UFC Vegas 76 kicked off Fourth of July weekend last night (Sat., July 1, 2023) inside UFC Apex, featuring a Middleweight bout that saw Sean Strickland score an impressive technical knockout win over Abus Magomedov in the second round of the main event (highlights). Co-headlining the card was a Lightweight scrap that saw Grant Dawson defeat Damir Ismagulov via unanimous decision.
Winner: Sean Strickland
Who He Should Face Next: Let's wait and see ...
Strickland should be getting into the Top 5 with his latest win. Afterward, he called for a title fight, but I just don’t think it will happen. Reigning champion, Israel Adesanya, is expected to face the winner of the upcoming fight between Robert Whittaker vs. Dricus du Plessis. I wouldn’t mind seeing a matchup between "Tarzan" and the loser of that title eliminator bout. If not, then perhaps a fight against Paulo Costa would be in order if he gets through Ikram Aliskerov at UFC 291.
Winner: Grant Dawson
Who He Should Face Next: Matt Frevola
Dawson picked up his eleventh win in 12 fights, with his lone blemish during his hot streak being a draw against Rick Glenn. “KGD” earned himself a spot or two up in the rankings, so he is slowly chipping away up the ladder. I wouldn’t mind seeing a fight against Frevola next. “Steamrolla” is currently on a three-fight win streak and is holding down the No. 14 spot on the official rankings.
Winner: Michael Morales
Who He Should Face Next: Randy Brown
Morales improved to 15-0 and picked up his third straight win inside the Octagon by defeating long-time Octagon veteran, Max Griffin, via unanimous decision. Morales has shown tons of potential in his young UFC career, and is making great strides toward a ranking spot. The problem is that the Welterweight division is stacked, so he will have to keep it going and racking up the wins to break through. Brown, meanwhile, is coming off a win over Wellington Turman last weekend at UFC Jacksonville. In addition, Brown is 5-1 over his last six fights inside the Octagon, so would be a nice matchup between two rising contenders.
Winner: Ariane Lipski
Who She Should Face Next: Natalia Silva
Lipski picked up her second straight win with a split decision over Melissa Gatto, but she still has some ground to cover before she cracks the Top 15. I like a fight between “The Queen of Violence” and Silva next. Silva is undefeated (3-0) inside the Octagon and is currently on a nine-fight win streak and has already proven to be a future force in the women’s Flyweight division. A win over her would put Lipski on track toward a spot in the rankings.
Winner: Benoit Saint-Denis
Who He Should Face Next: Elves Brenner
Saint-Denis picked up his third straight win after scoring an impressive rear-naked choke win in the first round over Ismael Bonfim. It’s a great turnaround after he came up short in his UFC debut against Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos. As for Brener, he also picked up a huge stoppage win on the undercard, knocking out Guram Kutateladze in the third round to improve to 2-0 inside the UFC cage.
Winner: Nursulton Ruziboev
Who He Should Face Next: Marc-Andre Barriault
Ruziboev exploded onto the UFC scene with a vicious knockout win over Brunno Ferreira (see it here), upping his win streak to nine straight. In the process, he earned himself a $50,000 post-fight bonus award. As for Barriault, he is on a two-fight win streak and has won three of his last four, with his latest victory coming against Julian Marquez earlier this month at UFC 289.
For complete UFC Vegas 76 results, coverage and highlights click HERE.