Ben Rothwell def. Chris Barnett via Submission (Gogo Choke)
Ben Rothwell – Alexander Romanov
At 39 years old, Ben Rothwell is still competing at the highest level. Even though he earned a win on Saturday, the win won’t get him any closer to the rankings. A fight with undefeated Alexander Romanov may be the win ‘Big Ben’ needs to find himself back in the Top 15.
Chris Barnett – Gian Villante
MMA fans were ecstatic when Barnett was brought in on short notice against Ben Rothwell on short notice. Unfortunately for Barnett, he came up short on the night despite starting strong. Gian Villante is one of the few fighters unranked fighters that have similar experience to Barnett.
Court McGee def. Claudio Silva via Unanimous Decision
Court McGee – Max Griffin
In a year where veterans of the UFC seem to be coming up short in their bouts, the 30-fight veteran Court McGee gets it done for the first time since 2018. He is one of the most experienced guys in the welterweight class and will get matched up with another veteran. A fight with Max Griffin would give one of the two men an opportunity to jump one step closer to the rankings.
Claudio Silva – Sasha Palatnikov
After winning his first five UFC bouts, Silva now finds himself on the wrong side of two decision losses. At 38, it may be the end of the road for Claudio Silva. I hope the UFC gives him another opportunity against a prospect in the division. Sasha Palatnikov will be looking to rebound from a loss to Impa Kasanganay in his next bout. A booking between the two would be a nice addition to an international fight card.
Joshua Culibao def. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke via Unanimous Decision
Joshua Culibao – T.J. Brown
Josh Culibao must have felt a win was a must after going 0-1-1 in his first two bouts. He managed to outstrike the Chinese debutant across three rounds to earn the decision victory. Like Culibao, TJ Brown went winless in his first two UFC bouts before earning his first win. A bout between the two could feature on the prelims of a pay-per-view card in the summer.
Shayilan Nuerdanbieke – T.J. Laramie
The Chinese Performance Institute has had a rough month as none of their fighters have managed to get a win in the UFC debuts. Despite finding some success early, Culibao’s composure and experience was the difference maker in this one. A bout with T.J. Laramie would offer both men an opportunity to get their first wins in the promotion.
David Dvořák def. Juancamilo Ronderos via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)
David Dvořák – Rogério Bontorin
David Dvořák took a risk accepting an opponent on 24 hours notice, but it paid off on the night. He managed to finish the UFC newcomer with a rear naked choke. Dvořák deserves an opponent ahead of him in the rankings after the fight. A fight with recent winner Rogério Bontorin could help him get closer toward the top of the shallow 125lb division.
Juancamilo Ronderos – Cody Durden
Juancamilo Ronderos is guaranteed at least another fight in the organization after accepting a short notice fight with a ranked opponent. It was only his fifth professional fight, so don’t look for the UFC to book him with another experienced opponent. A fight with Cody Durden would be a nice fight that gives both fighters a chance to get their first win in the UFC.
Damir Ismagulov def. Rafael Alves via Unanimous Decision
Damir Ismagulov – Arman Tsarukyan
Damir Ismagulov returned from a long layoff and utilized his superior grappling to secure his 15th straight victory. If it weren’t for layoffs, there is a good chance we would see the Kazakh fighter inside the Top 15. A bout with Arman Tsarukyan would be a fun fight to determine who enters the lightweight rankings.
Rafael Alves – Roosevelt Roberts
Alves entered the octagon as the biggest underdog on the entire card. Despite a valiant effort in the third round, the Brazilian still came up short against Ismagulov. Due to the horrendous weight miss a couple months ago, I would expect to see Alves stay at 155lbs. A fight with Roosevelt Roberts could make sense for Rafael Alves.