After enjoying the fights, we like to play matchmakers and give our picks and predictions for what’s next for each winning fighter. Let’s dive in.
Marvin Vettori def. Kevin Holland via decision (unanimous)
Vettori should be given tremendous props for accepting to fight Holland on short notice. It was a big risk, and he got the win by any means. Now Vettori is calling for a title shot against Israel Adesanya, and we understand his case. Since losing to Adesanya by split decision in 2018, he’s built a five-fight win streak. This is the longest of any current ranked middleweight.
His record is very impressive, and he would probably be the toughest fight for Adesanya right now too. We just think he’s missing that signature win that really makes everyone say “Wow, now that guy is next.” We just don’t think beating a guy who just lost (pretty badly) propels Vettori to a titleshot, especially when Holland was already talking about dropping down a weight class.
We think Marvin Vettori should finally fight “The Eraser” Paulo Costa next.
Arnold Allen def. Sodiq Yusuff via decision (unanimous)
Allen has flown slightly under the radar lately. He’s quietly gone undefeated in the UFC while racking up and eight-fight win streak. Along the way he’s beaten UFC veterans Nik Lentz and Gilbert Melendez. This win over Yusuff cements his at the best prospect in the featherweight division.
We think Arnold Allen should be Calvin Kattar next. This would be a great striking matchup, but there should also be some good grappling exchanges. Plus, Kattar just went five rounds with the former champion Max Holloway, so this could lay out a clearer path for Allen if he wins.
Julian Marquez def. Sam Alvey via submission (rear-naked choke)
This fight won Fight of the Night, but the finish belonged to Marquez, who literally choked Alvey unconscious. He’s now 4-1 in the UFC with his only loss being a split decision. It was tough to match make this fight, especially because there’s so many middleweights without a fight. However, we really like the sounds of Julian Marquez vs. Makhmud Muradov.
Mackenzie Dern def. Nina Nunes via 1st round submission (armbar)
After such a dominant performance, the Brazilian fighter is now ranked #5 in the world at strawweight. This should mean that she is one more victory away from a shot at the title. We’ve seen many people online calling for her to fight Joanna Jędrzejczyk, but we would prefer to see Joanna vs. Marina Rodriguez.
Ideally, we would love to see Mackenzie Dern vs. Tatiana Suarez and fight out who’s the best grappler at 115. Unfortunately, Suarez is still dealing with injuries so that fight will have to wait. Instead, we think Dern should fight “The Karate Hottie” Michelle Waterson. It would be a good old-fashioned striker vs. grappler matchup that would be huge for a PPV card.
Danny Rodriguez def. Mike Perry via decision (unanimous)
“D-Rod” is now 4-1 in the UFC with wins over pretty established guys like Perry and Tim Means. His only loss was a controversial decision that many think he should have won. He should definitely get an opponent who has fought some big names and also would make an entertaining fight.
We think his next opponent should be someone like “The Hybrid” Niko Price. He has fought legends like Cowboy Cerrone, and contenders like Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal. We also think his fighting style mixed with Rodriguez’s would be pretty fun to watch.
Joe Solecki def. Jim Miller via decision (unanimous)
This fight was probably the more forgettable of the night. We did get to see how dominant Solecki is on the ground though. He pretty much dominated the grappling exchanges, and grinded Miller out to a decision
This win is a huge feather in Solecki’s cap, beating a veteran and record-holder of the UFC in Jim Miller. After this kind of performance, his stock should only go up, just maybe not as fast as Solecki might hope.
We think a good next test for him would be against Alexander “The Great” Hernandez, who was recently ranked and has had some big fights. Let’s find out who the real prospects at lightweight are.
Mateusz Gamrot def. Scott Holtzman via 2nd round KO (punches)
Gamrot is a UFC newcomer and has widely been considered one of the best European MMA prospects. After losing a close, but controversial decision at UFC Fight Island 6, many were expecting a big comeback fight.
The Polish fighter came through and added a vicious second round knockout to his highlight reel. We would be very interested to see his striking versus another prospect, Nasrat Haqparast. They have 15 knockouts combined, so it should be a hell of a fight.
John Makdessi def. Ignacio Bahamondes via decision (split)
Makessi has now won 4 out of his last 5 fights. He’s had a rough patch in his UFC career, but has looked very improved lately. In this fight he looked really good, even though the fight ended in a split decision.
His striking, especially, looked very crisp, so we think a really exciting matchup would be versus the “Bonecrusher”—England’s Mark Diakese. Both fighters are pretty sharp strikers, and half of their wins have come by knockout.
Jarjis Danho def. Yorgan de Castro via 1st round KO (punch)
Danho has had a rough start to his UFC career. Before this fight, he had one loss and one draw. He then spent the next five years on the shelf plagued with injuries and obviously dealt with the Covid lockdown.
Many people thought he would have to deal with ring rust, but he proved them wrong with a vengeance. This knockout was pretty devastating and wildly entertaining. We’d like to see Danho fight Don’Tale Mayes next—the “Man Mountain” vs. “Lord Kong.”
Jack Shore def. Hunter Azure via decision (split)
This fight was pretty close, but we were surprised at the split decision, since we thought Shore decisively won two rounds. In any event, the Welsh fighter is now 3-0 in the UFC with a 12-0 record overall. Shore, who is the former Cage Warriors bantamweight champion, is looking like a real contender in the making.
There are plenty of exciting matchups for him at bantamweight, and he’s more than worthy of high-level opponent. We think he should get a fight against Casey Kenney, who just lost a very close fight to Dominick Cruz at UFC 259.
Luis Saldana def. Jordan Griffin via decision (unanimous)
This fight could was a contender for Fight of the Night. Even though both guys got tired in their own ways, it was still fun to watch. We were surprised (not really), however, at the judge’s decision since we scored it 2 rounds to 1 for Griffin. In any event, Saldana won so he gets the matchmaking. We’d like to see how he fares against the LFA crossover Austin “Lights Out” Lingo.
Da Un Jung def. William Knight via decision (unanimous)
In this fight, we got to see Jung’s improved grappling and take down defense though. Jung is now 3-0-1 in the UFC, and if not for that draw, he would be on a 14-fight winning streak.
He is one of the lesser-known prospects in the light heavyweight division, but the Korean fighter definitely has some skills. Jung is known for his boxing skills, so we would like to see how his striking would fare against Alonozo Menifield.
Impa Kasanganay def. Sasha Palatnikov via 1st round submission (rear-naked choke)
Impa was coming off a pretty devastating KO loss that ended up being the consensus Knockout of the Year. Many, like us, were excited to see his return and see how his would perform. For this fight, he dropped down a weight class from middleweight to welterweight.
He more than exceeded expectations and finished this fight quickly by submission in the first round. It seems like he’s found a new home at 170 pounds., and there are tons of fun matchups for him in the future.
After the fight, he politely called out the Sean Brady and the winner of Perry/Rodriguez, both of which would be great fights. We think they are a bit too high in the unofficial rankings for Impa just yet. Another great matchup could be against fellow DWCS winner “Mean” Gabe Green.