UFC Vegas 73 Aftermath: Dern Dominates Hill, Wants a Former Champ Next
A card that delivered beyond all expectations, fans are now left wondering what the UFC Vegas 73 aftermath has in store for us.
Mackenzie Dern, now a third-degree black belt, left no doubt in the cage tonight. She's a top five fighter, she's a threat for the title, and she's not going anywhere other than up the ranks. But, before that, we were spoiled with a fantastic night of fights, most of which ended before the judges could voice their opinions.
Big performance, BIG win for @MackenzieDern!
She takes our #UFCVegas73 main event by unanimous decision 👏 pic.twitter.com/pGq8SxzGZK
— UFC (@ufc) May 21, 2023
So, what's next for the winners? What do they want and what makes sense per the rankings? Allow me to put on my matchmaker hat and voice my opinion on the matter.
UFC Vegas 71 Aftermath: Dern Deserves a Former Champ
After a performance like that, it's hard to not let my recency bias talk me into typing “title shot”. A++ performance by Mackenzie Dern, and what heart by Hill to make it 25-minutes against a fired up Mackenzie. Nobody could've predicted Dern coming out like this, but she fought with a fire that Hill simply could not extinguish.
Dern, respectfully mind you, called for Rose Namajunas. And, though these are my two favorite female fighters and I'd hate to see one of these women lose, I think it's the right call. Rose has not fought since losing her title in a very odd, lackluster bout just a little over a year ago. This fight could very well determine who's fighting for gold next.
However, if not Namajunas, Jessica Andrade is coming off of a loss and she'll probably be looking to rebound against someone with some momentum. Either Andrade or Namajunas next!
UFC Vegas 73 Aftermath: Anthony Hernandez Dominates Edmen Shabazyan
‘Fluffy' makes it four in a row! With two third-round stoppages in a row, it's not wrong to give Hernandez a big step up in competition. And, there's no way anyone out there can say that Anthony Hernandez vs Caio Borralho doesn't sound like a lot of fun. Two young prospects working their way up.
The only downside to that is one train has to get derailed, but there are no easy fights in the UFC and at this rate, they're bound to meet sooner or later anyway. Why not next?
UFC Vegas 73 Aftermath: Lupita Godinez Deserves A Push
Okay, so I'm just going to say it right off the bat. Lupita Godinez vs Michelle Waterson-Gomez. That's a fun fight to make that has both fighters with different streaks meeting in the middle to settle who deserves what spot in the ranks. And, now that I made that make sense, I really just want to see that fight.
This could be a very fun stand up war between two fighters with different reasons to fight with a fire in them. Also, Godinez has won four of her last five, she deserves a big name next.
UFC Vegas 73 Aftermath: Joaquin Buckley Gets The Job Done At Welterweight
With a second round knockout over Andre Fialho for his debut at 170lbs, I'm immediately intrigued in the next Joaquin fight in the division. He put the entire division on notice and called for more of Fialho's teammates. But, I think a great match to make after this is Buckley vs Jake Mathews.
With Joaquin being so fresh in the division, it's hard to really place him anywhere specifically. Jake Mathews is coming off of a loss, despite looking good in that last fight. Buckley vs Mathews will answer some questions as to who belongs where right now.
UFC Vegas 73 Aftermath: Diego Ferreira Starches Johnson
Okay, I've got a really good idea for Ferreira next. First off, what a performance. After a very rough first round, Diego was able to rally and spark Johnson with a pretty scary KO. Johnson is no slouch and he seems to be hitting another stride in his career. However, with Ferreira's hiatus, it was hard to know exactly where he would be in his return.
Big knockouts, big bonuses 💰 @DiegoUFCTX and @ViacheslavBors1 earn the #UFCVegas73 Performances of the Night!
[ B2YB @SonyPictures ] pic.twitter.com/8NDgHzozJi
— UFC (@ufc) May 21, 2023
Unfortunately, Johnson took the risk and paid for it. He shouldn't be discouraged, though, because Diego just proved that he's better than when he left. So, next, he should fight a hot name. Something that rhymes with New Lober, perhaps.
Drew Dober is who I'm hinting at, if you didn't know. That would make for an incredible fight and it'll maybe pave the way into the ranks for either fighter.