UFC Vegas 5 went down last night (Sat., Aug. 1, 2020) inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the main event, Derek Brunson handed Edmen Shahbazyan the first loss of his professional career (see it here). In the co-headli ing, Jennifer Maia stunned No, 1 flyweight contneder Joanne Calderwood via submission, ending her hoopes of fighting for the women’s Flyweight title (highlights).
Winner: Derek Brunson
Who He Should Face Next: Jack Hermansson
It might seem like an odd matchup at first, but here me out. Brunson has now won three in a row, which will almost assure him a huge bump up in the rankings, especially since Darren Till (No. 6) and Kelvin Gastelum (No. 7) just suffered big losses. Furthermore, Yoel Romero (No. 5) is on a three fight losing streak, which should give voters enough reason to put Brunson — who is ranked No. 8 — above all three of the. And since UFC recently booked Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier, I don’t think Dana White and Co. are set on giving Hermansson the next title shot. Perhaps a win over Brunson could be the tipping point. That said, a win for Derek could allow him to slide in and steal the shot.
Winner: Jennifer Maia
Who She Should Fight Next: Title shot vs Valentina Shevchenko
Joanne Calderwood was in line to face Shevchenko for the 125-pound title but opted to take a fight against Maia before then. It was a roll of the dice that came up craps for her, as she was submitted by Maia in the very first round. As a result, it stands to reason that Maia should get that honor next, as everyone in front of her in the rankings is coming off a loss or hasn’t made quite the case as the Brazilian bomber has for the championship fight.
Winner: Vicente Luque
Who He Should Fight Next: Michael Chiesa
Just as Brunson reminded the middleweight division that he is a legit threat, Luque did the same to the welterweight division with his dominant win over Randy Brown. Sure he has hiccup against Stephen Thompson, but the fact remains that Vicente has won fight of his las nine since 2018. Chiesa, meanwhile, is on a three-fight win streak and has really looked good since moving up to 170 pounds. While “Maverick” may hesitate to sign on the dotted line since a fight against Luque is high risk, low reward given his No. 11 ranking, it’s still a fight I think makes sense for both men.
Winner: Bobby Green
Who He Should Fight Next: Rafael Fiziev
Believe it or not, after defeating Lando Vannata in a highly-entertaining affair Green has his first consecutive win streak inside the Octagon since early 2014. As a result, his bouts will only get tougher, so I am feeling a fight between Green and Viziev. Rafael is 2-1 so far inside the Octagon but really caught everyone’s attention during his win over Mark Diakiese a few weeks ago at UFC Fight Island 2 with his aggressive and exciting pace. I can’t even begin to imagine the violent energy both he and Green could bring together inside the Octagon. A win gives Fiziev a notch on his belt over someone well-known, while Green can catapult himself higher with a huge victory over the former kickboxer.
For complete UFC Vegas 5 results and coverage click here.