What’s next for Chito Vera after his knockout win at UFC 268?

This past weekend at UFC 268, we saw a battle in the bantamweight division which featured the past and the future. Former lightweight champion and top contender Frankie Edgar (24-10-1) was taking on Marlon “Chito” Vera (20-7-1).

Edgar was looking to bounce back after his loss in a title eliminator to Cory Sandhagen while Chito Vera was looking for a signature win. Throughout Vera’s UFC career, he’s been known to be a very slow starter and that didn’t change at UFC 268.

In the first round, Edgar was able to take Vera down and controlled him for the majority of the round. However, in the second round, Vera really turned things around. Chito became increasingly aggressive on the feet and landed some big shots.

In the third round, both men had their moments early. However, momentum was really with Chito as he continuously stalked Edgar throughout. Then, Vera landed a massive front kick to the face that knocked out the former UFC lightweight champion and gave Chito his signature win.

What’s next after UFC 268?

The updated UFC rankings came out today and Chito Vera is just outside the top ten coming in at number eleven. Going back to UFC 227 in 2018, Vera is now 7-2 in his last nine fights. However, many believe that he won one of those two losses.

That was a loss against Song Yadong (17-5-1). With this win, Chito is in a really tough spot in regards to the rest of the division. Guys in front of him include Marlon Moraes, Dominick Cruz, Pedro Munhoz, and Cody Garbrandt.

Garbrandt is moving to 125, Moraes is on a big losing streak, and Cruz and Munhoz fight at UFC 269. In theory, whoever wins that fight would make sense right? Well, Munhoz is also contemplating a move to flyweight while Dominick Cruz will want someone ranked higher.

That leaves Chito in a bit of no mans land. So, who should the UFC pair him with? To me, there’s a couple of options. On one hand, I really like the idea of him rematching with Sean O’Malley (14-1). There’s serious beef there and a sense of uncertainty given the way the first fight ended.

Chito got the TKO win, but an O’Malley ankle injury played a big role. That would be a really good fight that fans would be very hyped for. O’Malley takes on Raulian Paiva at UFC 269. Another possibility is Song Yadong if he wins this weekend at UFC Vegas 42.

If Song wins, the rematch with Chito makes a ton of sense with the winner ready to take on someone in the top ten. Chito deserves a top ten opponent, but he’s a little stuck right now. Either way, expect a good and entertaining opponent for him next time out.

After setback against Dominick Cruz at UFC 259, what’s next for Casey Kenney?

This past Saturday at UFC 259, the featured prelim was a pivotal matchup in the bantamweight division. Former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz (23-3) was making his return against rising contender, Casey Kenney (16-3-1).

Entering UFC 259, Casey Kenney had a lot of momentum. He had won three fights in a row and was on the verge of a ranking. This fight against the former champion was his golden opportunity to bust into the top fifteen.

The first round went a lot like a lot of Dominick Cruz fights. Casey Kenney seemed a little thrown off by the movement and the defense of Cruz. The entire first round, it appeared that Kenney was a step behind.

In the second round, Kenney really started to find his groove. He was blasting the former UFC champion with low kicks and he kept pushing forward to cut off the movement of Cruz. The second round was a clear win for Kenney.

Going into the third, the fight was on the table. Both men did well in the first couple of minutes, but Cruz landed a big takedown in the second half of the round. In the end, two of the three judges gave the split decision win at UFC 259 to Dominick Cruz.

What’s next for Casey Kenney after UFC 259?

While he didn’t get the win on Saturday night, Casey Kenney showed me a lot. He showed that he belongs in there with some of the best in the division. So while it was a split decision loss, I don’t think he lost any ground in the division.

When thinking about what comes next for Kenney, there is one opponent that sticks out to me. That would be the Team Alpha Male product, Song Yadong (16-5-1, 1 NC). Song was also on the UFC 259 prelims and lost to Kyler Phillips.

This loss kicked Song out of the top fifteen at bantamweight. I believe that both of these guys are in a very similar position and I think a fight between the two would make a lot of sense. Whoever would win would have a great argument to get back in the UFC rankings.

UFC books Song Yadong – Kyler Phillips

The UFC has added another really solid matchup to one of the more stacked cards they’ve put together in recent memory. First reported by Bloody Canvas, Song Yadong (16-4-1, 1 NC) will be taking on Kyler Phillips (8-1).

The fight will take place on March 6th at UFC 259. Of course, that PPV card is already known for having three title fights including the light heavyweight title fight between Israel Adesanya and Jan Blachowicz.

Because of the stacked nature of UFC 259, this fight is going to be one that flies under the radar. However, this bantamweight matchup is definitely one fans should keep their eyes on. It’ll likely be one of the main prelims that night.

Song Yadong is a bantamweight that has a lot of hype surrounding him. The Chinese born bantamweight contender is one of the top stars out of the famous Team Alpha Male led by Urijah Faber.

We haven’t seen Yadong fight since his fight with Chito Vera (16-7-1) that took place in May of 2020. Yadong walked away with the unanimous decision, however, many believed he shouldn’t have had his hand raised.

Nevertheless, it goes into the books as a victory. Since making his debut in 2017 with the UFC, Yadong has been sensational. He’s 5-0-1 and will enter the octagon on March 6th ranked 14th at Bantamweight.

UFC Bantamweight Battle

This is going to be a big step up for Kyler Phillips at UFC 259. Phillips was introduced to Dana White and the company brass back in 2017 when he won by first round TKO on Dana White’s Contender Series.

Despite the quick finish, Phillips had to fight two more times before joining the UFC. He made his debut in 2020 when he took on Gabriel Silva. He was able to win that fight by unanimous decision before taking on Cameron Else.

Phillips was able to score a second round TKO over Else on Fight Island back in October. After two good victories to start out his career with the UFC, the promotion is throwing him someone in the top fifteen.

This is going to be a very difficult matchup for Phillips, but getting an opponent of this caliber shows you what the promotion thinks of him. It’s a pivotal matchup for the two bantamweight prospects.