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Matchmaking for UFC Vegas 26 Main Card Losers

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The UFC Vegas 26 main card featured six bouts and was capped off by an entertaining back and forth main event. The athletes who came up short will look to bounce back with victories in their next outings.

Michelle Waterson, Geoff Neal, Maurice Green, and Kyle Daukaus came up short on the judge’s scorecards. Meanwhile, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Diego Ferreira encountered defeats in which they were finished. Still, the half a dozen competitors who lost on the UFC Vegas 26 main card will once again face big tests in their next matchups.

Who’s Next for the Main Card Losers?

Michelle Waterson

“The Karate Hottie” once again delivered an action-packed main event, but she was just a step behind Marina Rodriguez for too much of the fight. She’s now lost three of her last four contests, but they’ve all been close (to varying degrees). Nevertheless, she’ll likely fall out of the top-10 after this defeat. Even with that being the case, there are still some tantalizing matchups out there for her.

Giving Waterson a chance to avenge her loss to Tecia Torres actually makes sense right now. The only thing that could dissuade that from happening is the fact that Torres hasn’t fought since December. “The Tiny Tornado” might be looking to get back in the octagon before Waterson is recovered from UFC Vegas 26.

If she wants to fight a fresh face then someone like Livinha Souza could fit that bill. Souza is 3-2 in the UFC and is coming off of a defeat back in March. Perhaps their schedules will line up because it would make for a fun clash of styles. Either way, at 35 years of age with a lot of fights under her belt, we’ll see if Waterson has one run left in her.

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone

Well this pains to say, but it’s likely time for “Cowboy” to hang the gloves up. It’s been quite a journey and he has one of the nastiest highlight reels of all time. Sadly, what we say on the UFC Vegas 26 main card wasn’t anything how Cerrone should be remembered. Additionally, let’s be honest, he’ll absolutely fight again if the UFC allows it.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at a couple of names at lightweight who would make sense for Cerrone to face in his certified final fight. The first is Bobby Green. The two are yet to cross paths in their long, successful careers. Heck, even in the latter stages of their careers this would make for a fun scrap.

The second name is Clay Guida. As is the case with Green, “Cowboy” and Guida have never fought one another. Guida defeated Michael Johnson back in February and a win over the #15 ranked lightweight would put him one step closer to the rankings. No matter who Cerrone fights next, expect it to be the final time he graces the octagon.

Geoff Neal

“Handz of Steel” Neal ran into a cardio and output machine in Neil Magny on the UFC Vegas 26 main card. Back-to-back losses will of course knock him down a rung in the welterweight rankings, but the 30-year-old still has many years ahead of him. It’s tough to imagine anyone being able to finish Neal with the way he’s able to dip and roll out of crucial danger.

The southpaw heavy-hitter would chomp at the bit at the opportunity to take Sean Brady‘s zero from him. Brady’s introduction to the top-15 being against Neal would validate his hype if he delivers a solid performance. Meanwhile, Neal could quickly earn himself another top-10 opponent if he were to finish the unbeaten prospect.

Maurice Greene

Truthfully, what we saw from “The Crochet Boss” on the UFC Vegas 26 main card versus Marcos Rogerio de Lima was rather disappointing. Greene was in desperate need of a victory and it felt as though he never really had a shot against the Brazilian. Now, he’ll likely be fighting for his job in his next outing.

If Greene is willing and/or able to wait until the end of the year, then the winner of Parker Porter vs Chase Sherman would make sense. It should be noted that there’s the possibility that Greene’s next foe isn’t currently on the UFC’s roster. Facing a debutant might be the best logical next move for the heavyweight.

Diego Ferreira

Ferreira had one heck of an opening round, but his cardio is what ultimately failed him. Gregor Gillespie dominated the second round with his wrestling en route to handing Ferreira just his fourth pro defeat. The 36-year-old came into the UFC Vegas 26 main card overweight, but moving to welterweight just doesn’t seem in the cards for Ferriera.

Assuming he remains at lightweight then an all Brazilian matchup with Thiago Moises would make a ton of sense. Ferreira and losing don’t mix well so expect him to get things back on track rather quickly. Two other possibilities are Grant Dawson and Joe Solecki, who both are in need of big tests.

Kyle Daukaus

The Philadelphia native is as tough as they come and that was on full display on the UFC Vegas 26 main card versus Phil Hawes. Daukaus suffered just his second pro loss, but the 28-year-old will be in big need of a stellar performance in his next showing. He has a lot of tools in his arsenal, it’s just about putting it all together.

Next for him could be Marc-Andre Barriault, who got back on track with a TKO victory in his previous bout. Otherwise matching up with fellow UFC Vegas 26 competitor Tafon Nchukwi could serve as a potential next opponent for Daukaus.

All in all, which of the UFC Vegas 26 main card losers do you believe have the best chance to avenge their defeats? Do you agree with these potential matchups? Drop your thoughts in the comment section!


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Ryan Truland is an experienced MMA writer for Overtimeheroics.net. 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.