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UFC Vegas 21: Matchmaking for the Winners

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Unfortunately, for the fighters and fans, both the main event of UFC Vegas 21: Edwards vs. Muhammad and the main card opener (Anders and Stewart) ended in a no contest. With both fights ending early due to an eye poke and illegal knee respectively, both bouts should be rescheduled for a rematch.

Ryan Spann

Ryan Spann defeated Misha Cirkunov by TKO in the first round. Spann utilized his footwork to create an optimal angle and fired his powerful right hand. He pressed the hurt Cirkunov and produced a finish 1:11 into the first round. Spann was on an eight-fight win streak before losing to Johnny Walker last year. With this win, he puts himself back in the win column and sets up a potential bout with Dustin Jacoby. Jacoby last fought at UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Gane and earned a close unanimous decision win over Maxim Grishim.

Dan Ige

Dan Ige lived up to his nickname this past weekend and more. “50K” knocked out the highly touted Gavin Tucker twenty-two seconds into the first round. With this win, Ige rebounds from his loss to Calvin Kattar last year. With the top of the division at a standstill, featherweight has been refreshed with new talent.

An undefeated Russian, Movsar Evloev, has burst onto the scene defeating all four of his UFC opponents. Hakeem Dawodu is an exciting striker most recently competing at UFC 253. Both prospects pose a challenge to the top fifteen, Dan Ige included. A win over either of these two would add to Ige’s momentum and move him closer to a title shot.

Davey Grant

“Dangerous” Davey Grant beat Jonathan Martinez to the punch, knocking Martinez out 3:03 into the second round. Grant perplexed the more measured Martinez with rear-leg teep kicks and spinning back heel kicks. Surviving a knockdown in the first round, Grant rallied back with a high volume of strikes. When both fighters entered the pocket, it was Grant’s signature left hook which earned him the victory. Grant is riding a three-fight win streak picking up two impressive wins during the pandemic.

A fighter who has looked equally impressive is Chris Gutierrez, who most recently defeated Andre Ewell by unanimous decision last month. Gutierrez and Grant would be a good matchup as they have similar styles and are close in the rankings.

Matheus Nicolau

Matheus Nicolau returns after nearly a year and a half and pushed for takedowns to instill his excellent jiu-jitsu talents. When Kape denied his attempts, Nicolau was willing to trade in the pocket with the American Kickboxing Academy-trained Kape. Matheus Nicolau advances his win streak to three earning a close split decision over Rizin alumni Manel Kape.

A potential fight with Tim Elliot would be an exciting matchup of grapplers. The UFC may also entertain a matchup with Tibetan striker, Su Mudaerji.

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