UFC 258: Usman vs Burns Prelim Matchmaking

PC: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Anthony Hernandez def. Rodolfo Vieira via Submission (Guillotine Choke)

Anthony Hernandez Andre Muniz

Anthony Hernandez may have just picked up the biggest upset of the year. He entered the fight as a betting underdog, and took on one of the greatest grapplers to ever set foot inside the octagon. After surviving the early grappling exchanges, Vieira’s gas tank began to fade. Hernandez rocked him repeatedly on the feet before forcing him to tap to a guillotine choke. Hernandez is down to scrap with just about anybody and Andre Muniz also fits that description. A matchup between the two would determine who is ready to make the leap toward the rankings of the 185lb division.

Rodolfo Vieira – Andrew Sanchez

Rodolfo Vieira entered the octagon as one of the few men who remain undefeated in the UFC (Full list can be found here). Despite the loss, Vieira looked dominant until his gas tank let him down. That should be the number one objective of the Brazilian before his next fight. After suffering his first career loss, Vieira sits at 2-1 in the promotion and will likely see someone in a similar position in the rankings. Despite the style clash, Andrew Sanchez is also in need of a win after suffering a recent loss. Both gentlemen are in the prime of their careers so a win here found be huge for both men.

Belal Muhammad def. Dhiego Lima via Unanimous Decision

Belal Muhammad vs Li Jingliang

Belal Muhammad will surely be remembered by the rest of the welterweight division after a performance like that one. He used constant pressure from the opening bell to get Lima back pedaling for the majority of the fight. Outside of a few calf kicks, Belal’s performance was virtually flawless. The #13 ranked welterweight will be looking forward for his next fight. Right above him sits Li Jingliang in the #12 spot. A fight between the two would determine who jumps into the Top 10. Muhammad also called him out while being interviewed by Joe Rogan so the fight sells itself.

Dhiego Lima vs Sergey Khandozhko

Dhiego Lima was overwhelmed by the cardio and constant pressure of Muhammad. With the loss, Lima’s longest winning streak since 2013 has been snapped. Despite some solid leg kicks that hurt Muhammad, Lima couldn’t really get going against the ranked welterweight. Lima will be matched up with an opponent in a similar spot in the rankings in his next outing. Sergey Khandozhko has seen mixed results in his short time in the UFC. After winning his debut, he lost to Rustam Khabilov in his sophmore appearance in 2019. We haven’t seen the Russian welterweight since 2019 and a a booking between the two would give both a chance to return to the win column.

Polyana Viana def. Mallory Martin via Submission (Armbar)

Polyana Viana vs Loma Lookboonmee

Heading into 2020, many UFC fans were surprised that Polyana Viana was still a member of the UFC roster. After three consecutive losses, it was surprising to see her get another opportunity. Viana made the most of it with back-to-back armbar finishes including at UFC 258. Viana dominated Martin on the mat with elite transitions. She finished the fight with an armbar midway in the first. Viana has now picked up consecutive victories in the UFC for the first time and is likely one fight away from a top 19 opponent. A fight with Thailand’s Loma Lookboonmee would make for a compelling clash of martial arts styles with Lookboonmee’s Muay Thai vs Viana’s Jiu-Jitsu.

Mallory Martin vs Na Liang

Mallory Martin displayed tremendous toughness surviving a deep triangle before being forced to tap due to the armbar. She has now dropped 2 of her 3 UFC performances since her signing in December of 2019. Martin is now 7-4 as a professional with her two most recent losses coming by way of submission. Martin had a five-fight win streak snapped in her debut and will look to try and get back to her winning ways next time out. China’s Na Liang was recently signed by the promotion and is in need of an opponent. Depending on Martin’s medical suspension, this fight may be able to feature on the potential Singapore card.

Chris Gutierrez def. Andre Ewell via Unanimous Decision

Chris Gutierrez vs Marlon Vera

Chris Gutierrez earned arguably his biggest victory to date by defeating Andre Ewell across three rounds. Gutierrez once again showed that his leg kicks are some of the best in the sport. Andre Ewell was scheduled to face a ranked opponent before the fight fell through. I would expect a Gutierrez to be matched up with an opponent on the cusp of the Top 15. Marlon Vera recently withstood every leg kick former Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo had to offer back in December. The winner of a fight between Gutierrez and Vera would determine who is ready for a shot at the Top 15.

Andre Ewell vs Montel Jackson

Andre Ewell is a fighter in every sense of the word. One of Ewell’s goals for 2021 was to have seven fights in the calendar year. Although that is very ambitious, he has already been scheduled for two fights on the year. Unfortunately, this loss will set him back a little bit, and we likely won’t see him until June-July. He showed crisp boxing and caused significant damage to Gutierrez’ nose. After falling short, Ewell’s first winning streak in the UFC has now ended. The seven fight UFC veteran will likely get an opponent with similar promotional experience. Montel Jackson is 4-1 in the promotion and is coming off only his second career loss. The two would be looking to rebound from recent losses against one another.

Gabriel Green def. Philip Rowe via Unanimous Decision

Gabriel Green vs Takashi Sato

Gabriel Green was able to chop down the much taller opponent in Rowe and pick up his first UFC win. In his debut he showed tremendous heart taking everything Daniel Rodriguez had to offer over 15-minutes. Early in this one, it was much of the same but eventually the tides turned. Green is now 10-3 as a professional with this being his only victory to go the distance. A matchup with Takashi Sato who recently suffered a loss to highly touted Miguel Baeza. Sato has won finished 13 of his 16 victories so the fight would likely end inside the distance.

Philip Rowe vs Louis Cosce

This fight was razor thin, and Rowe will likely go home wishing he had done just a little more. Several members of the media had scored in his favor, however the judges did not. That being said, the Rowe drops to 7-3 in the stacked welterweight division and will need a win next time out. Louis Cosce is in a very similar position after losing his UFC debut to Sasha Palatnikov in November. Both men have a 100% finishing rate so this fight has the potential to be fight of the night.

Sergio Pineiro

Sergio Pineiro is the Founder of FighterPath.com and host of the Quarantinecast podcast. Based in Canada he is both a sports journalist and MMA enthusiast. He practices the sport but has a passion for the individual stories of training, fighting and living the fighting lifestyle.

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