UFC 234: What’s Next For The Main Card Fighters
By Hasan Karim
The dust has now settled from UFC 234 last night. The crowd at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne may not have seen their champion in Robert Whittaker throw-down against Kelvin Gastelum, but they were treated to a battle between Isreal Adesanya vs Anderson Silva.
Moving forward, we’re going to play matchmaker on some of last night’s winners and losers and come up with some potential bouts that should happen in the near future!
Jimmy Crute vs Sam Alvey:
Crute beat Alvey last night in the very first round by TKO as the referee stopped the fight following Crute’s ground and pound.
Alvey has now dropped two consecutive losses and is now sitting outside the top fifteen by some way. Now 10-7 in the UFC, Alvey has struggled to establish his position in the top fifteen and faces an uphill battle to get back in there.
Going forward for Alvey? Perhaps a fight against Patrick Cummins would work out well for him. Cummins, like Alvey has dropped two straight losses and is looking for a bounce back win. A win for either man may help them find some form and look to get back in the ascendency.
For Jim Crute, he has now stretched his perfect record to 10-0 with 2 wins in the UFC. He surely deserves a higher ranked opponent by this point and would do well in fighting somebody more established higher up like Ilir Latifi.
The Swede recently lost to Corey Anderson and is looking to get back on track as he pushes for a top 5 position, if Crute can topple Latifi? He may just find himself looking at the title picture before long.
Montana De La Rosa vs Nadia Kasseem
This was quite the unfair bout when it was drawn up as De La Rosa absolutely smashed Kasseem throughout the fight.
Kasseem could be now staring at a loser gets cut sort of fight in her next bout. She currently sits unranked and is 1-1 in the UFC. Perhaps she could consider a fight with Rachael Ostovich, the American is now 1-2 in the UFC having dropped two back-to-back, most recently against Paige VanZant.
Speaking of VanZant, De La Rosa, who is ranked 14th, called Paige out following the fight against Kasseem. The bout makes a lot of sense, VanZant and De La Rosa are both looking to break the top 10 and this bout could see the winner do just that.
Ricky Simon vs Rani Yahya
Ricky Simon defeated Yahya via a unanimous decision as he danced round the traps of Yahya to jump from non-ranked to rank.
Simon should simply just hold-out and wait until Cody Stamann and Alejandro Perez, number 11 and 12 in the rankings battle it out and face the winner. It’ll guarantee him a big break and provide him the opportunity he has earned.
Yahya is in need of a decent rebounding win. Having blown his first PPV chance, he could go down the route of a low-risk fight, however, if he wants to establish himself, he could pursue Eddie Wineland who sits higher than him right now. This could give him a gateway back to form and to being ranked, Wineland is an established name and that could be what Yahya needs to find his feet again.
Landa Vanatta vs Marcos Mariano
It’s incredible to think that this fight was the co-main event of the night following the fallout of the main-event. Lando Vannata defeated an unimpressive Mariano by submission in the first round.
Vanatta immediately called out Jim Miller and that makes perfect sense for both fighters. Neither are in high positions and it is easily a barnstormer of a fight – the UFC matchmakers should certainly listen to Vanatta’s demands.
As for Mariano, he should face Callon Potter who also lost at UFC 234 and see if he can muster up a better performance, if not, he may just be staring at the risk of being cut.
Israel Adesanya vs Anderson Silva
This was a fantastic fight from both men and for the UFC. Adesanya continues to see his hype grow and Silva showed he still has something left in the tank.
The sad thing about Silva? There isn’t a whole lot of options for him right now. Dana White is calling for Weidman vs Silva 3 but that fight doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, a fight against Uriah Hall could suit Silva well. It’s a guaranteed stand-up bout which is perhaps tailored for Silva to perform better in.
As for Adesanya? Two options, either sadly push Gastelum aside and set-up the big title fight for when Whittaker gets healthy or introduce the dreaded interim belt and have Gastelum and Adesanya battle for a showdown with the returning champ.