, Aljamain Sterling, could also make sense. Sterling won his featherweight debut in April at UFC 300 against a returning Calvin Kattar. And in the post-fight press conference Sterling set his sights on Brian Ortega.

So, it could be a fight for Ige that could make sense especially if he gets an impressive victory against Mariscal.

Ige’s next fight: Chepe Mariscal/ Aljamain Sterling

Anthony Smith

Anthony Smith lost a unanimous decision on Saturday to Roman Dolidze. Smith is now 13-10 in the UFC and has lost three of his last five fights.

Smith is the #10 ranked UFC light heavyweight, while Dolidze came into the fight as the #10 ranked middleweight, as a last second replacement. It seems like Smith has fought nearly everyone in the division so there are only a few fights that make sense for ‘Lionheart.’

Smith hasn’t faced #14 ranked light heavyweight, Alonzo Menifield or #15 ranked light heavyweight, Azamat Murzakanov. The pair are slated to fight on August 3rd. Murzakanov is 3-0 in the UFC with a pair of finishes and Menifield recently had his five-fight unbeaten streak snapped by Carlos Ulberg.

Anthony’s next fight: Alonzo Menifield vs. Azamat Murzakanov winner

Mayra Bueno Silva

Mayra Bueno Silva lost to Macy Chiasson on Saturday when their fight was stopped in the second round due to a nasty gash from an elbow. With the result, Myra is winless in her last three fights. She is the #3 ranked UFC women’s bantamweight falling to Macy Chiasson who came into the fight ranked at #7.

This fight was a banger for as long as it lasted, and also a huge fight for a women’s bantamweight division that has been ‘relatively’ quiet this year. For that reason, a rematch with Macy Chiasson should be what’s next for Mayra. Not to mention Mayra’s dramatic protest to the stoppage, in a perfect world, it looks like a fight she’d be very interested in running back.

Mayra’s next fight: Macy Chiasson

Michael Page

Michael Page lost a competitive unanimous decision to Ian Garry to open the main card of UFC 303.

‘MVP’ is now 1-1 in the UFC, but 37 years old. With that fact in mind, it would be advantageous to make the fun fights now, rather than later. Page entered the fight the #14 ranked UFC welterweight while Garry was ranked at #7.

Michael Page has a fantastic point karate style that entertains fans and bewilders his opponents. It’s very similar to long time UFC fighter and fan favorite Stephen Thompson. ‘Wonderboy’ who is the #9 ranked UFC welterweight has stated previously that he is very interested in striking only matchups. And at 41 years old and with his most recent outing being a loss to undefeated contender, Shavkat Rakhmonov, a fight like this couldn’t come at a better time.

Michael’s next fight: Stephen Thompson