Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to action last night (Sat., Sept. 4 2021) with UFC Vegas 36 going down from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the main event of the evening, Derek Brunson defeated Darren Till via third round submission (see it again here). In the co-headlining act, Tom Aspinall took out Sergey Spivak via first round technical knockout (highlights here).
Winner: Derek Brunson
Who He Should Face Next: Title shot
Israel Adesanya has already taken the opportunity to shut down Brunson’s request for a title shot against him, but it might be out of “The Last Stylebender’s” hands. That’s because he still has to take on (and defeat) Robert Whittaker in a rematch down the road. Should he win that fight, UFC matchmaker’s will have the final word when it comes to who Adesanya faces next. At the end of the day, it’s a title shot that makes sense since Brunson has won five straight and the history between the two men will help sell the fight. As would be the case if he faces Whittaker again. For now, Brunson will sit back and relax and stay in shape, too, because he can be pegged as a late replacement should anything happen to either Adesanya or Whittaker once their match up is finalized.
Winner: Tom Aspinall
Who He Should Face Next: Chris Daukaus
Aspinall scored his seventh straight win — fourth inside the Octagon — by knocking out Spivak in the first round. The win should get him closer to breaking through the Top 10, setting him up for bigger fights. A showdown against Daukaus seems appropriate because much like Aspinall, Daukaus is on a great streak and close to getting into the Top 10. Daukaus has won four in a row and is also undefeated (3-0) inside the Octagon, so it would be a battle of two up-and-coming big men, one of whom would be making a big leap forward with another victory.
Winner: Alex Morono
Who He Should Face Next: Miguel Baeza
With back-to-back wins in his back pocket, Morono is enjoying his longest win streak in three years. The momentum he has going for himself could be enough to land him a decent fight next after taking out David Zawada. I am feeling a match up against Baeza, who prior to his loss to Santiago Ponzinibbio, was undefeated (10-0_, including three straight wins inside the Octagon. While it may not be the biggest name, it’s a good match up for both men.
Winner: Khalil Rountree
Who He Should Face Next: Alonzo Menifield
Rountree snapped his two-fight losing streak with an impressive knockout win over Modestas Bukauskas, which has fight fans wondering if the oblique kick should be banned. Well, it’s not, and Rountree is back on the winning track because of it and is looking to pick up some steam. A fight against Menifield sounds entertaining since both men like to bang it out on the feet and have found success doing so. Menifield is coming off a win over Ed Herman, his second in a row.
Winner: Paddy Pimblett
Who He Should Face Next: Bobby Green
Pimblett’s UFC debut couldn’t have gone any better, scoring a blistering first round knockout win over Luigi Vendramini (watch highlights) that earned him a $50,000 post-fight bonus award. With his first win inside the Octagon under his belt, “The Baddy” hype train is full steam ahead since the promotion is already all aboard. That said, it will be interesting to see what type of approach matchmakers take with him. Obviously, they aren’t going to throw him in with the wolves too quickly, though he does have plenty of experience to take on bigger names. For me, a fight against Green makes sense. He has decent name value, is a long-time veteran and loves nothing more than a good old toe-to-toe scrap. Green is coming off a tough loss to Rafael Fiziev, his second in a row. Despite his skid, Green would be a great challenge for Pimblett and will be more than happy to go blow-for-blow if that’s the game “The Baddy” wants to play, which could set up either man for a highlight-reel finish.
For complete UFC Vegas 36 results and coverage click here.