After a lackluster card last week, the UFC returned to the Apex and brought a fun card with 14 fights. We had some contenders reestablish themselves, some returns, and some fighters fight their last UFC fight-for now at least. There were seven decisions, four TKO/KOs, one submission, and one draw.
Here are fights to make for the winners and losers of UFC Fight Night: Costa vs. Vettori
After an insane fight week that started with a middleweight fight and ended with a light heavyweight fight, Vettori defeated Paulo Costa via unanimous decision. Vettori is back in the win column after unsuccessfully fighting for the middleweight title. The Italian fighter came into the fight ranked No. 5 and will most likely take Costa No. 2 ranking. A third fight with Israel Adesanya will not happen anytime soon, so Vettori is in a weird spot. He will have to keep fighting the contenders to earn another shot. Vettori should fight the loser of Adesanya vs. Whittaker II next.
Grant Dawson & Ricky Glenn
Dawson and Glenn fought to a majority draw after Glenn almost finished Dawson in the last seconds of round three. The easy answer would be for the pair to run it back and give Glenn a full fight camp. The other option is to match Dawson back up with Carlos Diego Ferreira and match Glenn up with Christos Giagos.
‘Jessy Jess’ defeated Joselyne Edwards via unanimous decision. While it wasn’t the most entertaining fight, a win is a win, and Clark is on a two-fight win streak. Clark was out of action for more than a year recovering from a torn ACL, so hopefully, she stays active. ‘Jessy Jess’ will most likely fight a top 15 opponent in her next outing as the division is shallow, and she was ranked in the flyweight division at one time. Lina Lansberg is a name that makes sense.
Caceres proved the doubters wrong as he submitted Seung Woo Choi in the second round via rear-naked choke. Bruce LeeRoy’s career resurgence continues as he has won five straight. How is Caceres on 33-years old?? I feel like I’ve been watching him for 87 years. I feel like Caceres has earned himself a top 15 opponent. How about a UFC veteran vs. UFC veteran fight? Caceres vs. Edson Barboza. Am I crazy?
Trinaldo defeated Dwight Grant via split decision. The 43-year-old picked up his first welterweight since moving up to the division. The long-time UFC veteran just keeps on fighting with no end in sight. Matt Semelsberger, who knocked out Martin Sano in 15 seconds, would be an incredible fight for the Brazilian.
It took Nicolae Negumereanu a little over a minute to finish Ike Villanueva via TKO. Negumereanu is now on a two-fight win streak after losing his UFC debut. After taking 2020 recovering from knee surgery, 2021 was an excellent year for the Romanian. Tafon Nchukwi is looking for one more fight in 2021, and Negumereanu would be a great fight for him.
Rodrigues knocked out Jun Yong Park, becoming the first man to do so. ‘Robocop’ is now 2-0 in the UFC and looks fantastic, it makes you wonder what happened during his Dana White’s Contender Series fight. Nevertheless, he looked awesome and is a new names for the middleweight division to look out for. He should fight Bruno Silva next.
WHAT A FIGHT. Jones spoiled David Onama’s UFC debut by winning a unanimous decision. Jones finally picked up his first UFC after getting screwed in his second outing and going to war in his first fight. The sky is the limit for the former Cage Warriors double champion. There are so many fun matchups for him as well. Jones vs. Jamie Mullarkey would straight violence.
Ricci defeated Maria de Oliveira Neta via unanimous decision. That was a great way to reintroduce herself to the UFC audience. Ricci is now 6-1, with her only loss coming in her UFC debut against surging contender Manon Fiorot on short notice. Jinh Yu Frey would be a great next fight for Ricci.
Pickett handed Laureano Staropoli his fourth consecutive loss via unanimous decision and most likely his walking papers. Pickett finally picked up his long-awaited first UFC win. He should fight Cody Brundage next. Brundage is coming off a loss at UFC 266 and would be a great test for Pickett.
Herbert finished Khama Worthy in a little over two minutes via TKO. “Black Country Badger” picked up his first UFC and saved his job. There is no doubt that the UFC thinks highly of Herbert, and he is entertaining. With that being said, another fun fight for Herbert would be Mike Davis. Book it.
Molina defeated Daniel da Silva via TKO, picking up his first UFC finish. Molina has established himself as must-watch television. His UFC debut was incredible, and this fight was awesome for as long as it lasted. At 24-years old, Molina said he doesn’t want to be rushed into the top 15 rankings. He also said he would like to fight Francisco Figueiredo or Cody Durden next. Both of those fights make sense, and I would also throw out Bruno Silva.
Markos saved her UFC career with a unanimous decision win over Livia Renata Souza. The Canadian snapped her four-fight win streak. The long-time UFC veteran has fought the whos-who of the strawweight division. Matching her up with a prospect would make some sense, but a rematch with Karolina Kowalkiewicz would be fantastic.
Martinez spoiled Zviad Lazishvili’s UFC debut and took his undefeated record as well. It was an excellent bounce-back performance for Martinez, who got flatlined in his prior outing. The Factory X product continues to be one of the most underrated and tough bantamweight prospects. I hope the UFC rebooks Martinez vs. Nathaniel Wood.
Paulo Costa – Jared Cannonier/Brunson loser
Joselyne Edwards – Bea Malecki
Seung Woo Choi – Damon Jackson
Dwight Grant – Jared Gooden
Ike Villanueva – Outside of the UFC
Jun Yong Park – Misha Cirkunov
David Onama – Ludovit Klein
Maria de Oliveira Neta – Gloria de Paula
Laureano Staropoli – Outside of the UFC
Khama Worthy – Outside of the UFC
Daniel da Silva – Malcolm Gordon/ Denys Bondar loser
Livia Renata Souza – Hannah Cifers
Zviad Lazishvili – Liudvik Sholinian