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UFC San Antonio results: Matches to make for ‘Vera vs. Sandhagen’ main card winners

MMA: UFC 246-Holm vs Pennington Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, played host to a special “Fight Night”-themed event last night (Sat., March 25, 2023), featuring a Bantamweight brawl between Marlon Vera and Cory Sandhagen. After 25 minutes of action, Sandhagen walked away with a split decision win (highlights here). In the co-main event, Holly Holm started off her new six-fight contract with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) with a dominant win over Yana Santos.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-San Antonio - Vera vs Sandhagen Aaron Meullion-USA TODAY Sports

Winner: Cory Sandhagen
Who He Should Fight Next: Merab Dvalishvili or Sean O’Malley

The Bantamweight picture is starting to clear up. It did get a bit more crowded with the return of Henry Cejudo, who will battle current champion, Aljamain Sterling, at UFC 288 on May 6, 2023. Sean O’Malley, though, is sitting at No. 2 in the rankings, while Merab Dvalishvili is currently ranked No. 1. There is no telling who will get the crack at the title next between those two, but it seems as if O’Malley was in line to get Sterling before Cejudo crashed the party. If O’Malley gets next dibs, then Sandhagen vs. Dvalishvili is the fight to make. If Dvalishvili gets the nod, then “Suga” vs. “Sandman” is up next. Easy peasy.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-San Antonio - Vera vs Sandhagen Aaron Meullion-USA TODAY Sports

Winner Holly Holm
Who She Should Fight Next: Julianna Pena

While the men’s 135-pound division has been busy, all has been quiet on the women’s side. Amanda Nunes is once again champion and was in talks to face Irene Aldana, but that fight never came to fruition. Julianna Pena is still lobbying for a trilogy fight against “Lioness,” but I just don’t think it’s warranted. For my money, let’s books Pena vs. Aldana and have Holm take on Pena, fresh matches all around.

UFC Fight Night: Lee v Barber Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Winner: Maycee Barber
Who She Should Fight Next: Amanda Ribas

Barber picked up her fourth straight win, edging out Andrea Lee via razor-thin split decision. Regardless if many felt Lee should’ve been declared the winner, “The Future” is the one who could make a leap in the rankings, though it remains to be see if she cracks the Top 10. I’m feeling a bout against Ribas next. The Brazilian bomber is ranked No. 9, and is fresh off a win over Viviane Araújo, so depending on where Barber lands in the rankings this week this should be the next fight to book.

UFC Fight Night: Njokuani v Duraev Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Winner: Albert Duraev
Who He Should Face Next: Jun Yong Park

Duraev got back on the winning track thanks to a big win over Chidi Njokuani, bringing him to 2-1 inside the Octagon. Park, meanwhile, is currently on a three-fight win streak and was last seen defeating Denis Tiuliulin in February, so a fight between these two rising studs could be a barnburner. Both are sitting pretty far off from a spot in the Top 15, so this fight makes sense, even though Park has more UFC experience than Duraev.

MMA: MAR 25 UFC on ESPN 43 Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Winner: Nate Landwehr
Who He Should Fight Next: Daniel Pineda

Both Landwehr and Pineda proved victorious in their fights against Austin Lingo and Tucker Lutz, respectively. Landwehr is on a three-fight win streak, while Pineda is 2-1-1 during his most recent run inside the Octagon, so why not book them to fight each other? They aren’t really close to the Top 15 and will have a similar turnaround time, for obvious reasons. And, perhaps most important, it’s a great stylistic match for both men.

For complete UFC San Antonio: “Vera vs. Sandhagen” results and play-by-play, click HERE.

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