UFC Vegas 53 went down last night (Sat., April 30, 22) from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, which saw Marlon Vera defeat Rob Font after 25 minutes of intense action (video replay here). Also, Andrei Arlovski picked up his fourth straight win, defeating Jake Collier. Plus, Andre Fili was starched by Joanderson Briton in less than one minute (video here).
Winner: Marlon Vera
Who He Should Face Next: Cory Sandhagen
I’m not the biggest fan of booking fighters on win streaks against those who are on a slump, but in cases such as these it does make sense. Sandhagen is on a two-fight losing streak, but his last fight against Petr Yan was for the interim Bantamweight title. Furthermore, he is currently ranked No. 4, one spot ahead of Font. Vera should make a huge leap into the Top 5 later this week, so booking this fight makes a lot of sense. Jose Aldo and T.J. Dillashaw are the current frontrunners to face Aljamain Sterling for the title next, so those two options are out of the equation for the moment.
Winner: Andrei Arlovski
Who He Should Face Next: Aleksei Oleinik
Don’t look now, but Arlovski has won his last four fights inside the Octagon, with the latest being a split decision over Collier. Granted, it’s not Top 15 competition that “The Pitbull” has defeated over his current run, but wins are wins and, in my opinion, Arlovski should get back into the rankings following his latest win. After All, Blagoy Ivanov (No. 15) has lost two straight, while Walt Harris (No. 14) is on a three-fight skid. There aren’t a ton of fighters who Arlovski hasn’t faced under the current UFC roster, but Oleinik is one of the few. The 44-year-old Heavyweight is coming off a win over Jared Vanderaa, snapping his three-fight win streak.
Winner: Joanderson Brito
Who He Should Face Next: Daniel Pineda
Brito picked up his first UFC win, obliterating Andre Fili in just 41 seconds and picking up a $50,000 post-fight bonus award for his efforts. Up next for the Brazilian bomber, a fight against Pineda seems like a good test. His last fight against Fili was ruled a “No Contest” as a result of an accidental eye poke. Before then, he came up short against long-time UFC veteran, Cub Swanson.
Winner: Grant Dawson
Who He Should Face Next: Drew Dober
Dawson picked up his sixth win in last seven fights — the other was a draw — to remain undefeated inside the Octagon. A fight against Dober is one that would be interesting for both contenders. Dober hasn’t competed since knocking out Terrance McKinney. Dawson is a bit closer to cracking the Top 15 than Dober is, but if Dober can pull off the upset here — because he will be the underdog — then it would be a huge boost to a career that has been rather unstable. For Dawson, taking out a veteran like Dober could be what helps him penetrate the Top 15.
Winner: Darren Elkins
Who He Should Face Next: Billy Quarantillo
Elkins got back in the win column after a gritty win over Tristan Connelly, putting him at a respectable 3-1 inside the Octagon over his last four fights. Up next for “The Damage,” a fight against Billy Quarantillo seems ideal. Quarantillo hasn’t competed since dropping a decision to Shane Burgos at UFC 268, coming up short on all the judges scorecards after three rounds. Quarantillo is 1-2 since 2020 and is need of a big win to get back on track.
Winner: Krzysztof Jotko
Who He Should Face Next: Nassourdine Imavov
Jotko picked up his second straight win to move to 5-1 over his last six fights after a dominant win over Gerald Meerschaert, but still has a lot of ground to cover if he wants to crack the Top 15. A fight against Imavov seems to make sense because he, too, is on a nice streak, going 3-1 during his short time under the UFC banner. Imavov was supposed to face Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 273, but was forced out with visa issues. Hopefully, he has all of those issues taken care of so he can get back to business.
For complete UFC Vegas 53 results and coverage click HERE.