After his TKO loss at UFC Vegas 26, what’s next for Diego Ferreira?

Entering 2021, one of the hottest names in the UFC‘s lightweight division was Diego Ferreira (17-4). Ferreira entered the year having won six fights in a row including a finish over former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.

In his career, Ferreira had only been defeated by Dustin Poirier and Beneil Dariush. That alone showed people just how good Ferreira was. Back in February, he had his first UFC appearance of the year.

He took on Beneil Dariush in a rematch. Unfortunately for Ferreira, their second fight went a lot like their first. Dariush was able to get the better of the grappling and ended up winning a decision.

Ferreira wanted to get right back in there and the promotion offered him a spot at UFC Vegas 26. He was offered a fight against Gregor Gillespie (14-1) in a big matchup of top fifteen contenders.

Ferreira took the fight and in the first round on Saturday, he looked very good. He was able to hurt Gillespie and get the better of some of the exchanges. However, by the second round, Gillespie started to break him.

One thing leading into last weekend is the fact that Ferreira missed weight by over four pounds. A horrific miss heading into UFC Vegas 26. Ultimately in the second round, Gillespie got the TKO victory. So Ferreira had to give up 30% of his purse and he suffered a TKO loss.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 26?

As mentioned, Ferreira rode into the year on the highest of highs. Had he defeated Dariush in February, he could’ve been in the co-headlining spot against Tony Ferguson this weekend at UFC 262.

Instead, Ferreira has lost two in a row and now he’s on the verge of falling out of the UFC’s top fifteen. With that, what should the promotion do with him next? Well for that, I look to UFC 263.

At UFC 263, there’s a lightweight contest between Drew Dober (23-10) and Brad Riddell (9-1). I think a fight with Ferreira and either the winner or the loser makes a lot of sense given their status in the division.

Another fight that could make sense for Ferreira is a matchup with Al Iaquinta (14-6-1). Iaquinta hasn’t fought since 2019, but he’s in a similar spot as Ferreira. Perhaps that’s a matchup the UFC could look at next.

UFC books Drew Dober – Brad Riddell

The UFC is in the process of finalizing a fun lightweight matchup for their June PPV. MMA Junkie was the first to report today that the promotion is in the final stages of booking Drew Dober (23-10, 1 NC) – Brad Riddell (9-1).

The matchup would take place at UFC 263 on June 12th. This would be a relatively quick turnaround for Dober who just fought back at UFC 259 in early March. That night, Dober took on the tough Islam Makhachev.

Makhachev is being looked at as a future UFC lightweight champion. However, Dober was 6-1 in his previous seven and many thought he’d give Islam problems. That is not what happened when they fought on March 6th.

Makhachev completely dominated Dober and handed him just his second loss since 2016. Now, Dober is looking to bounce back in taking on Riddell at UFC 263. This is a tremendous matchup between two fringe top fifteen lightweights.

Riddell seeks to stay perfect in the UFC

Brad Riddell is another intriguing prospect that has come out of City Kickboxing in New Zealand. Riddell trains alongside UFC champions Israel Adesanya and Alexander Volkanovski.

So far, Riddell has fought three times inside the octagon and he’s a perfect 3-0. He was set to take on Gregor Gillespie just a few weeks ago and if he were to win that fight, he likely would’ve been inside the UFC’s top 15.

However, due to a COVID breakout with the City Kickboxing group, the fight was called off. Now, Riddell is ready to get back to work and he’s getting a very tough test in Drew Dober.

If Riddell is able to defeat Dober, it will say a lot about where he is in the UFC lightweight picture. Whoever wins this matchup will likely get a ranked opponent in their next matchup so there is a lot on the line for both of these lightweight contenders.

After having winning streak snapped at UFC 259, what’s next for Drew Dober?

This past Saturday at UFC 259, Drew Dober (23-10) had the tough task of taking on Islam Makhachev (19-1). Makhachev is already being called the next Khabib and many are saying he will be a future UFC lightweight champion.

However, Drew Dober is not someone anyone should just look past. Heading into Saturday night, Dober had only lost one time since 2017. That one loss came against top ten lightweight Beneil Dariush.

Dober had won three fights in a row by stoppage. He has very good grappling skills and tremendous power on his hands. On paper, he looked like he was going to be a very tough test for Islam Makhachev at UFC 259.

However, when it came to the actual fight, the odds makers were right. Dober was a massive underdog which made many scratch their heads considering it had been a lengthy layoff for Islam Makhachev.

He didn’t fight in all of 2020 so nobody quite knew what to expect. Well, Makhachev was as advertised. He completely dominated Dober and took him down at will. In the third round, Dober was forced to tap from an arm-triangle choke snapping his UFC winning streak.

What’s next after UFC 259?

After this winning streak, UFC 259 proved to be a humbling moment for Drew Dober. The fight taught him a valuable lesson on the levels to the game of MMA and showed him where he needs to improve if he wants to compete with championship level fighters.

After that kind of a loss, it’s time for a reset for Drew Dober. He will need to take on someone with decent name recognition, but someone outside the UFC rankings. With that, there are a couple of names that come to mind.

One fighter that would make a lot of sense is Bobby Green (27-11-1). Green had a great 2020 where he went 3-1. He had to pull out of his last fight due to some weight issues, but by all accounts, he’s ready to get back into the octagon.

Another fun UFC matchup for Dober could be Clay Guida (36-20). Guida looked very good in his last outing against Michael Johnson. He proved that he’s as tough as ever with a grinding style that just doesn’t stop. Both of these matchups would be good and tough rebound matchups for Dober.

After dominant win at UFC 259, what’s next for Islam Makhachev?

This past Saturday at UFC 259, Islam Makhachev (19-1) took on Drew Dober (23-10) on the main card. Makhachev has a ton of hype surrounding him and many are considering him to be the next Khabib Nurmagomedov.

The UFC‘s lightweight champion grew up with and is one of the lead training partners of Makhachev. Like Nurmagomedov, Makhachev is a world sambo champion and he possesses a lot of the same skills as the lightweight champion.

This matchup against Drew Dober was going to be a big test for Makhachev. Due to the pandemic, we didn’t see Makhachev inside the octagon in 2020. For that reason, many forgot about how talented he really is.

Drew Dober had been soaring coming into UFC 259. A three-fight win streak where he had won all three fights by knockout. The odds were stacked against him on Saturday, but the thought was that he would provide a tough fight for Makhachev.

Well, on Saturday night, Makhachev mauled Drew Dober. The fight wasn’t competitive at all. Like we’ve seen so many times with Khabib, Makhachev controlled Dober for the entire fight before submitting him in the third round. A dominant return to the UFC for Makhachev.

What’s next after UFC 259?

After that dominant win, Makhachev jumped up in the rankings to eleventh. After this fight, he needs to fight someone that’s in the UFC’s top ten. There are a few options that I like and one I think is a very real possibility.

One option for Makhachev would be Kevin Lee (18-6). Lee is gearing up for his return to the octagon after an injury layoff and he’s currently ranked 13th. He’s been vocal about his desire to fight and test Islam Makhachev.

Another option could be Beneil Dariush (20-4-1). Dariush is now inside the top ten and he’s won six fights in a row. However, Dariush has been very vocal about his desire to move up the rankings and not take on someone lower than him.

Then there’s the matchup that Makhachev and the world wants to see. That would be the matchup with the former UFC interim lightweight champion, Tony Ferguson (25-5). Ferguson has history with Makhachev’s camp due to the amount of times he was supposed to fight Khabib.

Khabib and Ferguson were scheduled to fight five times and all five times the fight fell through. Makhachev is looked at as Khabib 2.0 and he wants to be the one to retire Ferguson. Ferguson has lost two in a row so from a rankings perspective, this matchup does make sense for the UFC.

Islam Makhachev dominates and taps Drew Dober at UFC 259

The second fight on the PPV main card at UFC 259 was a pivotal lightweight matchup between two of the division’s brightest prospects. Islam Makhachev (18-1) was set to take on Drew Dober (23-9).

Originally, Makhachev was supposed to fight former UFC lightweight champion, Rafael Dos Anjos, late in the year last year. However, Makhachev had to pull out of the fight and got booked against Dober tonight.

Makhachev is being looked at as Khabib 2.0. The current lightweight champion is a main training partner and lifelong friend of Makhachev. Both grew up in Dagestan together and Makhachev is the entire package.

He has that incredible wrestling base, however, his striking is also at a high level. This fight wasn’t going to be easy, but many were looking at this as a showcase. The guy looking to play spoiler was Drew Dober.

Quietly, Dober has been a force in the lightweight division over the past few years. The only man to have beaten him in the UFC since 2017 is Beneil Dariush. Dober had the power and the grappling to make this a tough test for Islam Makhachev.

UFC 259 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 259 lightweight contest opened with a touch of the gloves. Dober opens the striking with a very good low kick. Makhachev lands a nice lead uppercut to start his striking. Another powerful leg kick lands for Drew Dober.

Makhachev shoots in for his first takedown and he gets ahold of Dober on a single leg. A nice trip from the single leg leads to a beautiful takedown for Islam Makhachev. Makhachev was being very deliberate on the ground while trying to pass in half guard.

The top control and pressure was very impressive for Makhachev. Halfway through the round and Dober was staying patient on the bottom. Makhachev is able to transition to the mount and Dober was looking to get it back to half guard.

Dober was able to get it back to half guard, but Makhachev almost immediately passed to side control. Makhachev went back to the mount, but Dober exploded in a scramble. Makhachev gets his back and goes for an armbar. It’s close, but the round comes to a close. Great opening round at UFC 259 for Makhachev.

Round 2

Entering the second round at UFC 259 and it’s clear that Dober needs to keep this fight standing. Dober opens the second with pressure and looks for a 1-2. Makhachev dives on a leg, but Dober defended the first takedown.

Makhachev pushed Dober against the fence and immediately used a trip to slam Dober to the ground. Dober was trying to scramble, but Makhachev’s top control kept him in place. Dober got his back to the fence and tried to wall walk to get up.

However, Makhachev was doing a good job of pulling Dober away from the fence and stayed on top. Makhachev ties up Dober’s legs and starts peppering him with shots. Makhachev attempted to transition to mount, but Dober defended well.

Dober was able to get Makhachev back to guard, but that’s the best that he could do. Makhachev landed some massive shots from the guard to end the second round. This easily could be a 10-8 round for Makhachev at UFC 259.

Round 3

Entering the final round at UFC 259 and Dober needed a miracle to win this one. The final round opens with immediate pressure from Dober. Dober looked for his big left hand, but he threw it right into a clinch with Makhachev.

Makhachev had a firm grip on Dober and he slammed Dober to the ground. Dober was desperately trying to force a scramble, but Makhachev remained composed while holding his top control.

Makhachev locks up an arm triangle and it’s in deep. Dober had nothing left to defend it and he taps. Complete and total domination from Islam Makhachev.

Islam Makhachev def. Drew Dober by Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) – Round 3

UFC 259 Preview: Islam Makhachev – Drew Dober

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC 259, we will see a very fun matchup in the lightweight division. Two top prospects will go head-to-head as Islam Makhachev (18-1) takes on Drew Dober (23-9).

Makhachev is already being touted as Khabib 2.0 by many in the media. The UFC‘s lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, is a lead training partner of Islam Makhachev. Both men are from Dagestan and they’ve grown up together in the gym.

Makhachev also trains out of AKA just like Khabib. The lightweight champion is one of the lead cornermen for Makhachev tomorrow night. Makhachev has incredible wrestling, but his striking is also very advanced.

The reason why many are calling him Khabib 2.0 is the fact that his striking is already at such a high level. It’s hard to find a weakness in Makhachev’s game which is why many are saying that he will be the lightweight champion one day.

Drew Dober is trying to stop all the hype around Makhachev. Dober is a sizable underdog, but many are underestimating just how good he is. Since 2017, he’s only lost one fight and that was against top ten contender, Beneil Dariush.

Dober is one of the dark horses in the UFC‘s lightweight division. He has a golden opportunity tomorrow night to silence the hype around Makhachev on the biggest stage possible. Dober’s all around game will make it a very difficult fight for Islam Makhachev.

UFC 259 Prediction

When it comes to UFC 259, there’s a clear reason as to why Islam Makhachev is the favorite. He might have the advantage everywhere this fight goes. While many will say Dober has the striking advantage, I actually think it’s relatively even.

For Drew Dober, one thing to watch for is his right hook. I’ve seen Makhachev susceptible to getting hit with right hands and Dober does have the power to hurt him. However, I’m not sure Dober is going to be able to stop Makhachev from taking him down.

Makhachev is going to dictate where this fight takes place. If he wants to stand, I believe they will stand. However, if he wants to take this down, I’m not sure Drew Dober can stop it. Dober will make him work for everything tomorrow at UFC 259, but I see this being another win for Islam Makhachev.

Prediction: Islam Makhachev by Unanimous Decision

UFC looking to book Islam Makhachev – Drew Dober (Report)

The UFC is currently working on finalizing a big time matchup in the lightweight division. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto is reporting that the promotion is currently looking to book Islam Makhachev (18-1) against Drew Dober (23-9, 1 NC).

Per Okamoto, a date for the potential UFC fight has not been settled on. However, there is a possibility that the fight takes place in early March. We originally were supposed to see Makhachev fight just a few weeks ago.

Originally, Makhachev was set to fight former UFC lightweight champion, Rafael Dos Anjos. However, Makhachev got staff infection and had to pull out of the fight. That was a big opportunity for the Russian.

Makhachev hails from Dagestan and he’s one of the primary training partners of lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov. Like Nurmagomedov, Makhachev divides his time between Eagles MMA and AKA here in the United States.

With all of the recent retirements from AKA fighters, Makhachev is looked at as the next potential AKA UFC champion. The Russian will enter the octagon against Dober on a six-fight winning streak.

UFC Lightweight Matchup

However, Makhachev will not have an easy time with this next UFC matchup. Drew Dober has shown that he’s a handful in the lightweight division. Going back to 2017, Dober has only lost once inside the octagon.

He’s worked his way into the UFC‘s top 15 on the heels of three straight wins. All three of those wins have been knockouts within two rounds. However, he did slip up against Beneil Dariush in March of 2019.

Outside of that loss, Dober has looked sensational inside the octagon. Of his last six victories, only two of them have gone to the scorecards. This is going to be a big test for the Russian, Makhachev.

Both of these men are ranked inside the UFC‘s top 15. This is a fantastic matchup to gauge just where both of these men are at in their careers. A win for either should guarantee them a top ten opponent in their next fight.