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Thursday, December 8, 2022

What’s Next: UFC Vegas 59 Winners

Jamahal Hill, UFC Vegas 59 Weigh in Credit: Alex Behunin/Cageside Press

Ahead of UFC Vegas 59, there wasn’t much to expect from this card overall, in part due to its 13th return to Apex this year. It wasn’t an unfortunate number 13, though, as the event managed to live up to expectations exponentially, with all 10 races finishing within the distance.

This marks the second time in eight years that the UFC card has covered all fights, the first being UFC Fight Night 55 in Sydney. Sam Alvey found himself on that card too, but he left it at the end of the first round and didn’t make it to the end of the first round.

Let’s see what happens next to the winner of the night.

Jamahal Mountains

“Sweet Dreams” Hill is in his seventh official UFC fight. The Contenders series alumna amassed four completions in that span, though he was overturned in a first-round victory over Klidson Abreu after testing positive for marijuana. Thiago Santos, on the other hand, emerged from a loss to perennial contender Margomed Ankayev in one of Hill’s toughest tests to date.

Santos’ game plan was obvious from the start, as he wanted to bring the fight to the cage and then to the pad at nearly every opportunity to stay away from Hill’s high-level strikes. He managed to do that until midway through the fourth round, eating his big right hand when he found himself exchanging vital shots with Hill. Some heavy ground and pounding from Hill gave Heberdean enough reason to call the fight, with Jamahal Hill going three straight.

It was recently announced that Volkan Oezdemir will play against Nikita Krylov, and with both Anthony Smith and Aleksandar Rakic ​​suffering from prolonged leg injuries, Hill doesn’t have many options in the standings. For what it’s worth, I’m sure Hill will probably wait and see how the top players in this division play out, and it’s likely that Gloft Sheila and champion Giri Prochazka will meet again, assuming Jan Blachowicz and Ankalaev will fight for No. one. Dominick Reyes is the only top event likely looking for a comeback fight.

Hill’s next fight: Dominic Reyes

Jeff Neal

“Hands of Steel” Neal looks possibly the best he’s ever seen after an eight-month hiatus. Vicente Luke’s seven-plus years in the UFC didn’t end, and then there was Jeff Neal.

Although the division’s top ranks have been booked, the battle still has a major impact on the division’s performance. The Texas native looked flawless, and even after a slowdown in the second round, he proved himself with a point in the third round, showing the rest of the division that he wasn’t here just for the rankings.

After a flawless performance, Neil was locked and loaded with a name on the tip of his tongue. The name is Gilbert Burns. Gilbert lost to Chimayev, and the fight made sense, but it seemed like Gilbert had his sights elsewhere. Burns makes it clear that he wants to dance with Masvidal, and tells Neil that if that doesn’t happen, he’ll grant Jeff’s wish.

Neil’s next fight: Gilbert Burns

Muhammad Usman

Mohammed Usman followed in his brother’s footsteps and was crowned Ultimate Fighter 30 Champion after a perfect knockout of Zac Pauga.

The first round didn’t go the way the Nigerian did as Pauga moved well and was able to hit the shots he wanted while being able to avoid big shooters from him. But just 36 seconds into the second round, Pauga found himself taking a short left uppercut that instantly turned off his lights.

There’s no doubt Usman won’t be a fighter to make waves in a heavyweight division that needs waves, but the newcomer is sure to bring some excitement. Josh Parisian could be a good challenge for Usman in his first fight under the flag.

Usman’s next fight: Josh Paris

Juliana Miller

Another fighter who found herself lifting the TUF trophy was Juliana Miller. Despite being the least experienced woman on the show, “Killer” Miller found himself the one who signed on the dotted line of the UFC’s multi-fight contract.

One woman who has recently emerged from her decision-making failure is Mandy Bohm, and a battle between the two could make sense.

Miller’s next fight: Mandy Bohm

Sergey Spivak

“Polar Bear” Spivak managed to pull off back-to-back victories, beating Augusto Sakai impressively. Moldova’s last defeat came to the impressive Tom Aspinar, who is considered by many to be a future champion, making the loss not look so bad on Spivak’s record.

The 27-year-old has a few options for his next outing, some of which may make more sense than others. One of my favorite sounds is Spivak vs. Ivanov, however, you can also defend Spivak vs. Daukaus. Fireworks are guaranteed for any game, but I’m leaning more towards the aforementioned Ivanov.

Spivak’s next fight: Blagoy Ivanov

Terence McKinney

The ever-improving Terence McKinney reappeared and impressed. The top of the Contenders series once again shared this card with headliner Jamahal Hill, the third card they’ve shared, the first two being the Dana White Contenders series cards and UFC 263.

Despite sailing to another first-round submission, it wasn’t all plain sailing for the 27-year-old. Although McKinney did better, he did find himself blown away by a huge shot early on. Shortly after finding himself collapsed on Gonzalez’s back, he managed to eat the bullet and stood up, suffocating back-to-back naked.

McKinney called out “bad guys” in his Octagon interview, but I doubt that’s a fight the UFC is doing now, even though it makes sense. Another game that fans may benefit from is McKinney vs. Jamie Muraki.

McKinney’s next fight: (if UFC doesn’t want to match him with ‘bad guy’ Paddy) Jamie Muraki


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