Another big weekend is in the books, with UFC Vegas 19 proving to be an event that delivered a number of surprises. As seems to happen after every big night in the UFC, the following few days are filled with stories and rumors surrounding the fighters who won and lost on Saturday night. While a loss does not end a career, it does mean that fighters need to really think about their next step as they begin their climb towards the top again. For the winners, it’s all about making a move that might get them one step closer to a title fight. Let’s take a look at the stories making news this week so you can continue betting against their UFC odds.
2021 MMA Betting News & Rumors Update | Feb. 22nd Edition
One of the biggest stories from Saturday night was Derrick Lewis putting down Curtis Blaydes in the headline event at UFC Vegas 19. There is quite a bit to unpack from that fight, beginning with the nature of the win. There were some who thought that Lewis went a little overboard in continuing to hit Blaydes when it looked clear that the big man was down and out. The rules dictate that Lewis was within his right to continue fighting until the ref called it, which is exactly what he did, but he is still receiving some negative press because of it.
Lewis is viewing the KO controversy as a bit of a non-story and has already turned his attention to his next bout, which he wants to be against Alistair Overeem. Given how quickly Lewis ended the fight on Saturday night, he feels that he can be ready to go with a fairly quick turnaround as he looks to maintain his current winning streak momentum, which could well lead to a title shot. There are some who look at a fight against Overeem as a potential backwards step for Lewis, but this is something that seems to be more of a personal nature for Lewis than moving his career along.
You do have to feel a little sympathy for Curtis Blaydes, who looked to be on the brink of a title shot, which he might well have received with a win on Saturday night. The loss, though, means that it’s time to go back to the drawing board and start thinking about what fight is the most logical to make next time out. Stipe Miocic could be next, assuming he loses to Ngannou at UFC 260. Blaydes might also be looking at a fight with the loser of the Rozenstruik/Gane fight, which is coming soon. This is a situation worth keeping an eye on.
Another fighter looking to find a way back to the top is Conor McGregor, whose next fight would appear to be a rematch with Dustin Poirier, the man who just recently beat him. There are a few who have suggested that the Irishman is past his prime, with Khabib Numrgomedov the latest to fall into that camp. While the beef between Conor and the champ is legendary, Khabib says that his belief that McGregor is done is not personal. He is simply of the belief that a fighter cannot have two primes in his career. Only time will tell if that is true.