Next matches to make for winners and losers of UFC Wichita: Lewis vs. dos Santos

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Derrick Lewis made his return after his title match loss to Daniel Cormier, as he took on Junior dos Santos.

In the co-main we saw another dos Santos as fight against Curtis Millender. We also got to see the return of Ben Rothwell and an awesome matchup between Drew Dober and Beneil Dariush.

Who should the winners and losers of UFC Wichita meet next?

First, I want to highlight some of the notable, more game-changing wins that took place on the UFC Wichita Preliminary Card.

  1. Yana Kunitskaya def. Marion Reneau via unanimous decision.

Kunitskaya: next fight Raquel Pennington.

I know that it may look like a big step up in competition for Kunitskaya, however, if we’re honest, the UFC women’s bantamweight division really isn’t that ‘deep’ in competition. Kunitskaya is now ranked #7 after this victory and Pennington is currently ranked #4. I believe that would be a good scrap to see at 135-pounds and is also a true test to see where Kunitskaya stacks up in the division.

Reneau: next fight Cat Zingano.

I know that it may seem like too-big of a reward for Reneau, who is now on a 2-fight losing streak. I believe that Reneau is still a top competitor in this division regardless of her recent track record. Zingano is also coming off a loss to Megan Anderson. Both of these women are in similar positions right now and I believe it would be worth our while to see them run it back in a fight Zingano previously won. 

  1. Rocco Martin def. Sergio Moraes via unanimous decision.

Rocco Martin: next fight Neil Magny.

Rocco Martin needs a ranked opponent next. Nothing less. He’s now ranked #15 in the welterweight rankings and after his win at UFC Wichita, he is officially riding a 4-fight win streak. Let’s see Rocco Martin vs Neil Magny next. Magny is currently ranked #12 and would be a solid test to see just how good Martin is and to see where he stands in the division.

Sergio Moraes: next fight Mickey Gall.

Sergio Moraes needs to get back on track. He is now 2-2 in his last four UFC fights. Both of the two are coming off losses, both of which in desperate need of a win. That’s the fight to make between two talented fighters looking to right the ship.


Main Card  

The main card opened up with a middleweight bout, Omari Akhmedov vs Tim Boetsch.

  1. Omari Akhmedov def. Tim Boetsch via unanimous decision.

Omari Akhmedov: next fight Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos.

Akhmedov was on a 10-fight win streak leading up to his second fight in the UFC in 2014. Since then, his record is 5-3-1. He holds UFC losses to Gunnar Nelson, Sergio Moraes and Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos. I really like the thought of a fight between those two. Both fighters are cracking the top-15 of the welterweight division, both calling for top competition. Akhmedov’s most recent loss was to dos Santos. This is the fight to make.

Tim Boetsch: next fight unknown.

I am really not sure where Tim Boetsch goes from here. I know that he has been contemplating retirement recently and we could see it happen pretty soon. Boetsch was dominated in this most recent fight with Akhmedov. He is now 38 years of age and 1-3 in his last four fights in the Octagon. His last win came in 2017 against Johny Hendricks. I guess we will just have to wait and see what he does next. 

  1. Beneil Dariush def. Drew Dober via submission in round 2.

Beneil Dariush: next fight Olivier Aubin-Mercier.

Mercier last fought in December 2018 and I am sure he will be looking to get back in the Octagon sooner rather than later. This would be a great lightweight fight, let’s see that one happen!

Drew Dober: next fight Alexander Hernandez.

Both of these lightweight prospects have dropped their most recent fights and both need a big win to get back on track. Hernandez and Dober are both talented fighters, this fight would set the winner up with a chance at building momentum towards a ranked fighter.

  1. Blagoy Ivanov def. Ben Rothwell via unanimous decision. 

Blagoy Ivanov: next fight Tai Tuivasa.

Ivanov may only be 1-1 in the UFC now but he has only fought top competition. He’s 17-2 over 19 professional fights and those two losses are to top heavyweights in the UFC, Junior dos Santos and Alexander Volkov. Ivanov just defeated Ben Rothwell, who hasn’t been active lately due to suspension, but he was a top contender years ago. Give Ivanov anybody in the top-15 next. Let’s see Ivanov vs Tai Tuivasa next.

Ben Rothwell: next fight Andrei Arlovski.

Rothwell needs to get back in there and fight and soon. He looked good vs Ivanov in his return to the Octagon after a 2-year layoff. Let’s see Rothwell vs Andrei Arlovski next. That’s the fight to make! 

  1. Niko Price def. Tim Means via TKO in round 1.

Niko Price: next fight Rocco Martin.

Both are making their way into the top-15 at welterweight and it would be a great scrap! A win for either fighter would help make a claim that they deserve to be a top contender.

Tim Means: next fight unknown.

Tim Means is now 2-4 in his last 6 UFC fights. Tim Means suffered a gruesome ankle injury in this fight after being wobbled. He should sit out a while and work on his game while he recovers. We will just have to wait and see what he decides to do next.

  1. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos def. Curtis Millender via submission.

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos: next fight Demian Maia.

There is no other fight to make now. Dos Santos has a nasty streak to him and has shown his skills on the mat that compliment his stand-up power. This fight would put dos Santos in the running for a title shot in the near future, and Maia would prove he is still a relevant veteran. A battle of Brazil’s finest, let’s go!

Curtis Millender: next fight Mike Perry.

Millender was on an 8-fight win streak before losing to Zaleski dos Santos at UFC Wichita. Millender vs Perry would be a great scrap, let’s see it! Both fighters have incredible stand up skills and would be a great matchup.

  1. Junior Dos Santos def. Derrick Lewis via TKO in round 2.

Junior Dos Santos: next fight Francis Ngannou.

JDS vs Ngannou or a Stipe Miocic trilogy fight. JDS vs Ngannou is the most likely because Miocic may be holding out for a Daniel Cormier rematch. JDS is now ranked #3 and Ngannou is at #2. JDS is on a 3-fight win streak since losing to Miocic back in 2017. He more than deserves a big opportunity. Let’s see that fight!

Derrick Lewis: next fight unknown.

Lewis needs to get back on track with a win. I would like to see Lewis sit out for a while and make some adjustments to his game. He has holes in his game that have been exploited and has had cardio issues as well. Lewis has been hurt in his past few fights as well, taking a lot of damaging body shots. It appears as though Lewis has some wear and tear from liver shots. There must be a way to fix this or make adjustments so that it cannot be exploited so easily. Let’s see Lewis sit out a little while to rest and recover.

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Follow our writer Kevin Mahoney (@KeysRealTalk).

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