UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal II Prelim Matchmaking

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Randy Brown def. Alex Oliveira via Submission (Rear Naked Choke)

Randy Brown – Daniel Rodriguez

It will be interesting to see where this bad blood came from but it seemed to fuel Randy Brown. He managed to secure his fifth career submission victory and inches himself closer to the rankings. Daniel Rodriguez is one of the brightest fighters in the welterweight division and loves to fight.

Alex Oliveira – Alex Morono

Alex Oliveira is one of the most beloved fighters in the sport because of his infectious personality. Unfortunately he has been struggling as of late and will need a win in his next fight. Alex Morono is another veteran who is deserving of big names at this stage in his career.

Dwight Grant def. Stefan Sekulic via Split Decision

Dwight Grant – Gabriel Green

The scoring of this fight was all over the place and many felt that Grant may have escaped with a victory. When he watches this back he will notice that he has a lot of success when he let his hands go. Gabriel Green won a razor close decision in his last fight as well and will look for back-to-back victories for the first time in his UFC career.

Stefan Sekulic – Ramiz Brahimaj

Stefan Sekulic will be disappointed with the judges after this fight. After a long layoff due to a suspension, many felt he needed a win to stick around in the promotion. Given the nature of the decision hopefully the UFC gives him another shot. A fight with Ramiz Brahimaj would make a ton of sense for the Serbian, as Brahimaj is coming off of a loss of his own.

Brendan Allen def. Karl Roberson via Submission (Heel Hook)

Brendan Allen – Julian Marquez

Brendan Allen showed why he is one of the most underrated fighters in the entire sport. After losing as a favorite to Sean Strickland many began writing him off. He proved that he deserves that he is one of the best 185lb prospects in the sport. Julian Marquez is one of the most talked about fighters in the sport at the moment after his recent post-fight interviews. A fight between the two would determine who is ready for a fight with a ranked opponent.

Karl Roberson – Joaquin Buckley

Karl Roberson entered the fight as the favorite and unfortunately came up short. He showed that one of the chinks in his armor is his grappling. That should be one of the main focuses of his training in the coming months. A fight with Joaquin Buckley would fit his style a little better and would surely be a Fight of the Night contender.

Pat Sabatini def. Tristan Connelly via Unanimous Decision

Pat Sabatini – Daniel Pineda

Pat Sabatini showed no signs of octagon jitters in his UFC debut. He was able to land an early knock down and secured several takedowns on his way to his first UFC victory. Daniel Pineda is one of the most experienced fighters in the UFC and will be looking to rebound after his loss to Cub Swanson.

Tristan Connelly – Kevin Croom

Tristan Connelly made a huge drop in weight class moving from 170lbs down to 145lbs. He had some moments in the third round, but ultimately came up short in his featherweight move. Kevin Croom will be hoping to get back to his winning ways in his next outing after losing to Alex Caceres in his last fight.

Danaa Batgerel def. Kevin Natividad via TKO (Punches)

Danaa Batgerel – John Castañeda

Danaa Batgerel had his breakthrough performance in the UFC Saturday night. He is the only Mongolian fighter to ever compete in the UFC and hopefully with the win will get the organization to scout more fighters from the nation. John Castañeda most recently defeated MMA veteran Eddie Wineland to earn his first UFC finish.

Kevin Natividad – Jesse Strader

Kevin Natividad entered the cage for the first time in 2021 with a new found hunger. Unfortunately he got caught by a left hook early on in the contest. Natividad will be given another shot in the promotion despite starting his career 0-2. A fight with Jesse Strader who lost his debut will offer both men a chance to earn their first UFC win.

Rodrigo Vargas def. Rong Zhu via Unanimous Decision

Rodrigo Vargas – Natan Levy

Rodrigo Vargas likely ended this bout with his back against the wall after going 0-2 in his first two UFC fights. He out struck Zhu to a close decision. The Mexican will likely be matched up with a young prospect like he was in this one. Natan Levy was recently forced out of his debut scheduled to be against Austin Hubbard. He will likely be looking for a fight in the late summer.

Rong Zhu – Khama Worthy

Rong Zhu is the youngest fighter in the UFC, and first to ever be signed born after January 2000. He had moments throughout the round but didn’t have enough output to secure the victory against Vargas. Khama Worthy has lost back-to-back fights after winning his first two UFC apprearances. Both men will be looking to get back to their winning ways.

Jeff Molina def. Qileng Aori via Unanimous Decision

Jeff Molina – Bruno Silva

Jeff Molina’s long overdue UFC debut finally took place and did not disappoint. He put on a clinic late in the fight which secured him his first UFC win by landing over 125 significant strikes in the round. Bruno Silva recently just signed a four-fight contract extension with the UFC and will need an opponent in the summer.

Qileng Aori – Cody Durden

Qileng Aori had a very impressive debut and was landing the harder shots throughout. He needs to go back to the drawing board and focus on his defense and cardio as he faded late. Cody Durden lost his last fight to the recently retired Jimmy Flick. He has been recovering from a knee surgery and is expected to return in the fall.

Ariane Carnelossi def. Na Liang via TKO (Punches)

Ariane Carnelossi – Montserrat Ruiz

In Ariane Carnelossi’s first fight in over a year and a half, she showed excellent developments in her game. She showed tremendous toughness in the early going and composure to weather the early storm. In the second, she took over the fight and secured her first win in the promotion. Montserrat Ruiz picked up her first UFC victory on March 20 so the timeline for the two could align.

Na Liang – Mallory Martin

Na Liang opened up UFC 261 with an exciting pace from the opening belt. Early it appeared that she may be able to get Carnelossi out early, but unfortunately gassed. She needed help getting to the stool due to exhaustion and was out away in the second. Mallory Martin lost to Polyana Viana via armbar back in February and will need a win next time out.

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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