What’s Next: UFC Vegas 82 Winners

Brendan Allen, UFC Vegas 82
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 17: Brendan Allen poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at UFC APEX on November 17, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The UFC returned to the confines of the Apex this past weekend for UFC Vegas 82, as Brendan Allen tied the record for the longest active submission streak in UFC history.

Let’s take a look at what could be next for Allen, along with the other standout winners on the night.

Brendan Allen

“All In” Allen’s last loss was back in 2021, and you’d have to go back six fights to get there. The 27-year-old has put on an incredibly impressive streak of performances, scoring a rear-naked-choke win in four of his last four fights, tying the longest active submission record.

There is no doubt that since that loss to Chris Curtis two years ago, the Louisiana product has improved leaps and bounds, and now finds himself ranked in the top 10 at 185lbs, above the aforementioned “Action Man”.

Allen is now in a position where he is knocking on the door of the top five, in a division that has seemingly been screaming out for new title contenders for the past few years. The submission artist has already shared the cage with the current champion, Sean Strickland, in which he was finished, but that was going back to 2020. Strickland will defend his title against Dricus Du Plessis, who you could say would be a favourable matchup for Allen and his grappling upside.

With the rest of the top five already being booked into fights, there is one name that stands out more than most for me, and that is, Marvin Vettori.

The Italian is seemingly struggling to find a fight and this one makes perfect sense. He is coming off a loss to Jared Cannonier and needs to defend his ranking.

Allen’s Next Fight: Marvin Vettori 

Michael Morales

When thinking of the most impressive prospects in the UFC, Michael Morales must be a name that comes very close to the top of the list.

The 24-year-old now boasts a professional record of 16-0, with four of those coming under the UFC banner. Jake Matthews proved to be his toughest outing thus far, but the Ecuadorian showed a different side to his style, and proved to be the better fighter over a technical three rounds.

That is now back-to-back wins over fighters with 15 or more UFC fights, providing the youngster with integral experience.

Despite being just 24-years-old, it seems as though Morales is ready for the next step in his UFC tenure. There are several fighters inside the top 15 who make sense for him moving forward.

Of course, when talking about welterweight prospects who are nearing the rankings, Neil Magny’s ears must run hot. “The Haitian Sensation” is already booked to fight Canadian prospect, Mike Malott though.

The occupant of rank 15 though, is someone Morales has been slated to fight previously but due to injury, he had to withdraw from the scheduled bout. Rinat Fakhretdinov could make a lot of sense again now, being as though he sits upon a ranking that Michael Morales could be coming for.

Morales’ Next Fight: Rinat Fakhretdinov  

Chase Hooper

“The Dream” Chase Hooper marked his second lightweight outing with another extremely impressive performance. In this one, he had to face some early adversity when he was rocked with some heavy Leavitt ground-and-pound. From there though, he was able to win the grappling exchanges, subsequently getting the first round sub.

Before the fight, Hooper told Cageside Press, that he wanted to enter the unofficial ‘best grappler in the lightweight division rankings’ and with the rear-naked-choke, he may have done exactly that.

With him looking increasingly more comfortable with each 155lb outing, the 24-year-old will likely want to take a little bit of time off as he and his wife expect a baby.

With that being Hooper’s 8th UFC fight despite only being 24-years-old, there is no reason to try and rush him up the rankings of the lightweight division.

Someone who I think could be a fun next matchup for Hooper, is Lando Vannata. Despite his recent skid, the losses have come to some of the higher echelon fighters in the division.

Hooper’s Next Fight: Lando Vannata

Payton Talbott

After a highly impressive performance on the Contender Series earlier this year, Talbott came into his UFC debut with a lot of eyes on him.

The 25-year-old didn’t disappoint as he put on another emphatic performance, submitting Nick Aguirre in the final round. It is going to very interesting to see Talbott’s UFC career unfold.

Selfishly I would love to see a fight between Payton Talbott and Da’Mon Blackshear, however that’s quite farfetched for Talbott’s second UFC outing. A fight that would be more realistic would be, Dan Argueta.

Talbott’s Next Fight: Dan Argueta

Amanda Ribas

The Brazilian striker bounced back from her loss to Maycee Barber, with a great third round KO over Luana Pinheiro, in her strawweight return.

Once again Ribas showed a full arsenal of striking, and began her final finishing sequence with a picture perfect spinning wheel kick, which wobbled and subsequently dropped Pinheiro.

With Ribas hoping for a resurgence at strawweight, there is female who is on her rise up the rankings, and sits just one spot behind Ribas. That is Loopy Godinez who has continued impressing. That is a fight I could see next.

Ribas’ Next Fight: Loopy Godinez

Myktybek Oralbai

Marking his UFC debut with a second round finish was, Myktybek Oralbai. The Kirghiz native had a slow round one against the powerful, Uros Medic, but was able to capitalise with his grappling advantage in round two.

There are plenty options for the 25-year-old, but one I’m keen on is, Ange Loosa.

Oralbai’s Next Fight: Ange Loosa