After coming up short at UFC 262, what’s next for Viviane Araujo?

This past Saturday on the main card of UFC 262, we saw a pivotal matchup in the flyweight division. Consensus top contender Katlyn Chookagian (16-4) was taking on the surging Viviane Araujo (10-3).

Araujo made the walk at UFC 262 riding a two-fight win streak. In her last win, she defeated the tough Roxanne Modafferi by decision. That was a big win that got her going in the right direction.

However, fighting Katlyn Chookagian was a big step up. Chookagian is considered by everyone to be the third best flyweight in the world. In my opinion, she’s going to end up turning into the UFC‘s gate keeper of that weight class.

This fight was going to tell us a lot about where Viviane Araujo is. Well, in my opinion, she looked great for the first couple of rounds. The first round was competitive between the two flyweights, but I thought Araujo landed the bigger shots.

In the second round, Araujo got the fight to the ground and had Chookagian mounted. She was attacking submissions, but the UFC‘s second ranked flyweight contender wouldn’t go away easy and fought her way out.

After Araujo couldn’t finish the fight on the ground, she was gassed. From there, Chookagian cruised the rest of the fight. However, I personally scored the first two for Araujo. To me surprise, not a single judge gave her the fight and one judge gave all three rounds to Chookagian at UFC 262.

What’s next after UFC 262?

Despite it being a unanimous decision loss at UFC 262, I really don’t think Araujo loses a lot here. I think there are a lot of people who can watch that fight back and think it was either razor close or Araujo won.

It was not a robbery and it was a close fight. However, there’s no way that Viviane Araujo lost all three rounds of that fight. So, with that loss, what does the UFC do with Araujo next?

Well, I think there’s an opponent that’s actually lined up perfectly for her. Araujo is ranked eighth at flyweight and I think she should be paired up with tenth ranked Alexa Grasso (13-3) next.

Grasso has looked great since moving up to flyweight. She had an incredible performance at UFC 258 against Maycee Barber and I think pairing these two up would be the wise move for the promotion.

After second straight loss at UFC 258, what’s next for Maycee Barber?

This past Saturday at UFC 258, Maycee Barber (8-2) made her return in the co-main event of the evening. Arguably the promotion’s top female prospect had a tough test in front of her in Alexa Grasso (13-3).

Barber was being built up as the future just like her nickname would suggest. Maycee Barber is ferocious when she’s on and she’s always looking for a finish. She drew some criticism when she made the bullish claim that she’d be the youngest champion in UFC history.

However, those plans were derailed in 2020 with a loss and a knee injury. There was a lot of hype behind this matchup which is why is was the co-main event of the evening. However, this fight didn’t go as Barber planned.

From the opening bell, Barber looked hesitant to get on the inside. She was throwing a lot of feints, but they were from very far away. It was all pretty much wasted movement and when she did come in to engage, Grasso was tagging her.

The first two rounds were very one-sided for Alexa Grasso at UFC 258. In the third round, we saw some glimpses of that promise from Barber. She was ferocious in trying to get a finish, but it was a little too late and she ultimately lost her second straight by decision.

What’s next after UFC 258?

It’s important to remember that Maycee Barber is just 22 years old. She has plenty of time to regroup despite back-to-back losses in the UFC. The promotion has a few options for her in her next fight.

If they want to give her a ranked opponent, the promotion could look at someone like Andrea Lee (11-5). It wasn’t long ago that Andrea Lee was looked at as a title contender. However, she’s now lost three in a row which finds her 12th in the UFC’s flyweight division.

If they want to give her someone outside the rankings, another option could be Ariane Lipski (13-6). Lipski is on the fringe of the top 15, but she just got finished by Antonina Shevchenko. Lipski would be a solid test for Barber in a fight she should be favored in.

The UFC should give her a decent opponent in her next fight. She has a ton of potential, but just because she’s lost two straight doesn’t mean she should get a layup. I think either of these matchups would be good for Maycee Barber.

After her big win at UFC 258, what’s next for Alexa Grasso?

This past Saturday at UFC 258, the women’s flyweight division was on display in the co-main event. One of the promotion’s top prospects, Maycee Barber (8-2), was making her return against Alexa Grasso (13-3).

Barber has claimed for the last couple of years that she was going to be the youngest champion in UFC history. Those plans were derailed by a knee injury and a loss last year, but she insisted that she was going to make a statement at UFC 258.

Alexa Grasso was making her second appearance in the flyweight division. After spending years depleting herself to make 115, Grasso moved up to 125. The decision to move up to the flyweight division was the best possible decision Grasso could have made.

When the fight started on Saturday, Barber seemed anxious while Grasso seemed calm and composed. Through the first two rounds, anytime Barber would come forward, Grasso would sting her with beautiful combinations.

What really impressed me was the fact that Barber couldn’t even get the advantage in the grappling. Grasso controlled most of the grappling exchanges at UFC 258 which I think nobody anticipated going into the fight.

In the third round, Barber went all out trying to get a finish. You have to give her credit for that, and Grasso withstood the storm from Barber. While Barber took the final round, Grasso walked away with her hand raised on Saturday night.

What’s next after UFC 258?

The UFC’s flyweight division has a very exciting new contender in Alexa Grasso. I’m very interested to see how the promotion moves her forward after her big win on Saturday night. With that, they have a couple of different paths.

The first path is giving her a slight step up in the rankings in terms of opponents. With that, you’d have someone like Viviane Araujo (10-2) who is currently ranked seventh. I think that would be a fantastic matchup and a lot of fun for the fans.

However, if they want to move her up quicker than that, perhaps a matchup against Lauren Murphy (14-4) or Katlyn Chookagian (15-4) could be next. If that’s what Grasso got next, she could just be one win away from a UFC title shot.

Again, it’ll be very interesting to see how the promotion goes with her. Either way, it’s exciting times in the flyweight division.

Maycee Barber drops her second straight to Alexa Grasso at UFC 258

The co-main event of UFC 258 featured a big time matchup in the women’s flyweight division. Top prospect, Maycee Barber (8-1), was making her return against the tough, Alexa Grasso (12-3).

Maycee Barber was the talk of the UFC after her first few fights resulted in finishes. She was aiming to become the youngest champion in UFC history, however, those plans were derailed in her last fight.

Barber tore her ACL mid-fight and she was beaten decisively by Roxanne Modafferi. It was a humbling fight for the rising contender, but Barber insisted that she is back and better than ever. She had a tough test in front of her in Alexa Grasso.

Grasso spent the majority of her career at strawweight but she’s found comfort in the UFC‘s flyweight division. Grasso is coming off of a decision win over Ji Yeon Kim in August and she was ready to make a statement against Barber at UFC 258.

UFC 258 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 258 co-main event got underway with a lot of feints from Barber. A big inside leg kick lands for Barber, but Grasso looked very composed. The two come together and Barber presses Grasso against the fence.

However, Grasso was able to reverse the position and force a break. The two went back to striking with three minutes left in the round. Grasso landed a nasty combination from the outside as Barber attempted to come in.

Barber shot in with a sloppy takedown attempt that Grasso easily defended. However, Barber was able to press Grasso against the fence. Grasso defended well and pushed Barber against the fence. A couple of clean elbows land by Grasso, but Barber reverses.

These two flyweights kept exchanging controlling positions along the fence. A massive elbow lands for Barber on the break that backs Grasso up. Grasso lands some clean shots from the outside, but Barber landed some big shots too. Good opening round at UFC 258 for Alexa Grasso.

Round 2

The second round at UFC 258 with pressure from Barber. Barber was throwing a lot of feints, but they were so far away that they weren’t even coming close. Grasso comes in with a crisp combination that backs Barber up.

The striking of Alexa Grasso looks incredible. Grasso steps forward and she rocks Maycee Barber with a couple of big shots. However, Barber was able to force a clinch which allowed her to regain her composure.

Barber lands a nice elbow long the fence, but Grasso landed good shots of her own. A big knee to the body lands for Maycee Barber. However, Grasso used that to break the clinch. A big left and right hand lands for Barber, but Grasso just ate them.

A nice leg kick lands for Grasso. Barber caught the next kick and used it to take Grasso down. However, Grasso used an armbar to reverse the position. Grasso then got the top position and tried to lock in a choke. Beautiful ground work for Alexa Grasso. 2-0 Grasso at UFC 258.

Round 3

Going into the final round at UFC 258 and Maycee Barber needs a finish in this one. Barber pushed forward looking for a headkick early, but Grasso looked so composed as she blocked. A ton of confidence from Alexa Grasso.

One minute into the round and nothing has landed by Maycee Barber. Barber pushed forward but ate a couple of clean shots for her trouble. The two come together and Grasso pushed Barber up against the fence.

A couple of big knees to the body land for Alexa Grasso. However, Barber lands a takedown. Barber lands some big shots on the ground, but Grasso gets back up. Barber pushed forward with massive power shots.

Grasso looked a little overwhelmed during the storm from Maycee Barber. Another clinch and Grasso gets control. However, Barber reverses the position. A big elbow over the top lands from Maycee Barber.

One minute left and Barber is running out of time. Grasso reversed the position and was holding Barber along the fence. The two break and Barber was swinging with everything she had. A big final round for Barber, but Alexa Grasso should get the win at UFC 258.

Alexa Grasso def. Maycee Barber by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

UFC 258 Preview: Maycee Barber – Alexa Grasso

Tomorrow night in the co-main event of UFC 258, the women’s flyweight division will be on display. Top prospect, Maycee Barber (8-1), will be making her return against the tough, Alexa Grasso (12-3).

Maycee Barber’s nickname is exactly what the UFC thought of her. The promotion was building her up as the future of the division and perhaps a future challenger for the flyweight title. However, that was all derailed in her last fight.

Barber fought Roxanne Modafferi at UFC 246 which was headlined by Conor McGregor. When it’s a Conor McGregor card, all eyes are on you as a fighter. The promotion had to be hoping for a Barber breakout performance.

Instead, Barber was pretty much dominated by Modafferi for the entire fight. Granted, Barber did tear her ACL in the first round which hindered her performance. She’s had a year to recover and she suggests that she’s back better than ever. Prior to that loss she was 3-0 with three knockouts in the UFC.

Standing across from Barber is Alexa Grasso. Grasso came into the UFC as a strawweight but has transitioned to the flyweight division. She made her flyweight debut in her last fight back in August. Grasso looked good in picking up the decision victory against Ji Yeon Kim.

She will come into this fight against Maycee Barber ranked fifteenth in the division. Despite the loss in her last performance, Barber is still ranked tenth in the division. Grasso is actually the betting favorite as of now.

UFC 258 Prediction

The UFC 258 co-main event is going to be decided for me in the first couple of minutes. I think it’ll all come down to the way that Maycee Barber looks early on. If she’s tentative, I think she could be in trouble tomorrow night.

Alexa Grasso has very good boxing and she’s very good from striking on the outside. If Barber is too tentative, I could see her getting outpointed over the course of three rounds by the sharp Alexa Grasso.

For Barber to be successful in this fight, she needs to fight with pressure and urgency. She doesn’t need to be reckless, but she needs to use her strength and power advantages. Barber needs to get on the inside with power shots and perhaps mix in some takedown attempts.

If Barber fights to her ability, I believe she will win at UFC 258. However, if she’s too relaxed on the outside, I believe Grasso can get the win. Ultimately, I believe we are going to see a good performance from Maycee Barber tomorrow night. I believe she’ll get this to the ground and lock in a choke to get a statement finish.

Prediction: Maycee Barber by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – Round 2

UFC Vegas 8 Recap: Aleksandar Rakic chops down Anthony Smith

The UFC returned tonight for their eighth Fight Night since hosting events at their APEX. In the main event of the evening, top eight light heavyweights went to war as Anthony Smith (33-15) took on Aleksandar Rakic (12-2).

Rakic chops down Lionheart

The main event saw former UFC title challenger Anthony “Lionheart” Smith, taking on top contender, Aleksandar Rakic. Both men entered the cage coming off of a loss and looking to bounce back.

The main event started with a touch of the gloves. Rakic immediately opened up with a few powerful leg kicks. Smith countered with some of his own, but Rakic’s had a lot of pop on them. Rakic dropped Smith with back to back massive leg kicks.

Once on top, Rakic landed some good body shots. Smith was able to use a scramble to get to Rakic’s back, but Rakic was able to shake him off. Rakic was able to get top position with about two minutes left in the round.

Rakic displayed really good top control over the final couple of minutes. Smith looked like he was going to go for a triangle at one point, but he seemed more content to ride out the round. Clear first round for Rakic.

Smith moved forward to start round two, but Rakic continued to pepper him with kicks. Lionheart used a big right to engage the grappling. However, Rakic used his superior strength to just throw Smith to his back.

Rakic landed right in Smith’s guard and started working on ground and pound. Smith looked for butterflies to try and sweep, but Rakic did a good job maintaining top control. Smith did do a good job of working slowly back to the fence.

Once the action was there, Smith did try and throw up a couple of submissions, but Rakic did a good job defending. The final minute didn’t contain a ton of action which led to another clear round for Rakic.

The final round opened with another massive leg kick from Rakic. Rakic landed a couple of big kicks that seemingly rocked Smith for a second. Smith show in for a takedown, but again, Rakic was able to use his strength to throw Smith down.

After being on his back for over a minute, Smith used the cage to try to get back to his feet. Rakic did a fantastic job of controlling Smith from the back. Finally Smith got back to his feet for two seconds with a minute left, but was dragged right back down. There was really no more action in the final minute.

The final round was another clear round for Rakic. I gave him the fight 30-27. The judges gave the fight unanimously to Rakic (30-26, 30-27, 30-27). A very solid bounce back win

Magny hands Robbie Lawler fourth straight loss

The co-main event of the evening featured the former UFC welterweight champion, Robbie Lawler (28-14, 1 NC), taking on Neil Magny (23-7). Lawler was looking to snap the longest losing streak of his career.

As the first round started, Magny looked to strike from distance with his kicks. Lawler was able to back up Magny while throwing big shots. Lawler tried to get a takedown, but Magny defended well. Magny was able to drag Lawler down with a headlock before transitioning to the back.

Lawler was able to get back to his feet, but Magny maintained control. Magny got to Lawler’s back and almost locked up a rear-naked choke before Lawler fought out of it. Magny dragged Lawler down, but a scramble found Lawler on top.

After taking some good shots, Magny was able to get back to his feet. Once the fight was back on the feet, Magny landed a takedown. Lawler got back to his feet, but Magny snapped him back down with a headlock. Round ended and a clear first for Neil Magny.

As the second round started, Lawler showed some urgency on his feet. Magny threw a big headkick which was blocked, but he used that momentum to shoot in for a takedown. Magny was able to drag Lawler down.

Once the fight was on the ground, Magny was able to get Lawler’s back again. After controlling Lawler for a few minutes, Magny lost the top position. Lawler got to his feet with about a minute left in the round. However, he wasn’t able to land anything significant. Another clear round for Magny.

Both men touched gloves as the final round began. Lawler looked light on his feet to start the final round. Lawler landed a big right hand and Magny pulled guard. It wasn’t clear on if the shot actually hurt Magny or not.

Magny just hugged Lawler on the ground with no action so the referee stood them up. Lawler really started pressing forward landing good shots, but Magny reengaged the grappling and got Lawler down.

Lawler was able to work his way back to the feet with about two minutes left in the round. Magny started doing a good job landing from distance. Lawler was plotting forward, but Magny was just peppering him.

Magny’s boxing looked incredibly crisp as he continued to pepper Lawler with straight shots as Lawler came forward. The round ended with Magny landing over and over. Another clear round for Magny and I give him the fight 30-27.

The judges agreed unanimously giving the fight to Neil Magny (30-27, 30-27, 30-27). The third win of 2020 for Magny. The former UFC champion, Lawler, has now lost four fights in a row.

Alexa Grasso makes successful UFC flyweight debut

The second fight on the main card featured a women’s flyweight contest between Ji Yeon Kim (9-2-2) and Alexa Grasso (11-3). Grasso was moving up from strawweight for her UFC flyweight debut.

Both ladies touched gloves as the first round started. Grasso opened the action with a very solid overhand right. Kim seemed extremely calm early on just trying to find her rhythm. Grasso kept trying to press forward, but was having a little trouble with the reach.

Kim owned a six inch reach advantage, and it was playing a factor early. Every time Grasso would push forward, Kim would land one solid counter on Grasso’s exit. Both women landed in a big exchange with about two minutes left in the round.

Grasso was pushing forward and throwing more in the first. Kim was staying patient and landing good counters, but Grasso was landing more while being aggressive. Solid first round that I’ll give to Grasso.

Grasso opened up the second round with a very solid body kick. She followed that with a very big leg kick. Kim wasn’t displaying great defense as she continued to get hit with solid shots from Grasso.

Grasso continued to push forward with combinations as Kim looked for counters. A big three punch combination landed for Grasso halfway through the round. Kim started throwing some combinations after that.

Urgency started setting it for Kim as she was getting peppered by Grasso. Kim’s nose was really bothering her as she continued to take big combinations from Grasso. Kim landed some decent shots late in the round, but this is another round for Grasso.

The final round opened with both ladies throwing combinations. Grasso was staying very busy, but Kim was pushing forward more early in the round. Kim pushed forward, but Grasso was still getting the better of the exchanges.

It was very evident in the third that Kim sensed that she needed a finish. The problem was that Grasso was just quicker on the feet. Halfway through the round the two women engaged in some grappling. Both exchanged the controlling position against the cage.

Grasso was able to land a takedown with about a minute into the round. Grasso stayed in half guard the full final minute landing big shots on Kim. Another round for Grasso and I give her the fight 30-27.

The judges unanimously agreed giving Grasso the fight (30-27, 30-27, 30-27). A very solid UFC flyweight debut for Alexa Grasso.

Lamas defeats Algeo in a war

Kicking off the main card on ESPN+ was a featherweight contest between Ricardo Lamas (19-8) and Bill Algeo (13-4). Algeo who has appeared on Dana White’s Contender Series was making his UFC debut against Lamas.

Algeo opened the first round in a side stance looking to kick. After Lamas landed a good leg kick, Algeo responded with big body shots. Algeo was really pushing the pace early on looking for big shots. Lamas engaged in some grappling to try to get the fight to the ground, but wasn’t successful.

When they separated, Lamas really started to find his range. He was doing a good job of landing calf kicks and straight shots. These two men started throwing caution to the wind throwing massive shots at the other.

Just as Lamas started taking control, Algeo was able to find his range with some big shots. Lamas landed a couple of big calf kicks, but Algeo seemingly rocked Lamas right as the round entered. Incredible round that I slightly lean towards Algeo.

As the second round started, Algeo was really pushing the pace. Looked to be trying to build off the momentum of the way round one ended. Lamas shot in for a takedown and was able to get Algeo’s back. However, Algeo created a nice scramble to get up.

Both men again engaged in landing massive shots in close quarters. Algeo backed Lamas up landing big shots, and the moment he stopped, Lamas fired back. Lamas again tried to get the fight back to the ground halfway through the round.

Algeo was doing a very good job of defending the takedown while landing big elbows. Lamas got wobbled by a big knee up the middle. Algeo shot in for a takedown and took Lamas down. Lamas was then able to reverse the position and get on top. Algeo immediately got back to his feet.

Algeo started showboating a little in the final minute of the round. Lamas landed a pretty good calf kick, but Algeo appeared to be having fun. Clear second round for Bill Algeo.

The third and final round began with three solid kicks from Lamas. Seemed to be much more urgency with Lamas entering the final round. Algeo was doing a really good job of staying calm. Lamas tried to get a takedown a minute into the round, but Algeo defended well.

After working on the takedown for about 20 seconds, Lamas was able to get Algeo down. Algeo kept trying to scramble, but Lamas did a really good job of keeping top position. Lamas was landing very solid shots while Algeo kept trying to scramble.

Algeo was able to get up, but Lamas dragged him right back down. Algeo seemed to be very tired from all the grappling. After working his way back up, Algeo was slammed back down by Lamas. Lamas transitioned immediately to his back.

Lamas was able to get the mount with about thirty seconds left. Algeo wasn’t doing much to defend. Lamas was raining down massive elbows as the round ended. By far the most dominant round of the fight. I will give Lamas a 10-8 round which would make the fight a 28-28 draw.

In the end, all three judges gave the fight to Ricardo Lamas (29-27, 29-27, 29-27). An incredible fight and despite the loss, a very impressive UFC debut for Bill Algeo.

UFC Vegas 8 Takeaways

UFC on Vegas 8 delivered with a very solid night of fights. The four fight main was entertaining from start to finish. Aleksandar Rakic was able to get back on track in the main event. Robbie Lawler suffered his fourth consecutive loss in the co-main. The UFC returns next week for Alistair Overeem – Augusto Sakai.