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UFC Vegas 57

(Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

UFC Vegas 57: Five Things We Learned

UFC Vegas 57
(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

UFC Vegas 57: Five Things We Learned

At UFC Vegas 57 we saw a handful of top prospects take center stage. All of these prospects put on a show as they displayed why they are respected by experts and fans. From an entertainment standpoint, half of the 12 fights ended via finish, while the decisions were mostly competitive bouts. Here are some of the biggest takeaways from UFC Vegas 57.

1. The future of the lightweight division is here

In the main event of UFC Vegas 57, Mateusz Gamrot and Arman Tsarukyan illustrated that the next generation of lightweights are here. The pair are both incredibly talented fighters who will be mainstays at lightweight for years to come. The wrestling scrambles that we saw were off the charts. In the striking exchanges, Gamrot hit Tsarukyan with solid boxing combos while the latter blasted him with kicks. Whether this fight was on the feet or ground, the skill of both fighters jumped off the screen. At the end of the day, Gamrot won as he was able to outlast Tsarukyan. Regardless, both guys proved that they can fight with some of the best fighters in the world. On top of that, Rafael Fiziev has cracked the top 10 while Damir Ismagulov and Guram Kutateladze are just outside the top 15. It is safe to say the future of the lightweight division is here.

2. Arman Tsarukyan will not slide too far in the ranks

As we established, Tsarukyan lost in a close main event against Gamrot. Despite losing, Tsarukyan shouldn’t slide far in the rankings. At 25 years old, Tsarukyan still has a long future ahead of him. He has a host of skills that make him a tough fighter to beat. When the new rankings come out on Tuesday, he should only slide down one spot, with Gamrot leaping him. As far as future competition goes, Tsarukyan has options. He could fight the previously mentioned Ismagulov, while a bout against Gregor Gillespie makes sense too. He may even find himself fighting the winner of Brad Riddell and Jalin Turner. At the end of the day, Tsarukyan will keep his spot in the rankings and will continue to fight elite competition.

3. Shavkat Rakhmonov is a threat at welterweight

Shavkat Rakhmonov is one of the premier prospects in the UFC. After entering the rankings, Rakhmonov got an opportunity against No. 10 Neil Magny and dominated him. Magny is as game as they come, but it felt like he stood no chance against the young up-and-comer. Rakhmonov got this fight to the ground early and proved quickly he was the superior grappler. After dominating the first round, Rakhmonov came out in round two and did it again. He methodically advanced position before eventually locking in a guillotine choke and finishing Magny with two seconds left. Even though Magny has never been championship material, he has always been a good fighter. For Rakhmonov, winning in such a one-sided fashion establishes him as a top 10 fighter in the welterweight division. If there were any doubts remaining about Rakhmonov’s future at welterweight, they have been answered.

4. Umar Nurmagomedov lived up to his name

This card had no shortage of top prospects, including Umar Nurmagomedov on the main card who I have as the top unranked prospect at bantamweight. Nurmagomedov lived up to his last name, dominating Nate Maness in the grappling department. Once Nurmagomedov got this fight to the ground he was able to control the contest. From the top, he suffocated Maness with his elite top pressure while landing ground-and-pound from the top. Nurmagomedov was not able to get the finish, but he probably would have if it were a five-round fight. Alternatively, the Dagestani walked away with a clear unanimous decision victory. If that was not enough, he was locked in on his feet and landed a massive front kick in round three that put a nice stamp on his victory.

5. Baudot gets the boot

In my preview for UFC Vegas 57, I mentioned that the loser of Josh Parisian and Alan Boudot was likely going to be cut. In the fight, Parisian was able to finish Boudot in round two. At this point, I don’t think there is any doubt Baudot gets cut — this fight was bad. Neither fighter looked to be a UFC caliber heavyweight. However, Parisian saved his job with a win. At 0-3 with one no contest, I cannot say the same for Baudot. 

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