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UFC Vegas 19: Matchmaking for Main Card Losers

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Derrick Lewis is now tied for the most knockouts in UFC history with his historic 12th UFC knockout of Curtis Blaydes. The crushing uppercut knockout of the #2 ranked heavyweight saw Lewis take home a Performance of the Night bonus. Here are our thoughts on what the future might hold for Blaydes and the rest of the main card losers of UFC Vegas 19.

Matchmaking for UFC Vegas 19 Main Card Losers

Curtis Blaydes

Curtis Blaydes suffered a devastating knockout blow to his title ambitions as Lewis caused an upset in the main event. Blaydes looked for a takedown in the second round but was instead met with an uppercut from hell by “The Black Beast” that secured Lewis’ 12th UFC knockout win.

Blaydes will once again look to restart his title run, however he’s in a tough spot now with two fighters who would best make sense for him to face next in Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Ciryl Gane already booked to face each other. Alexander Volkov will be eager for revenge against the American and may want that as his next matchup with the Russian starting to gain momentum in the division. Yet “Drago” may prefer the chance at vengeance over the winner of UFC Vegas 19 in Lewis, which would almost guarantee him a title shot. Therefore, Alistair Overeem may be the fight to make for Blaydes to regain his confidence.

Ketlen Vieira

Ketlen Vieira punching Yana Kunitskaya at UFC Vegas 19
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 20: (L-R) Ketlen Vieira of Brazil punches Yana Kunitskaya of Russia in a bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Yana Kunitskaya’s striking activity got her over the line to secure a close unanimous decision victory over Ketlen Vieira in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 19. Vieira looked to have won the fight for many as she controlled Kunitskaya for a total time of 8:38. However, the Russian outstruck the Brazilian by 215 strikes to 35.

It was the striking activity of the Russian that won over the judges to earn her a unanimous decision victory as she remained composed in the octagon continuing to damage her opponent on her way to victory. Vieira will be disappointed, not only in the result but also in her performance, as she may feel hard done by the judges. Next for Vieira could be Irene Aldana, who is coming off a recent loss to Holly Holm and would be a shot at redemption for the Brazilian, who was defeated by the Mexican back in 2019.

Charles Rosa

Charles Rosa reacting to his loss at UFC Vegas 19
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 20: Charles Rosa reacts after his decision loss to Derrick Minner in a featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Charles Rosa suffered a confidence hitter as he was dominated for all three rounds by Darrick Minner to take a unanimous decision loss on the main card of UFC Vegas 19. Minner was the underdog entering the bout but proved the doubters wrong as he controlled Rosa for a total time of 12:34 while outstriking him 96 to 40 on total strikes to secure a comfortable victory.

Next for the 34-year-old may be fellow featherweight Nate Landwehr, who also suffered a defeat at UFC Vegas 19.

Aleksei Oleinik

In what was one of three heavyweight fights on the main card, submission specialist Aleksei Oleinik lost his second fight in a row as Chris Daukaus put away the Russian with a flurry of strikes. It was the 42-year-old’s 75th professional fight, however it wasn’t the memorable performance he was hoping for as Daukaus put on a bonus-worthy showing.

A fight against a fellow veteran of the octagon who is also currently on a losing skid would make the most sense for Oleinik right now. Specifically, Junior Dos Santos, who sat two places below the Russian in the heavyweight rankings going into UFC Vegas 19.

Nassourdine Imavov

Nassourdine Imavov punching Phil Hawes at UFC Vegas 19
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 20: (L-R) Nassourdine Imavov of Russia punches Phil Hawes in a middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Nassourdine Imavov has gone 1-1 in the UFC as he lost by majority decision to middleweight Phil Hawes at UFC Vegas 19. The Frenchman appeared to wobble Hawes on numerous occasions during the second and third round, yet was unable to leave victorious.

The 25-year-old won his UFC debut back in October but will now be looking to get back on track with his next fight, which could see him face Impa Kasanganay, who is also 1-1 in the UFC.

Andrei Arlovski

Tom Aspinall showcased why the heavyweight division may have a new contender on the rise as he put away the former champion at UFC Vegas 19 with a rear-naked choke submission. Andrei Arlovski may feel frustrated to lose in the way he did, although he can be pleased with his ability to compete with the promising talent Aspinall in the first round.

Next for Arlovski could be Greg Hardy, who most recently fell to a calamitous defeat to rising star Marcin Tybura.

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Featured Image Credit to Embed from Getty Images.

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Dion Williams is a Combat Sports writer for Overtime Heroics covering mainly UFC but also Bellator and Cage Warriors!