This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 23, Sodiq Yusuff (11-2) and Arnold Allen (17-1) went head-to-head in the co-main event. This featherweight matchup paired up two of the division’s most exciting prospects.
Both of these contenders entered the octagon on Saturday unbeaten in the UFC. They were ranked 10th and 11th in the division. Whoever won was poised to take a step up in competition against some of the best in the featherweight division.
The fight at UFC Vegas 23 was extremely competitive. Both men had their moments and Yusuff did some solid work in the fight. However, there were two big moments in the first couple of rounds that swung the fight.
In the first and second rounds, Arnold Allen was able to land big shots that dropped Yusuff. While the striking numbers were extremely close overall and actually favored Yusuff, these two moments swung those two rounds.
Had Yusuff not been dropped, there is a strong chance he could have won a decision at UFC Vegas 23. He won the third round on all three scorecards, but all three judges gave Allen the first two rounds. Allen remained unbeaten inside the octagon while Yusuff suffered his first UFC loss.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 23?
This was a tough loss for Yusuff because it was such a close fight. However, with the way he lost at UFC Vegas 23, it’s not going to set him back a ton. In my opinion, the loss was more of a speed bump opposed to completely throwing him off course.
With that in mind, what’s next after UFC Vegas 23? For “Super” Sodiq’s next matchup, my attention turns to a featherweight contest that takes place in May. At UFC 262, Edson Barboza (21-9) and Shane Burgos (13-2) will battle it out.
Both of these contenders rank just below Yusuff in the UFC rankings as of today. I think the perfect next fight for Yusuff would be taking on the loser of that matchup. I don’t think the loser of that fight loses much ground just like Yusuff didn’t lose much ground.
Given the styles of all parties involved, I believe either man against Yusuff would be a fight that fans would be excited for. Time will tell what the UFC decides to do, but I would be shocked to see Yusuff get paired with the loser of that matchup.