Last night, UFC Vegas 8 saw some incredible fights. In the main event, Aleksandar Rakic (13-2) controlled Anthony Smith (33-16) over the course of three rounds. There were some storylines that came out of last night. Here are three fights the UFC should move to make following last night’s fight night.
Aleksandar Rakic vs Jiri Prochazka
I hate to burst Rakic’s bubble, but there’s no chance he gets a title shot after last night. While looking incredible with leg kicks early on, Rakic fought very conservatively which usually doesn’t sit well with Dana White. With that, there’s another contender who’s perfect for Rakic.
Jiri Prochazka (27-3-1) entered the UFC with a bang knocking out Volkan Oezdemir in the second round back in July. Prochazka hasn’t lost in almost five years. He’s extremely entertaining to watch, and he’s already a promotional favorite.
The Thiago Santos – Glover Teixiera fight in a couple of weeks is likely to determine the first challenger for Reyes or Blachowicz. A fight between Rakic and Prochazka could determine the next challenger. I think this would be a fantastic matchup for the UFC to put on towards the end of 2020.
Neil Magny vs Geoff Neal
The Haitian Sensation truly looked sensational last night in his victory over former UFC welterweight champion, Robbie Lawler. Neil Magny (24-7) controlled the fight for the entire 15 minutes doing a great job of imposing his will on the former champion.
Magny looked good in the grappling exchanges, and I was very impressed with his range striking in the third round. When Lawler was plotting forward looking to finish, Magny did a fantastic job of popping him clean with straight shots.
While Magny wants a top ten guy next, I think the fight to make is the fight with Geoff Neal (13-2). The fight with Neal was originally supposed to be last night, but due to some serious health issues, Neal had to pull out of the fight.
Neal is currently ranked 11th while Magny will likely be 12th when the new UFC rankings come out next week. It makes perfect sense for these two guys to fight. Whoever would walk away the winner would be ready for anyone inside the top ten.
Good win @NeilMagny See you soon
— Geoff (handzofsteel) Neal (@handzofsteelmma) August 30, 2020
Former UFC champs: Robbie Lawler vs Anthony Pettis
It’s really tough to place the former UFC welterweight champion in another fight. Robbie Lawler (28-15, 1 NC) looked great physically last night, but just didn’t look anything close to prime Robbie Lawler. The former champion dropped his fourth consecutive fight last night.
It’s clear to me that Lawler is starting to enter the twilight of his career. I don’t believe he’s done yet so the challenge becomes, who do you pair him against? I personally think the best fight would have been a rematch with Carlos Condit (30-13).
Condit has also lost five fights in a row, but a few years ago, the two men put on an incredible performance against each other. Both men left everything out there and it was a razor close decision for Lawler. At this stage in their careers, it would be a fun rematch.
However, Condit was booked to face Court McGee in October. So with Condit off the table, I look at Anthony Pettis (23-10). Pettis is a former world champion, and he hasn’t had a steady weight class home over the past couple years. He’s fought at lightweight, then featherweight, then lightweight, up to welterweight, then back to lightweight.
At this stage, I don’t think even Pettis sees another title run. It seems to be more about fighting big names which is why he wanted to fight Anderson Silva. A fight between Lawler and Pettis would be a low risk/high reward fight for the promotion.