#UFCVegas3: Curtis Blaydes Wrestling ClinicTweet
Last week we didn’t do an Aftermath because it was my anniversary and I didn’t watch the fights like the good casual I am. But this week, we are back in action breaking down some fight analysis and what’s next scenarios. Let’s dive in!
Austin Hubbard Drags Rohskopf Through Hell
Next opponent for Austin Hubbard: Joe Solecki, Pena/Worthy loser
Let’s not get it twisted, Max Rohskopf is a very talented fighter. With only five professional fights under his belt, the UFC brass somewhat threw him into the deep end with Austin Hubbard who has thee times the experience he has. Rohskopf stole the show from Hubbard with his corner’s refusal to call the fight when Rohskopf basically begged to have the fight called off. Hubbard had a tough first round, Rohskopf showed that he was a player almost immediately. But in the second round, Hubbard took over and put a pretty bad beating on Rohskopf.
Hubbard had to change opponent late when Joe Solecki had to pull out short notice. Now with his second win in the UFC, Hubbard will have a fight on his level next. I’m not sure what Solecki’s timeline for return is, but that is a really intriguing fight. I would like to see those two actually fight next if Hubbard and Solecki’s timelines add up.
If it doesn’t match up right, the loser of Luis Pena and Khama Worthy would be a good opponent for Hubbard. They would be a logical step up in competition and would be a good test for Hubbard on his development of his game at Team Elevation.
Gillian Robertson Snatchin’ Arms
Next opponent for Gillian Robertson: Hannah Goldy, Antonina Shevchenko
Gillian Robertson showed even more improvement since her last fight in the stand up part. Robertson already has great ground game and adding stand up is where she logically needs to move towards. Don’t get me wrong, Robertson isn’t a killer standing up, and it showed at UFC Vegas 3. But she has improved since her last fight with Maycee Barber at UFC Boston.
Robertson did a good job using her skills and getting the fight to the ground where she thrived. Courtney Casey was a very formidable opponent and allowed Robertson to rebound from her loss in the last fight. She managed to snatch Casey’s arm at the end of the third round of a fight she was probably going to take in a decision.
Robertson is teetering on the edge of the rankings in the UFC. She might do well taking another unranked fight. Hannah Goldy defeated Robertson in her professional debut as an MMA fighter. Running that back would be prime to see how both fighters have improved since 2016.
Antonina Shevchenko is my other option and one I really like. Shevchenko got dominated by Katlyn Chookagain at UFC Vegas. This matchup is intriguing because it would allow us to see where Shevchenko’s ground game is and where Robertson’s stand up is as well.
Josh Emmett and Shane Burgos is a Work of Art
Next opponent for Shane Burgos: Sodiq Yusuff, Arnold Allen
Shane Burgos came into UFC Vegas 3 known as a great striker. His style put on for a real fun fight for fans watching on ESPN+ (empty stadium, remember?) Unfortunately, Burgos and his defensive striking cost him this fight. Burgos lost the fight solely based on the third round and being knocked down twice.
Regardless of the loss, Burgos showed that he is an incredibly fun fighter and that’s great for job security. Burgos will have to start his climb back up the ranks but he can do that with a couple good wins despite the depth at featherweight due to good matchmaking.
Burgos is looking for another fun fight and there would be none other than Sodiq Yusuff. I know we suggested Yusuff to face Herbert Burns in the UFC 250 Aftermath. But this fight would have even more fireworks than the aforementioned fight. Burgos would be a good test for Yusuff and would be a Fight of the Night candidate.
Second option is Arnold Allen. It’s another example of stylistic matchmaking that would be an incredible sight for fans. Allen and Burgos would throw hand, exactly what Dana White seems to be looking for these days.
Next opponent for Josh Emmett: Zabit/Yair loser, Kattar/Ige winner
Josh Emmett proved he can fight well in a tough fight and go all three rounds. Emmett landed shots that would put down any other featherweight without the chin of Burgos. But, he took a fight where he was smaller and showed that he was not out of the fight. Emmett looks to continue his climb up the featherweight ranks and stake his claim for a title shot.
It’s time to see where Emmett sits at amongst the elite of the division. Zabit Magomedsharipov and Yair Rodriguez are rumored to be in the works soon for a fight. The winner will likely get the winner of Volkanovski-Holloway 2. Emmett could take on the loser and beat a very tough opponent who presents unique challenges for him. Emmett’s clear advantage over both Zabit and Rodriguez in his gas tank. It would be an opportunity to see if he can hold his own against either of the two.
Second option is the winner of Calvin Kattar and Dan Ige. The two are scheduled to fight on July 15th on Fight Island. The winner of Zabit and Rodriguez could be in line for a title shot after the current booked title shot. The winner of this fight would likely need one more win and Emmett could be that last test for the next contender in the featherweight division.
Curtis Blaydes Takes Volkov for a Ride
Next opponent for Alexander Volkov: Alistair Overeem, Junior Dos Santos
Alexander Volkov had no luck at UFC Vegas 3. Blaydes dominated for all five rounds and wrestled him to the end. Volkov looked like he was coming on strong in the 4th round with the clear cardio advantage, but Blaydes fought smart. Volkov never had any room to do what he does, pick you apart at range.
Volkov didn’t have a chance to get anything going at UFC Vegas 3. He’s back in no man’s land in the heavyweight division after being in the hunt. After losing to Derrick Lewis in the last second of a fight he was winning. He’s back to finding his place in the division once again. One fight for Alexander Volkov could be a matchup with Alistair Overeem. Overeem has had trouble with technical strikers as of late. It would be interesting to see if Overeem can overcome the length of Volkov and Volkov would get an opportunity to fight a winnable fight.
Volkov was originally supposed to fight Junior Dos Santos before Dos Santos pulled out due to a bacterial infection. While Dos Santos is fighting Jairzinho Rozenstruik in August, I would like to see that matchup regardless of a win or loss for Dos Santos. There’s a good fight in there. Dos Santos is on the tail end of his career and Volkov is looking for another good name to add to his resume to bolster his next title run.
Next opponent for Curtis Blaydes: Derrick Lewis, Alexander Gustafsson
Curtis Blaydes fought masterfully at UFC Vegas 3. He wrestled Volkov to the end of the bell. Despite what Dana White said in the post fight press conference, Blaydes fought fantastic. He’s just in a bad spot in the heavyweight rankings. While he’s somewhat deserving a title shot. But with two losses to Francis N’Gannou, he’s firmly in fourth place in the division. What’s next for Blaydes depends on what happens in August with Miocic and Cormier.
Blaydes will likely have to fight down now. One good option is Derrick Lewis. Blaydes has had great improvement with his striking since joining the UFC. While his chin isn’t a question, his only two losses come to N’Gannou via doctors stoppage, more recently, a quick knockout. He’s fought other power punchers before, like Mark Hunt. I would like to see him fight another again, and Lewis is that option. We could see if Blaydes can survive a power puncher once more all while putting Lewis’ wrestling to the test again after getting obliterated by Cormier in his title shot. While Lewis is to fight Alexey Oleinik, it’d still be a good fight, win or lose, for Lewis and Blaydes.
Options from there are rather sparse. There’s not many good top fighters that Blaydes has not fought yet. Moving further down in the rankings is uninspiring as well. But one matchup I do like is Alexander Gustafsson. Gustafsson is booked to fight Fabricio Werdum at the end of July. Should he look good and win against the former heavyweight champion in his heavyweight debut, Gustafsson might be fast tracked to the top of the division. He is a fan favorite fighter and would sell some pay per views in yet another title fight. Gustafsson has already staved off wrestling of Daniel Cormier. Seeing him try again in a higher weight class against an extremely strong Curtis Blaydes is a good litmus test to see if he’s title shot ready already.