After a successful fourth pay-per-view last weekend, the UFC was back at the UFC Apex. While the card looked kind of weak on paper, it turned out the be fun, like always.
Here are fights to make for the winners and losers of UFC on ESPN: Luque vs. Muhammad 2
In his first main event, Belal Muhammad exacted his revenge on Vicente Luque, who knocked him out six years ago. Muhammad will break into the top five next week. Muhammad is riding a seven fight win streak and should get a massive fight in his next fight. In his post-fight interview, he called out Colby Covington, which makes sense but I like No. 4 ranked Gilbert Burns more. Book it.
What a UFC debut for Caio Borralho. It might not have ended the way he wanted, but he was very composed and looked like a 10-fight UFC veteran. This guy can be a very special talent. The Brazilian should fight Ultimate Fighter winner Bryan Battle next.
Andre Fialho called it. He said he would knock out Miguel Baeza, and he did violently. The fighter from Portugual finally got his long-awaited first UFC win. Fialho wants to be very active in 2022, wanting to fight six times. For his next out, he should fight Niko Price. Imagine the violence.
Mayra Bueno Silva
It was a successful bantamweight division debut for Mayra Bueno Silva. She defeated Wu Yanan via unanimous decision. With a new division, Silva could be an entertaining addition. The Brazilian should fight Jessica Rose-Clark, who is coming off a loss next.
Pat Sabatini spoiled T.J Laramie’s return to action by defeating him via dominant unanimous decision, with a 10-8 thrown in there. Sabatini is now 4-0 in the UFC and is very close to a top 15 matchup. I think he needs one more fight, and that should be former top 15 fighter Ryan Hall. (The jiu-jitsu would be insane.)
Mounir Lazzez returned from a 15-month layoff and spoiled Ange Loosa’s UFC debut. Lazzez is now 2-1 in the UFC, and I think they should just rebook him with Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos.
Devin Clark was successful in his heavyweight debut by knocking out William Knight in the third round. It seemed like a must-win for the 32-year-old UFC veteran, and he got it. He said he doesn’t plan to stay at heavyweight and will return to light heavyweight. He should fight Khalil Rountree next.
In the battle of the Swedes, Pannie Kianzad came out on top via unanimous decision. Kianzad is back in the win column after having her four-fight win streak snapped in her last outing. As a result, she will move up one spot in the bantamweight rankings on Tuesday. For her next fight, she should fight Aspen Ladd, who is coming off a loss to a common opponent in Raquel Pennington.
What a two years it has been for Drakkar Klose, and he took out all of his frustration and heartbreak on Brandon Jenkins. Klose knocked Jenkins out in the second round in a pretty uncompetitive fight. Klose is back in the win column after a lengthy layoff, and he called out Mark O. Madsen in his post-fight interview. I like that fight. Book it.
Rafa Garcia dominated Jesse Ronson and submitted him in the second round, spoiling the Canadian’s long-awaited return to action. It was a crucial fight for Garcia as it was the last fight on his contract, and he showed up and showed out. Garcia is now on a two-fight win streak and living up to the hype. A fight with Paddy Pimblett makes sense, but I think a banger with Mason Jones should be next.
Yeaaaah, so Martin Buday defeated Chris Barnett via technical decision after an accidental illegal strike to the back of the head. Buday looked good in his UFC debut; it just wasn’t anything memorable. I literally already forgot. A fight with Don’Tale Mayes makes sense to me.
Jordan Leavitt defeated Trey Ogden via split decision. That is three wins in the UFC for ‘The Monkey King,’ who should get a step up in competition in his next outing. He should fight Fares Ziam next, hopefully outside of the Apex.
With her back against the wall and her UFC career on the line, Sam Hughes showed up and got the win. She defeated Istela Nunes via majority decision after a tough first round. Hughes picked up her first UFC win and now sits 1-3 in the promotion. She should fight Cory McKenna next.
Alatengheili got back into the win column for the first time since 2019, and he did so by sparking Kevin Croom in 47 seconds. With the Chinese fighter only fighting once a year, I wonder if he would like to turn around quickly and get on the Singapore card for UFC 275. If he does, a matchup with Mana Martinez would be fun.
- Belal Muhammad – Gilbert Burns
- Caio Borralho – Bryan Battle
- Andre Fialho – Niko Price
- Mayra Bueno Silva – Jessica Rose-Clark
- Pat Sabatini – Ryan Hall
- Mounir Lazzez – Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos
- Devin Clark – Khalil Rountree
- Pannie Kianzad – Aspen Ladd
- Drakkar Klose – Mark O. Madsen
- Rafa Garcia – Mason Jones
- Martin Buday – Don’Tale Mayes
- Jordan Leavitt – Fares Ziam
- Sam Hughes – Cory McKenna
- Alatengheili – Mana Martinez
- Vicente Luque – Sean Brady
- Gadzhi Omargadzhiev – Jamie Pickett
- Miguel Baeza – Darian Weeks
- Wu Yanan – Outside of the UFC
- T.J. Laramie – Youssef Zalal
- Ange Loosa – A.J. Fletcher
- William Knight – Chris Barnett
- Lina Lansberg – Stephanie Egger
- Brandon Jenkins – Devonte Smith
- Jesse Ronson – Nikolas Motta
- Chris Barnett – William Knight
- Trey Ogden – Erick Gonzalez
- Istela Nunes – Diana Belbita
- Kevin Croom – Outside of the UFC