Marvin Vettori and Paulo Costa put on an all-time classic in the main event of UFC Vegas 41. With Vettori bouncing back from his loss to Israel Adesanya and Dana White saying Costa’s next fight will be at 205-pounds, we’ll play matchmaker and look at who some potential opponents could be for fighters on this event.
Marvin Vettori vs. Sean Strickland
Iron sharpens iron ⚔️@MarvinVettori joins @RJcliffordMMA and Anthony Smith (@lionheartasmith). He talks about training alongside Sean Strickland and recalls one wild sparring session.👊 pic.twitter.com/kN9Ne5RpMS
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) October 19, 2021
Vettori (17-4-1) would likely want an opponent coming off a win, which is why I think #7 ranked Sean Strickland makes the most sense. As noted above, the pair have trained together in the past, but Strickland has mentioned in various interviews that he’ll fight pretty much anyone in the division. Strickland was slated to fight on next Saturday’s UFC 268 card before a back injury forced opponent Luke Rockhold off the event. With the winner of Jared Cannonier vs. Derek Brunson likely getting the winner of the Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker rematch, Strickland seems like an ideal next opponent for Vettori.
Paulo Costa vs. Ryan Spann
Dana White wants Paulo Costa to move on from middleweight ⚖️ #UFCVegas41
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 23, 2021
Costa (13-2) is coming off back-to-back losses for the first time in his career and as mentioned above, will have to take another fight at light heavyweight next. Some have suggested #15 ranked Ion Cutelaba as a potential opponent (which I don’t mind) but how about #12 ranked Ryan Spann? Despite Costa’s skid, I don’t think he should fight the last ranked guy in the light heavyweight division. Spann is ranked a bit higher and provides just as exciting of a matchup.
Grant Dawson vs. Diego Ferreira
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) September 10, 2021
Dawson (17-1-1) let a disappointing third-round result in a draw against Ricky Glenn instead of a victory. With Dawson neither gaining nor losing any ground, I think it just makes sense to rebook the original Diego Ferreira matchup. The 27-year-old is still technically undefeated in his last nine fights and needs a bit of a step up in competition. I think people forget Ferreira is just three fights removed from a submission victory over former champion Anthony Pettis and a win over Dawson would erase the memory of his last two losses.