This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 33, we saw a showdown between ranked middleweights. Former Ultimate Fighter finalist Uriah Hall (17-10) was taking on a former training partner in Sean Strickland (24-3).
When Sean Strickland broke into the UFC, he was competing in the welterweight division. However, he was completely depleting himself to make 170 pounds. Strickland has since found a permanent home in the middleweight division.
Last year, he returned after a two-year layoff due to a motorcycle accident that almost ended his career. He returned last October and took on Jack Marshman. After winning that fight, he took a fight against Brendan Allen just two weeks later.
Strickland stopped Allen in the second round. He followed that up with another win in May and at UFC Vegas 33, Strickland was looking to pick up his fourth win in the last nine months.
I was expecting Saturday night to be competitive between Hall and Strickland. However, it was anything but. Strickland controlled the entire fight and spent the entire fight walking Hall down. A completely dominant shutout win for Strickland at UFC Vegas 33.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 33?
After his dominant win on Saturday night, Strickland jumped up to eighth in the UFC’s middleweight rankings. As mentioned, he’s now won four fights in the last year and he’s ready for a top ten challenge.
With that, who should the UFC pair Strickland up against? In looking at the division, I think a perfect fight for Strickland would be taking on Jack Hermansson (22-6). Hermansson is currently ranked sixth in the middleweight division.
The Joker has been in there with some of the very best that the division has to offer. Since 2018, Hermansson is 6-2 in the UFC. The two losses came against top middleweight contenders Jared Cannonier and Marvin Vettori.
Hermansson is coming off of an impressive win against Edmen Shahbazyan. I think the UFC should put these two against each other and if Strickland wins, you’re looking at a contender who’d be ready to take a shot at the top five. The fight make sense for all parties involved and I think it’s what should be next.