Fights To Make After UFC Vegas 26

UFC on ESPN: Rodriguez vs. Waterson or #UFCVegas26 has come and gone and while it wasn’t as epic as it should have been with T.J. DIllashaw vs. Cory Sandhagen as the main event, it was still solid. Only nine fights? Who cares. There were six decisions, two TKOs, and one submission. The UFC returns on pay-per-view next week for UFC 262, and we will have a new lightweight champion.

Here are fights to make for the winners and losers of UFC on ESPN: Rodriguez vs. Waterson.

Marina Rodriguez

Rodriguez defeated Michelle Waterson via unanimous decision. After suffering her first loss against Carla Esparza, Rodriguez has looked fantastic. She is one or two fights away from a title fight. She came into the fight ranked No. 6 in the strawweight division and will be getting a massive fight for her next one. I have been calling for her to fight Joanna Jedrzejczyk, but I don’t think the UFC will do that. My second choice would be Mackenzie Dern, with the winner being a No. 1 contender. Dern just submitted Nina Nunes to get into the top five.

Alex Morono

Morono put Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone on his resume by finishing him in the first round via TKO. The Texas fighter fought Anthony Pettis and Cerrone back-to-back, and now people know who he is. It is crazy to think Morono has been in the UFC since 2016 and already has 13 fights in the organization. The fight I would like to see is Morono vs. Daniel Rodriguez. Rodriguez is coming off a win against Mike Perry but is also Cowboy Cerrone’s teammate. It would have some heat behind it.

Neil Magny

Magny does what Magny does, and he defeated No. 10 ranked Geoff Neal via unanimous decision. It was an excellent rebound win from his dominant loss to Michael Chiesa in January. Many people call Magny a gatekeeper, which might be accurate, but he is totally a prospect killer. Magny probably deserves a fight with Vicente Luque but let’s not kid ourselves; a main event fight with No. 15 Khamzat Chimaev is the way the UFC should go.

Marcos Rogério de Lima

De Lima defeated Maurice Greene via unanimous decision in what was probably the worst fight of the year so far. It was bad. There isn’t much to say other than de Lima is back in the win column, and he should look to fight Jarjis Danho, who just knocked out Yorgan de Castro. Next fight.

Gregor Gillespie

GILLESPIE IS BACK!!! After an absolutely exhausting first round and being hurt, Gillespie dug deep and finished Carlos Diego Ferreira in the second round via TKO. If you forgot how good “The Gift” was, he reminded the world. He is a problem. Gillespie came into the fight ranked No. 14 and will be taking Ferreira’s No. 12 come Tuesday – if not a little higher. The fight that I want and I think the entire fanbase would love is against Islam Makhachev. Will it happen? Probably not. But it should.

Phil Hawes

Hawes defeated Kyle Daukaus via unanimous decision in a great fight to open the main card. Hawes looked like a new and improved fighter and continues to evolve in every fight. “Megatron” is on a seven-fight win streak and has won all three of his UFC fights. Hawes was already double-booked coming into this fight and will fight Deron Winn on July 17. An entertaining fight.

Michael Trizano

Trizano defeated Ľudovít Klein via unanimous decision…I guess. How anyone could score the fight 30-27 is beyond me and is really a black eye on this glorious sport. Nevertheless, Trizano is back in the win column in his first fight since 2019. The Ultimate Fighter season 27 winner is now 3-1 in the UFC and should fight Omar Morales next. Morales is coming off a unanimous decision win over Shane Young.

Jun Yong Park

Park took Tafon Nchukwi’s undefeated record as he cruised to a unanimous decision after a couple of low blows. The South Korean fighter has now won three in a row and has looked fantastic doing it. For his efforts, he should be rewarded with a big fight next. I would like to see Park face the winner of Nassourdine Imavov vs. Ian Heinisch, which goes down in July.

Carlston Harris

Harris put Christian Aguilera to sleep in the first round to hand him his second consecutive loss. Harris is a great addition to the welterweight division. He is riding a four-fight winning streak with four finishes to go along with it. For his next fight, he should look to fight hot prospect, Mounir Lazzez, who just suffered his first UFC loss.

Michelle Waterson – Tecia Torres rematch

Donald Cerrone – Retirement

Geoff Neal – Sean Brady

Maurice Greene – Rodrigo Nascimento/ Alan Baudot loser

Carlos Diego Ferreira – Grant Dawson

Kyle Daukaus – Andreas Michailidis

Ľudovít Klein – Luis Saldana

Tafon Nchukwi – Dalcha Lungiambula

Christian Aguilera – Jared Gooden

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