Saturday’s UFC card at the Apex featured some fantastic fights, and the winners of the main card bouts look poised to make significant leaps in their careers. These fights move them further in their quest for a title and take them a step closer to becoming elite in their division, but their potential next fights are the ones that will elevate these fighters’ status into contenders.
Best Fights for Main Card Winners
Norma Dumont (7-1-0 3-1-0 UFC)
The Brazillian Dumont was largely dominant in her boring decision win against an opponent moving up in weight on short notice, but this is not to take away from her accomplishment. Aspen Ladd (9-2-0 4-2-0 UFC) is one of the brighter prospects in the UFC’s bantamweight division but has faced issues making 135 pounds before. Ladd stepped in after Holm pulled out due to injury, and the rebooking of Dumont vs. Holm only makes sense for this one.
Beating a former champion in Holly Holm could catapult Dumont to stardom, but the task remains tough in and of itself: Holm has won two in a row against Irene Aldana and Raquel Pennington. Realistically, the winner of that fight should get a title shot against Amanda Nunes at featherweight. Additionally, Holm vs. Dumont makes for a fantastic stylistic fight: one of the best boxers in women’s history in Holm would square off against a jiujitsu prodigy in Dumont. What’s not to love about a fight that injects some life in the slow-moving featherweight division?
Andrei Arlovski (32-20-0 2NC, 23-18-0, 1 NC UFC)
Former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski has won four of his last five fights, with his lone loss coming to streaking heavyweight prospect Tom Aspinall by way of submission. He boasts wins over Tanner Boser, Philipe Lins, Chase Sherman, and Carlos Felipe. His most recent win over Felipe saw the 42-year-old pick apart Felipe on the feet, out-landing him 83-73.
Arlovski showed age is just a number with his win over Carlos Felipe, putting together fantastic footwork in the first two rounds of the bout and staving off Felipe’s late comeback in the third round. Because his career dates back to 2000, Arlovski has the resume and skills of a UFC legend, so he may have one last title run left in him. He did not definitively prove it in his bout against Felipe, getting caught with several overhand rights that almost put him to sleep. A fight against Alexander Romanov would do him good, as this will match Romanov with a fighter that has already proven themselves, and give Arlovski a chance to earn his way back into the top 15.
Jim Miller (33-16-1NC, 22-15-1NC)
Miller continues to impress with his knockout win over Erick Gonzalez, but there has been some speculation with that bout being the 38-year-old’s last. He never publicly said anything about it, but he has the most fights in UFC history, and second-most wins in UFC history, and this should be enough to hang his hat on. He has accomplished almost everything he has wanted to accomplish. Additionally, Miller looked a little slow before he knocked out Erick Gonzalez with one shot. If he wanted to hang the gloves up, no one would blame him.
Knowing Miller, he probably does want to fight again, but there does not seem to be a fight that makes sense for him in the lightweight division. Retirement makes the most sense for him. Throwing a prospect at him would be unfair, but Miller should be allowed to fight any unranked lightweight he wants to: he’s earned it.
Manon Fiorot (7-1-0, 3-0-0 UFC)
Fiorot has been on fire lately, winning three in a row and giving herself real consideration for top 15 status in the division. She dominated her bout against Mayra Bueno Silva for all 15 minutes, winning 30-26, 30-27, 30-27 on the judges’ scorecards. She poured it on Bueno Silva, landing 91 significant strikes and two takedowns over the course of the fight, and came close to finishing it multiple times.
A fight against Miranda Maverick makes a lot of sense: Maverick is a very established prospect whose most recent fight was a contested decision loss against Maycee Barber, which was a fight that many thought Maverick won. Both of these fighters look to advance their careers in the right direction after hovering around the top 15 for the better part of a year, and it seems to be a great stylistic matchup between two grappling-heavy fighters who can mix it up on the feet as well.
Nate Landwehr (15-4-0, 2-2-0 UFC)
Landwehr put on a fantastic performance against L’udovit Klein, submitting him via anaconda choke in the second round after controlling the majority of the fight. Klein may have been 1-1 in his last 2 UFC fights, but it was complete dominance from Landwehr complete with a slick anaconda choke for the finish. He is better known for his striking, but skills like that on the ground could make him a formidable opponent for other featherweights.
What’s not to love about a fight with Billy Quarantillo? Both men love to scrap, and neither of them has ever been known to back away from a fight. They would bring the leather, certainly, but this fight with Klein shows that Landwehr is good enough to stick with some of 145’s best on the ground. That fight would be sure to be a great one to watch, and could even co-main event a card.
What fights do you want to see for these winners? Let us know in the comments below!
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