UFC Vegas 58 is set to go down TONIGHT (Sat., July 9, 2022) from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, headlined by a pivotal Lightweight bout between Rafael dos Anjos and Rafael Fiziev. In the co-main event, Caio Borralho takes on Armen Petrosyan in a Middleweight tussle.
From 2018 to 2020, dos Anjos had a pretty rough stint, going just 1-4 and losing all those fights in the Welterweight division. Then again, all of those losses were against the cream of the crop, which includes a loss to Colby Covington for the interim title, eventual and current champion, Kamaru Usman, No. 1-ranked contender Leon Edwards and long-time veteran, Michael Chiesa. After that stretch, “RDA” decided to go back down to 155 pounds and wouldn’t you know it, the Brazilian bomber returned to his winning ways, scoring back-to-back victories over Paul Felder and Renato Moicano. Now, he looks to score his third straight win, but standing in his way is one of the most vicious strikers in the Lightweight division.
After stumbling out of the gates in his Octagon debut, losing to Magomed Mustayev via technical knockout, Fiziev has racked up five straight wins (two by way of knockout). In his short stint with UFC, “Ataman” has quickly established himself as one of the better strikers of the division (evidence here). He has an exciting striking style that has made him an instant fan-favorite. He obviously has the advantage in the stand up department, but dos Anjos is as seasoned as they come, so he knows how to deal with any and all styles. That said, while I won’t go as far as to say that “RDA’s” time has passed (it hasn’t) I will say that it’s Fiziev’s time at the moment and he will impress fight fans one more time against one of his stiffest tests to date inside the Octagon. Dos Anjos isn't a slouch on the feet himself, but playing that game with Fixiev may not be wise here. For "RDA," checking the ego at the door and going for a submission on the ground is the best path to victory.
Let’s be honest, the card is severely lacking. But, that’s to be expected since the last few “Fight Night” events have been filled with decent talent and interesting match ups across the board. That’s the reason I won’t bash the rest of the line up too hard. But one thing I do find interesting is how many struggling fighters on losing streaks are on this card.
Original Card Vs. Actual Card:
Abdul Razak Alhassan bowed out of his fight against Jamie Pickett and was replaced by Denis Tiuliulin. In turn, the fight was moved to UFC 279 in September. Also, Sijara Eubanks and Maryna Moroz were set to fight at this event before it was inexplicably moved to a “Fight Night” event on Sept. 17. Plus, Austin Lingo withdrew from his fight against David Onama, paving the way for Garrett Armfield to step in and take the fight.
Josh Fremd was forced out of his fight against Desean Gore with an undisclosed injury and replaced by Cody Brundage, who is coming off a big submission win over Dalcha Lungiambula earlier this year. Gore, on the other hand, is just 3-1 in his young mixed martial arts (MMA) career, which spans four years. Cody Garbrandt and Rani Yahya were on a collision course at this event before Yahya bowed out with an injury, too.
On the heels of three straight wins, Garrett Armfield got the call up on short notice to take a Featherweight fight against David Onama. Armfield is 8-2 as a professional with seven of his eight wins coming by way of stoppage (five knockouts, two submissions), six in the first round. As for Onama, he is 9-1 with his lone loss coming against Mason Jones in his UFC debut back in Oct. 2021.
How The ‘Prelims’ Look:
Cynthia Calvillo will attempt to snap her three-fight losing streak when she battles Nina Nunes in women’s Flyweight action. Calvillo’s career has really gone downhill after a promising start, putting her at risk of suffering her fourth straight defeat, which could put her time with UFC in question. A win over Nunes gets her a new lease on her combat life, a loss, meanwhile, will put a dark cloud of uncertainty over her. As for Nunes, she is also in need of win after dropping her last two at the hands of Mackenzie Dern and Tatiana Suarez. Nunes hasn't competed in more than one year, so it will be interesting to see if ring rust is a factor in this fight.
Ricky Turcios impressed in his UFC debut, defeating Brady Hiestand in Aug. 2021 after 15 minutes of hard-fought action, and now eyes a more decisive win against Aeimann Zahabi, who snapped his two-fight skid by defeating Drako Rodriguez 17 months ago.
Cortney Casey was able to stop the damage from growing after losing two straight fights by getting back in the win column with a win over Liana Jojua on Nov. 2021. Now, she aims to take out Antonina Shevchenko, who has had trouble being consistent inside the Octagon, losing two in a row and three of her last four. All told, she is just 3-4 with UFC.
In the Bantamweight division, Ronnie Lawrence eyes his sixth straight win when he battles Saidyokub Kakhramanov, who is currently on a three-fight win streak, which includes a successful outing in his UFC debut against Trevin Jones, submitting him with a guillotine choke in Aug. 2021.
Who Needs A Win Badly:
Karl Roberson started his professional MMA career with a perfect (6-0) record, including going 4-2 in his first four fights inside the Octagon, with one of those losses coming against former Light Heavyweight champion, Glover Teixeira. Over his last three fights, however, Roberson has lost all of them in both the Light Heavyweight and Middleweight divisions. If he suffers his fourth loss when he battles Kennedy Nzechukwu — loser of two straight himself — it could spell the end of his UFC career.
Interest Level: 4.5/10
Co-headlining the event is a Middleweight fight between two rising stars in Caio Borelho and Armen Petrosyan. Borelho is on an eight-fight win streak and has won 10 of 11 with one “No Contest.” As for Petrosyan, he has won three straight and seven of eight overall. Both men have shown promise, but unfortunately one will be taking a step backward here while the other will continue his upward trajectory.
Said Nurmagomedov looks to build off his big submission win over Cody Stamman and collect his third straight victory under the bright lights of UFC when he battles Douglas Silva de Andrade, winner of two in a row. Said has shown flashes of brilliance under the tutelage of Khabib Nurmagomedov, and a win here will help him build some steam to allow him to catch up to the rest of his star-studded camp.
In the Heavyweight division, Jared Vanderaa is out to score his first win in last four tries after losing three straight. He will be battling Chase Sherman who — believe it or not — is on a worse losing streak having lost four in a row. It’s safe to say this will be a “Loser Leaves Town” match.
Michael Johnson was able to get a new lease on his UFC career, snapping his four-fight losing streak after knocking out Alan Patrick at UFC Vegas 54. Johnson has had a rough stretch previously, prompting people to forget that he actually showed promise early on in his career. His opponent, Jamie Mullarkey, is trying to get back in the win column after hopes of winning three in a row for the first time in 2018 were dashed by Jalin Turner via knockout at UFC 272.
Enjoy the fights!
UFC Vegas 58 Main Event On ESPN/ESPN+:
155 lbs.: Rafael dos Anjos vs. Rafael Fiziev
UFC Vegas 58 Main Card On ESPN/ESPN+:
185 lbs.: Caio Borralho vs. Armen Petrosyan
135 lbs.: Said Nurmagomedov vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade
265 lbs.: Jared Vanderaa vs. Chase Sherman
155 lbs.: Michael Johnson vs. Jamie Mullarkey
135 lbs.: Ricky Turcios vs. Aiemann Zahabi
125 lbs.: Cynthia Calvillo vs. Nina Nunes— CANCELED! Details here.
UFC Vegas 58 ‘Prelims’ Under Card On ESPN/ESPN+:
125 lbs.: Cortney Casey vs. Antonina Shevchenko
185 lbs.: Cody Brundage vs. Tresean Gore
205 lbs.: Karl Roberson vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu
135 lbs.: Ronnie Lawrence vs. Saidyokub Kakhramonov
145 lbs.: David Onama vs. Garrett Armfield
*Fight card, bout order and number of fights remain subject to change.*
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 58 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (on ESPN/ESPN+) at 9 p.m. ET.
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