The Vanquished: What's Next for UFC Vancouver Losers

By Abhinav Kini Sep 15, 2019
On Saturday, Justin Gaethje made it three wins in a row with another first-round knockout, this time over Donald Cerrone. "The Highlight" has now undoubtedly put himself in a position to challenge for the lightweight title next after Tony Ferguson.

Elsewhere on the UFC Vancouver main card, Glover Teixeira also made it three wins in a row with a split-decision win over Nikita Krylov; Tristan Connelly outpointed the flashy Michel Pereira; Uriah Hall got the upset decision victory over Antonio Carlos Jr.; Misha Cirkunov ended Jim Crute's unbeaten run with a Peruvian necktie submission.

So what now for all the UFC Vancouver losers? Here's a look at who they should square off against next:

Donald Cerrone vs. Paul Felder: Cerrone was unable to get back in the win column as he succumbed to a TKO defeat. It is now two losses in a row for "Cowboy" who desperately needs a win if he still has any title aspirations left. Last week, I said Dustin Poirier should face the loser of this bout, but I think a more fitting opponent would be Paul Felder. Felder is fresh off a decision win over Edson Barboza and is looking to get a crack at a top-five opponent. Cerrone would make a lot of sense.

Nikita Krylov vs. Ilir Latifi: Krylov lost a closely-contested split decision to Glover Teixeira in the evening's co-main event. It means "The Miner" has now alternated between wins and losses since returning to the Ultimate Fighting Championship last year. However, he should still remain in the top 15 of the rankings and an ideal next opponent could be Ilir Latifi (currently ranked No. 12) who is on a two-fight losing streak.

Michel Pereira vs. Randy Brown: Although it was a short-notice opponent, many expected Pereira to emulate his UFC debut and win in style against promotional newcomer Tristen Connelly. But for all his flash, the Brazilian was seriously exposed as he gassed out for much of the fight, eventually losing a unanimous decision. He will have learned from the performance and it'll be interesting to see if he changes things up for his next fight. Randy Brown — who is coming off a TKO win over Bryan Barbarena — would be a good next test.

Antonio Carlos Jr. vs. Omari Akhmedov: Carlos Jr. landed more strikes, but also absorbed more significant strikes as well as a knockdown against Hall in their middleweight matchup. In the end, Hall won via split-decision making it two losses in a row for "Cara de Sapato" who was the betting favorite in both those bouts. A return to the drawing board may be necessary and one opponent to bounce back against could be Akhmedov (currently ranked No. 14) who is unbeaten in three fights since returning to 185 pounds.

Jim Crute vs. Ovince St. Preux/Michal Oleksiejczuk winner: Crute missed out on his chance for a marquee win and potentially entering the top 15 of the rankings for the first time when he was submitted by Cirkunov. However, all is not lost for the Australian who has been promising in his three-fight UFC career so far. He may need one more win before getting another ranked opponent, so the winner of the upcoming St. Preux vs. Oleksiejczuk matchup later this month would be an appropriate next outing for Crute.

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