After two epic fight cards in Singapore and Texas, the UFC returns home to the Apex for UFC Vegas 57. The main event has a fantastic lightweight matchup between two top 15 lightweights. No. 11 Arman Tsarukyan takes on No. 12 Mateusz Gamrot in a fight that will determine the real contender. However, if you look past the main event, there are some under-the-radar storylines.
Shavkat Rakhmonov Gets A Step Up
After demolishing her first three fights in his UFC career, Shavkat Rakhmonov finally gets his step up in competition. The fighter from Kazakhstan asked for Neil Magyny after his last win, and he got him. It has been said that if a welterweight can get past Magny, they have arrived at contender status. Rakhmonov holds a 100% finish rate and has finished Alex Oliveira, Carlston Harris, and Michel Prazeres – being the first person to do so. With everyone talking about Khamzat Chimaev, Rakhmonov should be in that same conversation because he is coming.
Can Chris Curtis Keep It Up?
It took Chris Curtis a long time to get to the UFC, but when he finally got the call in late 2021, he made the absolute statement that he should have been here several years ago. Curtis was one of the biggest snubs in the history of Dana White’s Contender Series, as he won his fight with a hook kick knockout but was passed up for Greg Hardy. After ups and downs on the regional scene and a lot of hard work, he made his way to the UFC. In his UFC debut as a sizeable underdog, he knocked out Phil Hawes, and then a few weeks later, he followed that up by knocking out Brendan Allen.
Curtis is riding a seven-fight win streak and will face Rodolfo Vieira
Loser goes home
Josh Parisian vs. Alan Baudot is the quintessential win-or-go-home fight. Baudot has yet to win a fight in the UFC, losing to Tom Aspinall, Rodrigo Nascimento, and Parker Porter. Parisian has one win in the UFC but is 1-2 in the promotion, and his fight with Baudot on Saturday is the last fight on his contract. Both fighters know the stakes of this fight and know their job is on the line. For some reason, this fight is on the main card, but whatever, the UFC’s card placement skills aren’t the best.
Banger of the week
There are several options for the banger of the week, such as a light heavyweight clash between Carlos Ulberg and Tafon Nchukwi. BUT I’m going with the flyweights, JP Buys and Cody Durden. There is a 0% chance that Buys vs. Durden is boring. Both guys constantly come forward, and they always look to finish their fights. Durden is 1-2-1 in the UFC and is looking to prove he belongs with the flyweight prospects. Buys is still looking for his first UFC win after winning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series. They both know that there is a lot on the line with their careers if they lose and are both fired up.
We are living in a Nurmagomedov MMA world
Umar Nurmagomedov makes his third UFC appearance at UFC Vegs 57 and, like his cousin, Khabib is looking to put the entire roster on notice. Nurmagomedov has been frustrated by not fighting as much as he wants, but he told the media at UFC Vegas media day that he wants four fights in 2022. He already has one win, submitting Brian Kelleher in the first round at UFC 272 in March. As expected, there is a lot of hype about Nurmagomedov. He faces a formidable opponent in Nate Maness, who is not afraid of that iconic last name. This should be a very fun fight.
MMA and Entertainment Journalist. Graduated from CSUN with a B.A in Journalism. I love MMA and have been watching consistently since 2004.