UFC Vegas 50 went down last night (Sat., March 12, 2022) inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring a Light Heavyweight bout that saw Magomed Ankalaev defeat Thiago Santos via unanimous decision (recap here). In the co-main event, Song Yadong blasted right through Marlon Moraes, knocking him out in the first round, handing “Magic” his fourth straight defeat (see it here).
Winner: Magomed Ankalaev
Who He Should Face Next: Anthony Smith
Ankalaev picked up his eighth straight win under the UFC umbrella, out-scoring Santos after 25 minutes of action. The move should be good enough to put him into the Top 5, which means bigger fights moving forward. Up next, a fight against “Lionheart” should be in order. Ranked No. 4 at the moment, Smith has won three straight, all via first-round stoppage. Smith is coming off a submission win over Ryan Spann, which netted him his second “Performance of the Night” performance in last three outings. He’s had a great career resurgence as of late and if he can take out Anakalaev, he could find himself in another title fight. As for Ankalaev, a win over Smith should get him closer to the big dance.
Winner: Song Yadong
Who He Should Face Next: Dominick Cruz
Yadong earned his third straight win by absolutely obliterating Moraes in the first round, stopping him via strikes. While he may not crack the Top 10 yet, Yadong is well on his way. After the fight, “Kung Fu Monkey” called for a fight against former 135-pound champion Dominick Cruz. And to be honest, I am not opposed. Cruz is currently on a two-fight win streaking and is fresh off a win over Pedro Munhoz. It may take some convincing for Cruz to accept the fight seeing as how he is ranked at No. 7, while Yadong is on the outside of the Top 15 looking in.
Winner: Sodiq Yusuff
Who He Should Face Next: Josh Emmett
Yusuff got back on the winning track with a unanimous decision win over Alex Caceres. He is now 5-1 under the UFC umbrella. A fight against Emmett may not make sense rankings-wise since Emmett is seeded No. 6 at the moment, but I expect Yusuff (No. 12) to move up a spot or two. Plus, UFC matchmakers have been known to pair up fighters ranked pretty far apart in the past. It’s a great matchup between two heavy-handed 145 pounders, and the victor could take a big leap in the division.
Winner: Khalil Rountree
Who He Should Face Next: Alonzo Menifield
For the second straight time, Rountree folded his opponent with his massive power, knocking out Karl Roberson in the second round of their Light Heavyweight fight. While Rountree isn’t anywhere close to the Top 15 at 205 pounds at the moment, he is still as game as they come and will always be a tough out for anyone standing in front of him. A fight against Menifield seems like a good fight for both men. Menifield is coming off a tough decision loss at the hands of William Knight, snapping his two-fight win streak. Like Rountree, Menifield is simply trying to climb his way up to crack the Top 15. Both men can crack and it would be a striker’s delight once the cage door slams shut.
Winner: Drew Dober
Who He Should Face Next: Joe Solecki
Dober snapped his two-fight skid with a great come-from-behind win, knocking out Terrance McKinney. While the win was impressive, it was just Dober’s first in last three fights. That said, don’t expect UFC matchmakers to come in with big offers. A fight against Solecki seems appropriate. Solecki is coming off a tough split-decision defeat at the hands of Jared Gordon, snapping his impressive six-fight win streak, his first loss inside the Octagon.
Winner: Alex Pereira
Who He Should Fight Next: Wellington Turman
Pereira improved to 2-0 inside the Octagon, scoring a unanimous decision win over Bruno Silva. Slow and steady is the pace Pereira will be taking in his climb up the Middleweight mountain, so let’s not expect him to face the cream of the crop just yet. A bout against Turman is a good fit since “The Prodigy” is also coming off a win, defeating Misha Cirkunov with a nice armbar just a couple of weeks ago. Turman has also won his last two inside the Octagon, with his last loss coming against the aforementioned Silva.
For complete UFC Vegas 50 results and coverage click here.