Alonzo Menifield def. Fabio Cherant via Submission (Von Flue Choke)
Alonzo Menifield – Shamil Gamzatov
Alonzo Menifield had a lot riding on his Saturday night performance. He had lost two straight bouts heading into the weekend and was in need of a victory. The Contender Series alum is one of the more highly touted fighters to come from the show. He was initially scheduled to face William Knight on the evening. The fight fell through on the week of due to COVID-19 protocols preventing Knight from fighting. With the win, Menifield is back to his winning ways and is ready for a step up in competition. Shamil Gamzatov hasn’t fought since November of 2019 due to visa issues. If he can get those papers sorted quickly, a fight between Gamzatov and Menifield would be a nice addition to a pay-per-view card this summer.
Fabio Cherant – Carlos Ulberg
It wasn’t the debut Fabio Cherant would have been hoping for heading into Saturday night. That being said he took the fight on short notice and performed admirably. He will likely be taking some time off after the setback to deal with some injuries. When he is back, I expect the former LFA Light Heavyweight Champion to be throw right back in there with the best in the world. Carlos Ulberg recently dropped his UFC debut to the hands of Kennedy Nzechuwu. A fight with the City Kickboxing fighter would determine if Cherant is ready for UFC caliber opposition.
Abubakar Nurmagomedov def. Jared Gooden via Unanimous Decision
Abubakar Nurmagomedov – Danny Roberts
When Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement was made official many felt that would be the last w hear of the Nurmagomedov name. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Khabib seems to be at every event from EFC to UFC. He was in attendance again on Saturday cornering his cousin Abubakar. The Russian was at his best defeating Jared Gooden everywhere the fight went. His striking as improved drastically since his last performance. Abubakar Nurmagomedov will now begin his slow rise toward the top of the welterweight division. A matchup with England’s Danny Roberts would make for a classic striker vs grappler affair. We haven’t seen Roberts since November of 2019.
Jared Gooden – Jason Witt
Jared Gooden has been fed two very tough opponents in his first two UFC fights. In his UFC debut, he was matched up with Alan Jouban, and now Abubakar Nurmagomedov. Hopefully, the UFC will give him another chance to prove his worth in the very deep 170lb division. He is very experienced for the division which will likely give him another shot in the promotion. Jason Witt recently suffered a first-round knockout loss to Matthew Semelsberger. He will be looking to rebound in his next outing. Both men have their backs against the wall in this one, so expect a barnburner.
Michał Oleksiejczuk def. Modestas Bukauskas via Split Decision
Michał Oleksiejczuk – Kennedy Nzechukwu
It was a very impressive performance by Michał Oleksiejczuk despite the controversy. Regardless of how you scored it, the Polish fighter marched forward throughout the entire fight which likely sealed him the victory. Heading into the fight, he had lost two consecutive fights and needed a win. Kennedy Nzechukwu recently picked up his first UFC win when he finished Carlos Ulberg in the second round of their fight earlier this month. He also earned a Fight of the Night bonus in that performance. A fight between Nzechukwu and Oleksiejczuk could surely be candidate for Fight of the Night as well.
Modestas Bukauskas – John Allan
Modestas Bukauskas and his team will be furious after this one. The majority of people watching felt he landed the more significant strikes on the evening. Although the fight was close, many felt the Lithuanian had done enough to secure the victory. He now finds himself on a two-fight losing streak and in need of a win. Like Bukauskas, John Allan lost a split decision in his last performance. A win for him in his next outing is a must if he wants to continue in the organization. A fight between the two would make a nice addition to a fight night card.
Omar Morales def. Shane Young via Unanimous Decision
Omar Morales – Charles Jourdain
Omar Morales looked like a man on a mission on Saturday night. Many were questioning the 35-year-old’s decision to drop down to 145lbs. He was a very large lightweight, so the move caught many by surprise. After suffering his first professional defeat in his featherweight debut, it was interesting to see how we would rebound. His owns some of the best striking in the division and he showcased that on the weekend. Earlier in the month Canadian Charles Jourdain’s striking was on full display in his masterclass against Marcelo Rojo. A bout between two of the most exciting strikers in the division could be next for both gentlemen.
Shane Young – Kevin Croom
Shane Young was viewed by many as one of the most exciting prospects at 145lbs heading into 2020. Now a year later, he finds himself on the verge of potentially being cut from the promotion. In his UFC debut, Young fought Alexander Volkanovski to a decision. Shane Young is still just 27 so has plenty room for growth. The Aussie will likely return home and take an extensive break. Expect to see him back in the cage before the end of the year. Kevin Croom is one of the most experienced fighters in the featherweight division with 35 fights. A matchup between the two will be electrifying.
Marc-Andre Barriault def. Abu Azaitar via TKO (Punches)
Marc-Andre Barriault – Alessio di Chirico
Marc-Andre Barriault entered the of his last octagon on Saturday with his back against the wall. He had lost three of four with one no contest. He had yet to pick up an official victory for the promotion. The 31-year-old has brought his record up to 12-4 (1) with the victory and has never been finished. Look for the Canadian to get matched up with another experienced fighter in his next outing. Alessio di Chirico recently derailed the Joaquin Buckley hype train with a head kick. The fellow 31-year-old was riding a three-fight losing streak entering that fight. Both di Chirico and Barriault are extremely durable which would make this a fun prelim addition to any card.
Abu Azaitar – Andrew Sanchez
Abu Azaitar had a great start to the contest against Barriault but faded late. He happened to trip over the referee in the third round and struggled for the remainder of the contest. It appears as if they will file an appeal to get the bout overturned but I don’t believe the outcome will be changed. The result seemed inevitable. It is the German-Moroccan’s first defeat since 2012. Azaitar will be matched up with another fighter coming off of a loss. Andrew Sanchez has seen mixed results since making his UFC debut in 2016. He has lost two of his last three and will need a win next time out. A matchup between the two will surely play out on the feet.