The loss of Glover Texeira vs. Thiago Santos left this card a little lackluster in terms of name value, but we had some fantastic knockouts, submissions, and warring scraps from the UFC Apex once again.
Afterwards, we’re stuck asking ourselves… what’s next for the victors? Well I’m here to try to play matchmaker for our main card winners and see what fights could (and should) be on the horizon!
Michelle Waterson vs. Tatiana Suarez (SW)
Michelle Waterson emerged victorious in her split decision war with Angela Hill, narrowly edging her Muay-Thai based opponent with her karate style kicks. She still has dreams of being the first Mom Champ and unless the UFC wants to add in the Atomweights, she is going to have to keep trucking along at 115. Tatiana Suarez is riding five straight wins in the UFC and is undefeated in her pro career. However, she has not fought since June 2019 due to an injury and needs to string together one or two dominant wins to solidify her contendership, making this a prime bout for the top of the division.
Ottman Azaitar vs. Rafael Fiziev (LW)
Azaitar won his second straight UFC bout with his second straight first round knockout. The Bulldozer fights pretty much like his namesake, unloading near endless combinations the very second that weakness is shown. Worthy is no slouch and sets Azaitar up as a genuine prospect who has one-shot power and furious pacing. Rafael Fiziev heavily impressed in his FOTN win against Marc Diakese and presents an incredible striker’s delight matchup with the furiously powerful Azaitar.
Roxanne Modafferi vs. Jessica Eye (FLW)
The Happy Warrior won in a close matchup, but ultimately outworking Andrea Lee due to almost five minutes in top control. Modafferi wants to deny her attributed role as a gatekeeper and is now back on the winning track, although she has not yet scored consecutive victories in the UFC. The number five ranked Jessica Eye has not competed since a decision loss to Cynthia Calvillo and presents a way for Modafferi to prove she belongs in the title conversation.
Ed Herman vs. Klidson Abreu (LHW)
Though it was not without controversy, as the referee improperly called a pause to the fight that would likely have seen Herman finished, Ed Herman found a third round submission over the dangerous Mike Rodriguez. Regardless of said controversy and a possible overturn of the result, it was a great reversal in momentum from Herman, as he was likely down two rounds. Herman likely is not going to be shooting for the title anytime soon, so I think a bout against Klidson Abreu presents a winnable fight for Herman that can show us where his future is.
Bobby Green vs. Scott Holtzman (LW)
Bobby Green got his third decision victory in as many months against Alan Patrick, clearly winning throughout every single round. The veteran seems to be gearing up for one last run, securing his first winning streak since his first UFC defeat. At 34, “King” is still in a position to make a run towards the rankings, but needs a more serious opponent if he wants a number opposite his name at Lightweight. Scott Holtzman is similarly slated in the Lightweight rat race and serves as a good test for what Green has left for us.
Billy Quarantillo vs. Grant Dawson (FTW)
Billy Q earned himself a fantastic knockout victory in the early seconds of the third round over Kyle Nelson, finding his second UFC stoppage and third straight win inside the sport’s best organization. He has performed in a great way since coming off the Contender Series, and is now surging towards a ranking in one of the most full divisions. A matchup against fellow up-and-comer Grant Dawson would surely be fireworks between Dawson’s relentless grappling attack and Quarantillo’s all-out onslaught.
Our last event next week at the UFC Apex before we head off to Fight Island is bringing it with a fourteen bout fight card with the likes of Khamzat Chimaev, Cowboy Cerrone, and a grudge match between Tyron Woodley and Colby Covington.