This past Saturday night in the main event of UFC Vegas 76, we saw a showcase in the middleweight division. Top contender Sean Strickland (27-5) was looking to defend his seventh ranking as he took on the unranked yet incredibly dangerous Abus Magomedov (25-5-1).
Magomedov was close to a betting favorite over Strickland despite only having fought once since December 2020. That fight was his UFC debut where he knocked out Dustin Stoltzfus in 19 seconds. Since then, he’s had a ton of cancellations and finally got a fight against Strickland.
In the first round, Magomedov looked solid with rangy shots and he was doing a great job landing leg kicks. However, his power shots weren’t landing flush and you could tell he was using a ton of energy. He clearly won the first round, but everything changed in the second round.
Magomedov looked completely tired and Sean Strickland started pouring it on. Big shots were landing throughout the round and simply put, Magomedov didn’t look like he wanted to be there. Eventually, Strickland put him down and got the TKO win at UFC Vegas 76.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 76?
This is just the second loss for Magomedov since 2016. The only other loss he had was a TKO loss to Louis Taylor in the finals of PFL 2018 for their middleweight championship. Now, he must take a step back and figure out what’s next with the UFC.
The next big thing is activity. Magomedov has only fought twice since the start of 2021 and that has to change. Despite losing by TKO, I think the best thing would be to try and get right back in there this fall. He didn’t get flatlined with the loss, more overwhelmed.
In addition to just getting active, Magomedov needs a slight step back in competition. In looking at the division, I think a good next fight would be against Bruno Silva. Silva just lost to Brendan Allen with a ranking spot on the line just like Magomedov lost to Strickland.
A win for either man would get them right back in the rankings conversation.