UFC Vegas 33 may not have jumped out too many fans, but it did result in everyone getting a glimpse of a rising contender.
In the main event, Sean Strickland got the biggest win of his career as he earned a clear cut unanimous decision win over veteran Uriah Hall. The win should put Strickland in the top 10 in the official UFC middleweight rankings, while Hall, who was hoping to make a run towards the top, will drop down.
Let’s breakdown the next move for the two middleweight contenders on this edition of Matchmaker Monday.
Result: defeated Uriah Hall by unanimous decision at UFC Vegas 33
Next: Jack Hermansson
Strickland seems to have found a home at 185 pounds. After going 7-3 at welterweight, Strickland moved up to middleweight last year and the move as worked itself out so far.
The 30-year-old has posted a 4-0 record at middleweight with wins over Jack Marshman, Brendan Allen, Krzystof Jotko and now Hall.
Strickland has a lot of momentum on his side and the win over well known veteran in Hall now gives the opportunity to fight another well known opponent.
Looking at the landscape of the division it looks like Hermansson makes the most scene. They are ranked closed to one another, both are coming off wins and both aren’t linked to any other opponents. The winner of that fight would also be in a prime position for a shot at a top five opponent.
Result: lost to Sean Strickland by unanimous decision at UFC Vegas 33
Next: Edmen Shahbazyan
Hall was on a roll and right when it looked like he was making a run in the division, his momentum was put to a halt. After racking up four straight wins, Hall is back in the loss and he may drop back outside of the top 10.
A good note for Hall, is that he’s not going to drop too much stock. At least as of now anyways.
Hall is a well-known veteran, who has fought the best of the best at 185 pounds. His next fight will still come against another well named fighter in Shahbazyan.
If you recall, Shahbazyan was once undefeated and considered the next star of the division. While he still maybe a star one day, he’s on a two fight losing streak, but still sits in the top 10.
Look for Hall and Shahbazyan to square off soon. Both are ranked close by to one another, both are coming off losses and are both trying to claw up to the top.