The Light Heavyweight fight between Jan Blachowicz and Aleksandar Rakic fight — which headlined UFC Vegas 54 last night (Sat., May 14, 2022) in Las Vegas, Nevada — ended in the third round after “Rocket” suffered a terrible knee injury (see it here). As a result, Blachowicz was awarded the technical knockout (TKO) win. In further action, Ryan Spann picked up a huge win over Ion Cutelaba via submission (highlights).
Winner: Jan Blachowicz
Who He Should Face Next: Smith vs Ankalaev winner
It’s real easy to fall into the illusion that Blachowicz deserves the next crack at the title, but Anthony Smith (No. 5) and Magomed Ankalaev (No.4) have been putting in the work to deserve some consideration. The two are set to collide at UFC 277 on July 30 and the winner could set himself up for a title eliminator fight against Blachowicz. Glover Teixeira did say he’d give Blachowicz a rematch if he prevailed against Rakic, but “Hands of Stone” has a date with Jiri Prochzka at UFC 275 on June 11, 2022, first.
Winner: Ryan Spann
Who He Should Face Next: Loser of Craig vs Oezdemir
Spann has all the potential in the world, but he hasn’t been able to get a good rhythm going over the last few years, alternating wins and losses in his last four fights. Now that he has a good win under his belt, getting another (and then another) would be good for his aspirations of cracking the Top 10. I’d like to see him face off against the loser of the upcoming bout between Paul Craig and Volkan Oezdemir, who are set to throw down on July 23, 2022. I say the loser because the winner will likely want a bigger fight. It’s the name of the game.
Winner: Davey Grant
Who He Should Face Next: Marcelo Rojo
Grant snapped his two-fight losing streak with an impressive third-round knockout win over Louis Smolka. Up next for the bonus-winning Brit, a fight against Rojo seems ideal. Rojo hasn’t been able to nab his first win inside the Octagon in two tries, so it would be a big opportunity for him to get on track if he can take Grant out. For Grant, handing Rojo his third straight defeat will not only possibly send the former Combate Americas star packing, but it would give him his first win streak in two years.
Winner: Katlyn Chookagian
Who She Should Face Next: Alexa Grasso
It wasn’t easy by any means, but Chookagian toughed through a gritty fight against Amanda Ribas to pull off the split-decision win. Now, the No. 1 ranked fighter at Flyweight is likely one more win away from another shot at the division strap. That win will likely have to come against Grasso, who has won three straight fights. Current champion Valentina Shevchenko is in line to face Talia Santos in the co-main event of UFC 275 on June 11, so the winners of these two respective bouts should be fighting by the end of 2022.
Winner: Manuel Torres
Who He Should Face Next: David Onama vs Austin Lingo winner
Torres got off to a blistering start to his UFC career, scoring a first-round knockout win over Frank Camcacho, earning a $50,000 post-fight bonus in the process. For his second fight inside the Octagon, a showdown against the winner of the upcoming fight between David Onama and Austin Lingo on July 9 seems like a good matchup. Onama is coming off a knockout win over Gabriel Benitez this past February, while Lingo is in search of his third straight win by taking out “The Silent Assassin.” Both men are fairly young in their UFC careers, so their isn’t a big discrepancy in experience between the three.
Winner: Allan Nascimento
Who He Should Face Next: C.J. Vergara
Nascimento picked up a big win over Jack Hadley, taking home the decision win over 15 minutes of action in the Flyweight division. It was “Puro Osso’s” first win inside the Octagon after coming up short in his UFC debut. Vergara, meanwhile, also recently picked up his first UFC win by defeating Kleydson Rodrigues at UFC 274 via razor-thin split-decision. It’s a long and arduous road to the Top 15, and both of these men have a long way to go.
For complete UFC Vegas 54 results and coverage click here.