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The UFC returned on Saturday after a week layoff. In all honesty, we needed the break after the wild events at UFC 257. Now that we’ve recovered it’s time to take a look at UFC Vegas 18 and what could be next for the fighters we enjoyed the most. So let’s dive in to the newest Aftermath edition.
Don’t forget to check out the preview section we do on Rokfin every Wednesday looking at the card ahead. Check out Beforemath here on Rokfin for free!
Beneil Dariush and Diego Ferreira Deliver at UFC Vegas 18
Next opponent for Diego Ferreira: Al Iaquinta, Rafael Dos Anjos
Diego Ferreira is fantastic. But he didn’t quite have enough for Dariush at UFC Vegas 18. Now, Ferreira is back to the drawing board. But, he wasn’t out of the fight entirely. Especially in the first round, Ferreira was super competitive. There were some awesome scrambles on the ground and some banging striking sequences. Eventually, Ferreira succumbed to the wrestling of Dariush and lost the decision.
Ferreira needs a rebound after dropping his first fight since 2015 when he lost to Dustin Poirier. Al Iaquinta is the fight. Iaquinta has good boxing and won’t kill Ferreira with wrestling. A fight between those two would also be incredibly fun fight that could produce fireworks.
Rafael Dos Anjos is my second choice for Diego Ferreira. Dos Anjos is a former champion and if Ferriera wants to jump back into the fire, RDA is the challenge for him. RDA is still held in some good regards for the UFC brass and beating the former champion can get Ferreira the clout he deserves.
Next opponent for Beneil Dariush: Tony Ferguson, Dan Hooker
UFC Vegas 18 showcased the best version of Beneil Dariush. Ferreira put him in some unique positions, like a gogoplata. Dariush, with his grappling pedigree, didn’t sweat a thing and kept the pressure and ground and pound on. While he did not get the finish, the three rounds of war will benefit Dariush, who is likely the nicest guy in the UFC.
In his post fight interview, Dariush said that both he and Ferreira were disrespected for not getting a top five fight and that they both deserved it. Problem is, with the log jam at the top and the land grab for the shot at Khabib’s soon to be vacant title, there’s a log jam. But, Dariush can still get matchups that matter.
Tony Ferguson is the odd man out for the title contention with two straight losses. He and Dariush could very well meet up. Ferguson dropped back to back fights against Gaethje and Oliveira. He’s looking for a way back in the win column. Dariush is looking for a ticket into the top five. Let’s match them up and see if Ferguson is done being elite or not.
Second option is just outside the top five. There’s simply no other option for Dariush. Poirier, Gaethje, Chandler, and Oliveira aren’t going to fight him. Neither will Conor McGregor. Dan Hooker slides in at 8 and is ahead of Dariush. It’s a fun fight and we could see how Hooker deals with the pressure of Dariush, especially after the Chandler loss.
Frankie Edgar is Dead
Next opponent for Cory Sandhagen: TJ Dillashaw, Yan/Sterling loser
Cory Sandhagen is the man responsible for killing Frankie Edgar. His gameplan will be talked about in depth on Rokfin for the premium users. Essentially, Sandhagen kited Edgar around the cage and made a quick change in direction to set up the flying knee that put Edgar down at UFC Vegas 18.
The next fight for Sandhagen really depends on what TJ Dillashaw wants to do. If he wants to get a fight in before Yan or Sterling is ready to fight after their showdown in March, Cory Sandhagen is the man. It’ll be a tall task for Dillashaw coming off of a two year layoff, but it’s logical if he wants to get a fight in before the title fight.
If Dillashaw does not want to get a fight in and wants to challenge whoever the champion is, Sandhagen will likely get the loser of Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling. The winner will obviously fight Dillashaw.
Volkov is Laser Sharp
Next opponent for Alexander Volkov: Derrick Lewis Rematch, Gane/Rozenstruik winner
Alexander Volkov had to be the man to ruin Alistair Overeem’s “one final run” at UFC Vegas 18. Volkov dismantled Overeem with very crisp standup that picked Overeem apart. Volkov used his length to keep Overeem out of the clinch where he could get the fight to the ground.
In the UFC Vegas 18 Beforemath on Rokfin, we talked about just this.
Reem’s chin isn’t really the greatest and THAT is Volkov’s plan. His long jab could give Overeem trouble and steal the night away from Overeem.UFC Vegas 18 Beforemath
Now, Volkov is in a good spot now in a somewhat crowded heavyweight division. Derrick Lewis is the obvious choice for Volkov next. The two fought at UFC 229 and Lewis famously won that fight in a last second knockout after Volkov dominated the fight for three rounds. Lewis is ranked above Volkov and a rematch may be in order.
But, if Lewis doesn’t take that fight, there’s always the winner of Cyril Gane and Jairzinho Rozenstruick. The two are set to face off in a main event of next month. With how good Volkov looked, he’s going to want to stay on top of his game and get another fight in while the carousel of Stipe-N’Gannou-Jon Jones gets sorted out.