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Matchmaking for UFC Vegas 22 Main Card Winners

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The UFC Vegas 22 main card exceeded many people’s expectations, with standout performances from Tai Tuivasa, Adrian Yanez, Montserrat Conejo, Max Griffin, and Derek Brunson.

After securing victories on the UFC Vegas 22 main card, the five aforementioned fighters have momentum heading into their next match-ups. Take a look at who we have them facing in their next outings.

Who’s Next for the UFC Vegas 22 Main Card Winners?

Derek Brunson

In the early stages of his fourth UFC main event, Brunson discovered his path to victory was getting Kevin Holland to the ground. Sure, it wasn’t his most memorable performance, but it was enough to earn him his fourth straight win.

Afterwards, Brunson called out Paulo Costa – all the while reassuring to the UFC that he’s unwilling to settle. Will the matchmakers abide by the middleweight contender’s demands?

Probably not, and here’s why. It makes more sense for #2 Costa to fight #3 Jared Cannonier; not #7 Brunson. Moreover, there are several high-profile middleweight bouts taking place between April 10th and May 15th – from #1 Robert Whittaker vs #8 Kelvin Gastelum, to #6 Jack Hermansson vs #12 Edmen Shahbazyan, to #9 Uriah Hall vs #11 Chris Weidman.

Bank on any one of Gastelum, Hermansson, or Weidman winning their upcoming fight and match them up with Brunson.

Max Griffin

In the UFC Vegas 22 (reshuffled) co-main event, Griffin ended the show early with a devastating right hand.

That’s two straight finishes for the 35-year-old welterweight, who’s now primed to face a bigger name his next time out. There are three names that immediately come to mind: Nicolas Dalby, Michel Pereira, and Miguel Baeza. Pair any one of those three with Griffin and you’ve got yourself a guaranteed bloodying and bruising affair.

Of the three though, it’s Dalby that really stands out as the next match-up for Max “Pain” Griffin. Dana better get his checkbook out if that bout ends up being booked.

Adrian Yanez

Of the five UFC Vegas 22 main card winners, Yanez stood out above the rest with his third-round knockout of Gustavo Lopez. The 27-year-old bantamweight now has three highlight finishes in as many tries since debuting on the Contender Series last August.

Adrian Yanez knocking out Gustavo Lopez.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 20: In this handout image provided by UFC, (R-L) Adrian Yanez punches Gustavo Lopez in their bantamweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on March 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

It’s important not to fast-track this dangerous striker too much, too soon. Yet, it’s certainly time for a step up in opposition. There are two ways to play this:

First, pair him with a fellow rising star like Umar Nurmagomedov. Or second, give him a solid veteran foe like Louis Smolka. The former will give Yanez a true grappling test, while the latter will stand and bang like anyone he’s yet to face. Either way, Yanez is an absolute highlight reel.

Montserrat “Conejo” Ruiz

Despite the post-fight antics, Conejo delivered a pretty impressive performance against Cheyenne Buys. In each of the three rounds, Conejo found herself with a hold of Buys’ neck.

Although she was unable to find a finish, she racked up several minutes of control time en route to a clear-cut decision win. Quite honestly, deciding on Conejo’s next opponent is fairly easy.

Jinh Yu Frey earned her first UFC victory earlier this month, and she’d make for a perfect next foe for the Mexican strawweight.

Tai Tuivasa

Tai Tuivasa
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 20: Tai Tuivasa of Australia reacts after his victory over Harry Hunsucker in their heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on March 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“Bam Bam” kicked off the UFC Vegas 22 main card with a bang by TKOing Harry Hunsucker in the opening round. Tuivasa has avenged his three straight losses with back-to-back first-round finishes. He’s likely a win away from getting himself back in the heavyweight rankings.

The 28-year-old Australian native always brings the fight to his opposition. The same can be said for England’s Tom Aspinall. Pairing Tuivasa with Aspinall is as close to guaranteeing a finish as you’ll ever get.

The UFC Vegas 22 main card winners are very much on the rise. Which UFC Vegas 22 main card performance were you most impressed by? Do you agree that Brunson will not receive Costa next? Let us know in the comments!

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Featured image credit to Embed from Getty Images

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Ryan Truland is an experienced MMA writer for Ryan regularly conducts interviews with athletes, provides creative pieces, and whatever else is needed to keep readers up to date with the latest and greatest MMA content.