Once the dust settled at UFC Vegas 75 last night (Sat., June 17, 2023), Jared Cannonier was awarded a unanimous decision win over Marvin Vettori, giving him his second straight victory. In the co-main event, Arman Tsarukyan stopped a game Joaquim Silva in the third and final round (video here), while Manuel Torres delivered a “Knockout of the Year” contender by icing Nikolas Motta with a standing elbow (see it again here).
Winner: Jared Cannonier
Who He Should Face Next: ...
This one is a bit tough because “Killa Gorilla” finds himself in a difficult holding spot at the moment. With his win over Vettori, he should move up to the No. 3 spot on the official rankings, putting him behind only Alex Pereira (who is now a Light Heavyweight) and Robert Whittaker, who will face Dricus Du Plessis in a title eliminator fight at UFC 290 next month. That means that if Cannonier stuck to his guns and waited for a title fight, he would likely have to sit out until early- or mid-2024. He can always fight someone ranked (or not ranked at all) below him, but that’s always a tough ask for title contenders. Sorry, Khamzat.
Winner: Arman Tsarukyan
Who He Should Fight Next: If not Michael Chandler, then Rafael Fiziev
Tsarukyan managed to put the finishing touches in a tough fight against Silva, stopping him in the third round, giving him his second straight win and putting him at 7-1 over his last eight fights. Afterward, he called for a fight against Michael Chandler, which isn’t a terrible idea. Chandler is supposed to be inking a deal to fight Conor McGregor, but that is looking less and less likely by the day. While it’s an enormous “downgrade” for Chandler to fight Tsarukyan (marketing, exposure, money-wise), it’s a great stylistic matchup that will deliver a classic, as is the case with most fights involving Chandler. If it doesn’t come to pass, then a fight against Fiziev will do.
Winner: Armen Petrosyan
Who He Should Fight Next: Jacob Malkoun
Petrosyan picked up his second straight win and improved to 3-1 inside the Octagon after scoring a hard-fought unanimous decision over Christian Leroy Duncan (his first defeat). Malkoun, meanwhile, is 3-2 under the UFC banner and is coming off a big win over Nick Maximov in Oct. 2022. Both men are scratching and crawling toward a spot in the Top 15, and a win for either man gets them that much closer to their goal.
Winner: Pat Sabatini
Who He Should Fight Next: Andre Fili vs. Nathaniel Wood winner
Sabatini submitted Lucas Almeida with an impressive arm-triangle choke, helping him improve his UFC record to 5-1. I'd like to see Sabatini take on the winner of Nathaniel Wood and Andre Fili, which is set to go down next month. Either matchup would be great and could help elevate the victor to the next level. It’s a great match and challenge for the hard-nosed Featherweights.
Winner: Manuel Torres
Who He Should Face Next: Chase Hooper
Torres is $50,000 richer after scoring a masterful standing elbow knockout over Nikolas Motta, which put future opponents on notice. Torres improved to 14-2, which includes five straight wins, two inside the Octagon. Torres hopes to join the wave of Mexican-born fighters who have made waves over the last few years, winning titles across multiple divisions, including Brandon Moreno, Alexa Grasso and Yair Rodriguez. He still has an uphill climb, but he is ready to put in the work. A fight against Hooper would be a good challenge for his next fight. Hooper is coming off a win over Nick Fiore and is 4-3 so far inside the Octagon.
Winner: Nicolas Dalby
Who He Should Fight Next: Joaquin Buckley
Dalby picked up his third straight win and quietly improved to an impressive 5-1-1 record in his second stint with the promotion. He may still have to get another win or two to crack the Top 15 seeing as how the Welterweight division is absolutely loaded. I like a fight against Buckley, who recently snapped his two-fight losing streak by defeating Andre Fialho via head kick last month. Both men love to stand and bang, so this matchup would surely deliver fireworks.
For complete UFC Vegas 75 results, coverage, and highlights click HERE.