UFC Vegas 25 went down last night (Sat. May 1, 2021) inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring a Light Heavyweight bout that saw Jiri Prochazka defeat Dominick Reyes via devastating knockout (see it again here). In the co-main event, Giga Chikadze steamrolled Cub Swanson, ending the fight in just 63 seconds with a liver kick (video replay here).
Winner: Jiri Prochazka
Who He Should Fight Next: Aleksandar Rakic
Prochazka made a huge statement with his spectacular knockout win over former two-time title contender Dominick Reyes, giving him consecutive win No. 12 (just his second inside the Octagon). But despite just having two wins so far under the UFC banner, the former RIZIN Light Heavyweight champion has already worked his way up to the No. 5 spot in the 205-pound rankings. He will likely take the No. 4 spot from Thiago Santos — loser of three straight — come next week. Dana White hinted that the winner of Reyes vs. Prochazka would get to face the winner of Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira for the title, but it’s a statement that puzzled me because did he forget about Aleksandar Rakic, the No. 2-ranked fighter at 205 pounds? Rakic has won two straight over Anthony Smith and “Marreta” and is 6-1 inside the Octagon. He’s also won 14 of his last 15 fights. If you ask me, a fight between Rakic and Prochazka to see who fights for the title next seems more appropriate. Especially since Blachowicz is in line to defend his belt against Glover Teixeira at UFC 266 in September. That’s a long wait for Prochazka if he opts to sit out for the title fight White promised him.
Winner: Giga Chikadze
Who He Should Fight Next: Bryce Mitchell
Chikadze picked up his eighth straight win — sixth inside the Octagon — after earning a technical knockout win over Cub Swanson just 63 seconds into the fight. With the win, Chikadze — who is currently ranked No. 15 in the Featherweight division — can potentially eye a move up a spot or two, setting him up for a bigger match up in his next outing. While he has his eyes set on Max Holloway, that is a fight he likely won’t get because “Blessed” is the No. 1-ranked fighter in the division. A fight against Mitchell fits the bill since “Thug Nasty” is currently ranked No. 11. Mitchell is undefeated (14-0) and has won all five of his fights inside the Octagon. It would be a battle of two surging Featherweights trying to break into the Top 10, and a win for either man in this potential battle gets him there. If not, perhaps a fight against Yair Rodriguez is also a good option.
Winner: Sean Strickland
Who He Should Fight Next: Tavares vs Akhmedov winner
Strickland picked up his fourth straight win, defeating Krzysztof Jotko. It probably won’t be enough to overtake Brad Tavares at No. 14, but it should set him up for a potential fight against the Hawaiian. Of course, that’s assuming he gets through Omari Akhmedov when they collide at UFC 264 on July 10, 2021. I’d like to see Strickland take on the victor of that bout. If he wants a fight sooner and if Kevin Holland wants to fight again soon following two straight defeats, then that fight makes sense, too.
Winner: Merab Dvalishvili
Who He Should Fight Next: Pedro Munhoz
Dvalishvili picked up his sixth straight win inside the Octagon after putting on a dominant performance against Cody Stamann to earn a unanimous decision win. Up next for “The Machine,” a fight against Munhoz seems appropriate. Ranked No. 8 in the Bantamweight division, Munhoz is coming off a win over Jimmie Rivera, which put him back in the win column after suffering two straight defeats. Dvalishvili may move up a spot in the rankings come next week, but if he wants to assure himself a spot in the Top 10, taking out Munhoz is the way to go.
For complete UFC Vegas 25 results and coverage click here.