Marvin Vettori def. Kevin Holland via Unanimous Decision
Marvin Vettori – Paulo Costa
Marvin Vettori’s risk paid off on Saturday night after accepting the fight despite the opponent change. The Italian made his case for a title shot which will likely fall on deaf ears for the UFC with a Whittaker win this Saturday. As dominant as the victory over Holland was, it wasn’t emphatic enough to leapfrog Robert Whittaker if he wins his weekend. With a Whittaker loss, Vettori may be the next in line given how close his first fight with the current champion Israel Adesanya was. I would like to see him fight one more time before throwing him at the champion and a fight with Paulo Costa could be the fight to make. With a victory over Costa, Vettori would prove he is ready to be the first Italian to ever compete for a UFC title.
Kevin Holland – Michel Pereira
Kevin Holland has to be one of the most loved fighters in the UFC matchmaking room. He will fight anyone on any notice which is what the UFC loves. As much as they love his mentality, it is also the reason he finds himself on a two-fight skid. Holland went 5-0 in 2020 and won FighterPath MMA’s Fighter of the Year because of his performances. Holland should take a step back in competition and some time to work on his wrestling. He is undersized for the weight class, and should follow through with his plan to move down to 170lbs. A matchup with Michel Pereira would surely be one of the most exciting fights on paper we have seen in a while. It gives Holland an opportunity to get back to his winning ways with an opponent who puts himself in a lot of vulnerable positions.
Arnold Allen def. Sodiq Yusuff via Unanimous Decision
Arnold Allen – Calvin Kattar
Arnold Allen earned the biggest win of his career to date. Despite is 16-1 record entering the contest on Saturday, he had yet to defeat a ranked opponent. Be defeating Yusuff he silenced a lot of doubters and secured his #8 spot in the featherweight rankings. Looking ahead in the rankings, the two opponents right ahead of him are Calvin Kattar and Josh Emmett. Kattar’s team has indicated he will not be returning to action until after the summer which may be perfect timing for Allen. For Kattar, it’s an opportunity to take a step back from his Max Holloway fight and get a victory. For Allen, a win over Calvin Kattar would throw his name into the hat for title discussions.
Sodiq Yusuff – Lerone Murphy
Sodiq Yusuff proved he deserved a spot in the Top 15 with his Saturday night performance despite the defeat. He will likely be fighting for his spot in the rankings in his next outing. A matchup with someone sitting just outside the rankings would be fitting for the Nigerian. Lerone Murphy is one of the few fighters in the UFC with an undefeated record. He likes to strike as much as Yusuff, and a matchup between the two would be fireworks. The two would be best suited for a main card slot on a UFC Fight Night event.
Julian Marquez def. Sam Alvey via Technical Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Julian Marquez – Trevin Giles
James Krause is developing quite the stable of fighters over there at Glory MMA and Fitness. It seems like he is cornering at least one fighter on every UFC card. Julian Marquez has been flourishing under his guidance and it will be interesting to see what he can do under Krause’s leadership. He is now 2-0 since returning from injury and could find himself in the top 15 if he keeps up his current form. Trevin Giles holds a victory over Krause, and it’s a lossI’m sure Glory MMA would want avenged. Marquez and Giles would make for a fantastic addition to a Fight Night main card slot.
Sam Alvey – Jack Marshman
Sam Alvey is as loyal as they come when it comes to the UFC. He has never wanted to compete abroad and the thought of free agency has never crossed his mind. Unfortunately for Alvey, he is winless in his last six fights. Given his willingness to fight anyone, anywhere and anytime, the UFC may keep him around. I am hoping the UFC gives him at least another shot to keep his place on the UFC roster. He will need a win in his next fight for sure in order to stick around. Jack Marshman has lost four of his last five and could be on the verge of being cut. A matchup between the two would offer them an opportunity to fight for their respective careers.
Mackenzie Dern def. Nina Nunes via Submission (Armbar)
Mackenzie Dern – Joanna Jędrzejczyk
Mackenzie Dern has transformed entirely since her debut. She looks like she is in the best shape of her life and is performing like it as well. She showed a lot of hole on the feet in the Amanda Ribas and has patched those up since. She is on a four-fight winning streak and has entered the Top 5 of the division for the first time. With the title fight scheduled to take place in two weeks time, Dern may find herself one win away from a title shot. The only person currently available ahead of her is former title holder Joanna Jędrzejczyk. She has indicated she will only fight for a title, but if you grant the winner a guaranteed title shot, it may lure Jędrzejczyk to take the fight. Either way, this is the fight to make if the UFC can get it done.
Nina Nunes – Amanda Lemos
Nina Ansaroff (now Nunes) made her return to the octagon for the first time since having her baby. In a battle between two moms, she came up short to one of the best BJJ practitioners in the sport. She has now dropped out of the Top 5 of the division and finds herself on a losing streak. Hopefully the UFC matches her up with an opponent further down in the rankings or even outside the rankings. A win would give Nunes a little more confidence and a chance to get a much needed win. Amanda Lemos recently creeped into the Top 15 for the first time after beating Livia Renata Souza. A win for Lemos could see her inch jump up a few spots in the strawweight rankings.
Daniel Rodriguez def. Mike Perry via Unanimous Decision
Daniel Rodriguez – Santiago Ponzinibbio
Daniel Rodriguez looked as crisp as ever in his win over Mike Perry this past weekend. He managed to pick him apart on the feet earning the comfortable decision victory. His move to the BMF Ranch with Cowboy Cerrone has been a huge factor into his success. Cowboy was also a previous opponent of Perry’s so there likely was some knowledge transfer between the two that was used on Saturday night. He is now 4-1 in the promotion and is due a big name after the Perry victory. Santiago Ponzinibbio recently suffered his first lost since 2015 when he lost to Li Jingliang. A win over the Argentine would likely see ‘DRod’ enter the UFC rankings for the first time.
Mike Perry – Laureano Staropoli
Mike Perry has fallen on hard times and has now lost four of his last five. He is known for his tremendous power but hasn’t been able to finish an opponent since September of 2017. He is one of the few fighters on the roster that fans tune in to watch regardless of his form. He has hinted at a potential move up in weight class, but I think he should stick to 170lbs. When he is dialed in, he hasn’t had an issue making weight. In fact, he has only missed weight once in his UFC career. Laureano Staropoli finds himself on a little slide of his own losing back-to-back fights. For both men, it is an opportunity to get back into the win column.