After falling short in UFC Vegas 83 headliner, what’s next for Chris Gutierrez?

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Gutierrz vs Danaa
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 83, we saw a big time matchup in the bantamweight division. Top ten contender Song Yadong (21-7-1) was looking to defend his spot against fifteen ranked “El Guapo” Chris Gutierrez (20-5-2).

Gutierrez had a huge opportunity to make a massive leap in the rankings on Saturday night. Originally, Song Yadong was penciled in to face off against former champion Petr Yan. However, after Yan wasn’t able to compete, the promotion pivoted and Gutierrez jumped at the opportunity.

To win the fight, Gutierrez was going to need to keep the fight standing and keep the fight at distance. With his movement and kicks, there was a path to victory for Gutierrez and we saw that at times on Saturday night. Gutierrez did a good job especially in the early rounds frustrating Song with his movements and kicks.

He landed very nice kicks, but throughout the rounds, Song was landing the bigger shots. Later in the fight, Song started using his wrestling and Gutierrez couldn’t keep the fight standing. While he gave a solid effort, Gutierrez didn’t do enough and was swept on the scorecards at UFC Vegas 83.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 83?

Make no mistake about it, a loss is a loss and this one has to sting for Gutierrez. He had the opportunity to leap into the top ten with a win and he couldn’t get it done. That said, I don’t think he loses much ground from where he currently is after losing at UFC Vegas 83. From a rankings perspective, he wasn’t supposed to win on Saturday.

Gutierrez entered 2023 having won four fights in a row. At UFC Kansas City in April, he took on Pedro Munhoz and lost a decision. He bounced back well with a win, but now suffered another loss to Song Yadong. Gutierrez is clearly good enough to be in the rankings, but he’s struggled against top ten competition.

So, after this loss, what should the UFC do with him next? I’m actually looking outside the rankings for Gutierrez’s next fight. In looking at potential opponents, I like the idea of him facing Adrian Yanez next. Yanez was on a helluva run entering the year but he’s lost two fights in a row.

A bout between the two could be a great fight to get one of the two back on track. Another option could be someone from the Mario Bautista – Ricky Simon fight. Either of those options would be great for Gutierrez.