Who should the UFC Vegas 42 winners on the main card fight next? In a fight of the year contender, Max Holloway continued to set records as he earned a decision win against a formidable opponent in Yair Rodriguez. Here are my thoughts on what the future may hold for the five fighters who won on the main card on Saturday.
Julio Arce is no easy opponent, and Song Yadong made it look fairly easy on Saturday as he earned a round two TKO victory. It’s incredible that Yadong is only 23 years old and continuing to climb up the ultra-competitive 135-pound ladder. Coming into Saturday as the 15th ranked Bantamweight, Yadong is set for a more challenging opponent in his next bout.
One potential matchup for Yadong is Frankie Edgar. Edgar is a UFC legend and Hall-of-Famer, but at 40 years old and coming off back-to-back losses, he may be at the end of his career. However, the fight that makes the most sense for Yadong is Marlon Moraes. Moraes fought for a title as recently as 2019 but has since fallen on tough times, losing three straight by TKO. If Yadong can beat the number nine 135er in Moraes, it will go a long way for his career trajectory.
In a fight that was bound to create chaos (bad joke), Khaos Williams earned another highlight-reel knockout, putting Miguel Baeza down with a deadly right hand in round three. Despite getting his calf badly damaged, Williams was able to withstand Baeza’s pressure and land that knockout blow. 4-1 since joining the UFC, Williams has proven to be a legitimate prospect and is arguably deserving of a top-15 opponent next.
While Williams could be in line to fight a ranked Welterweight, it seems unlikely he will get one because of how deep 170 is at the moment. Instead, Williams should take a fight with Niko Price. Like Khaos, Price has the ability to show up on any highlight reel with his creative striking and knockout power. Both Price and Williams are coming off of wins in 2021, and this fight is guaranteed to be absolute fireworks.
In need of a win to keep her job in the UFC, Felicia Spencer completely dominated Leah Letson on Saturday, earning a third-round TKO. With few 145 pound women on the roster, there are not many options left for Spencer to fight. Considering that she recently lost to Norma Dumont and has lost to Amanda Nunes, it will be challenging to get another title shot.
One potential name for Spencer is Danyelle Wolf. Wolf earned a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2020, but she has yet to fight since and pulled out of a bout with Spencer back in May. However, the name that makes the most sense for Spencer is Aspen Ladd. Ladd has always had trouble making 135 and, despite losing her 145-pound debut to Dumont, is still a force to be reckoned with. The winner between Ladd and Spencer would be able to get a bit closer to a title shot with Nunes.
Marcos Rogerio de Lima
Despite a questionable stoppage by Herb Dean, Marcos Rogerio de Lima picked up the biggest win of his career on Saturday, knocking out Ben Rothwell at 32 seconds into the first round. Lima has been inconsistent throughout his run in the UFC but is now on a two-fight winning streak for the first time since 2014.
Lima likely still needs another win to get a top 15 opponent. One potential name for Pezao is Andrei Arlovski. The 42-year-old Arlovski has fought practically everyone in the division and is also on a two-fight winning streak. However, the name that makes the most sense for Lima is Tanner Boser. Boser was supposed to compete in December against Sergei Pavlovich, but Pavlovich was forced to pull out due to Visa issues. Both Lima and Boser are looking to crack the top 15, and another win would help either do so.
In a fight that produced the third most significant strikes landed in a UFC fight, Max Holloway battled Yair Rodriguez for five hard rounds and ultimately earned a unanimous decision win. Holloway continues to look incredible and, despite having two losses to Alexander Volkanovski, should be in line for a trilogy.
If Holloway and Volk both want the fight, then it’s clear that they need to run it back a third time. The second fight was extremely close, where Volkanovski defended his belt in a razor-thin split decision. Since that loss, Holloway put on one of the most incredible performances of all time against Calvin Kattar and now another win over Rodriguez. As long as he stays at 145, Holloway will fight Volkanosvki next. If Blessed decides to move up to 155, then he may have more options.
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