UFC Louisville Winners Matchmaker

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Taking a trip out the Derby City of Kentucky, the Ultimate Fighting Championship delivered on a rip-roaring main card, which saw four spectacular finishes to kick off the summer with a bang. Let’s take a look at who the main card winners should fight next.

These are the Next Fights to Make for the Winners of UFC Louisville

Punahele Soriano

After scoring a unanimous decision win over Jamie Pickett on Dana White’s Contender Series back in 2019, Hawaii’s Punahele Soriano burst into the UFC’s Middleweight division with two back-to-back first-round knockout victories against Oskar Piechota and Duško Todorović. However, following a loss to future 185-lbs juggernaut Brendan Allen, “Puna” has largely struggled to remain in the win column, going just 1-3 in his last four fights. This skid compelled Soriano to ultimately make the cut for the first time to the welterweight division, where he faced Miguel Baeza in the main card opener last Saturday in Louisville. Though the pressure was higher for Soriano than it had ever been before, the Hawaiian more than exceeded expectations when he thoroughly dominated Baeza over the course of three rounds. For nearly the entire contest, Soriano kept Baeza on the canvas and scored well over one hundred ground strikes, earning a well-deserved win and setting a new company record for the most grounded blows in the process.

Fight to Make: Tim Means

Similar to Soriano, Tim Means also finds himself in the middle of some harsh luck as of late, having lost four of his past five fights. In dire need of a win to keep himself afloat in the competitive welterweight division, and Soriano is looking to further cement his place in his new weight class, this bout could make for a compelling bout between the division’s old and new guard.

Zachary Reese

Rebounding from a brutal loss to Cody Brundage last year (the first loss of his professional career), Zachary Reese put on an immaculate performance last weekend by starching Julian Marquez in just twenty seconds in the very first round. The win helped to put him back on track in the 185-lbs division, and it earned him a splendid Performance of the Night bonus.

Fight to Make: César Almeida

With a one-hundred percent finishing rate across his amateur and professional career, Reese’s fights tend to end inside the distance. And for his next fight, why not put him up against someone who nearly has almost the same finishing rate as him in Brazil’s own César Almeida? If “Savage” is able to make it past the bruiser from South America, then it will only serve to prove that he is a burgeoning force in the middleweight division.

Brunno Ferreira

Continuing on his warpath through the 185 lbs class, Brunno Ferreira recorded another spectacular first-round stoppage by blasting Dustin Stoltzfus with a devastating spinning elbow, making it his tenth overall first-round stoppage victory of his professional career. The win elevated “The Hulk”’s win streak to two and very likely will set him up for a big matchup in his next Octagon outing.

Fight to Make: Roman Kopylov

While he did call out another up-in-coming 185-lbs phenom following his win in Kentucky, there is one other fight that could easily propel Ferreira into the Middleweight upper echelon should the UFC decide to go in a different direction, that fight being against Roman Kopylov. With four UFC knockout wins, the heavy-handed Kopylov is no stranger to keeping the judges out of his fights, which makes him the perfect dance partner for the surging Brazilian striking specialist.  

Raul Rosas Jr.

For his first assignment of 2024, Raul Rosas Jr. had the tough task of facing off against the battle-tested Ultimate Fighter Season 29 winner, Ricky Turcios, last weekend. Despite a rocky start to the contest for Rosas, which saw him nearly fall prey to Turcios’s rear naked choke, he ultimately managed to hang and find his own rear naked choke in the second round to secure the victory. The win moved the Mexican star to 2-0 since suffering his first loss to Christian Rodriguez last April.

Fight to Make: Jack Shore

From what we’ve seen in his fights, Raul Rosas Jr. has shown an impeccable level of grappling and submission prowess for someone so young in his mixed martial career. Jack Shore is also a seasoned grappler in his own right, with nine out of seventeen professional victories coming by way of submission, guaranteeing that a match between him and “El Niño Problema” could make for a riveting chess match on the ground.

Dominick Reyes

After going almost five years without a victory inside the UFC octagon, the writing appeared to be on the wall for Dominick Reyes’s career going into his co-main event matchup against Dustin Jacoby. Following a highly controversial loss to then light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones in February 2020, “The Devastator” fell into an unfortunate four-fight skid, where he was finished in his next three fights by Jan Błachowicz, Jiří Procházka, and Ryan Spann. However, in one of the more emphatic career turnarounds in recent memory, the Stony Brook University alumni catapulted himself back into the win column by knocking out “The Hanyak” in the very first round. The win marked the first time Reyes had picked up a victory since his dominant erasure of former Middleweight champion Chris Weidman back in October of 2019. It also earned the two-time light-heavyweight title challenger the distinction of being the first man to finish Jacoby by strikes since his 2014 knockout loss to Muhammed Lawal at Bellator 123 in 2014.

Fight to Make: Bogdan Guskov

Although he did return to the winner’s circle in exciting fashion last Saturday, Reyes still has much work to do before he puts himself into title contention once more, and what better way to start than to take on prominent Uzbekistanian slugger Bogdan Guskov. Since losing his UFC debut against long-time 205 lbs contender Volkan Oezdemir, “Czarevitch” has swiftly compiled two knockout wins over Zac Pauga and Ryan Spann (the last man to defeat Reyes) in 2024. A win over the Uzbekistan knockout machine would serve as perfect fuel for Reye’s momentum as he looks to reclimb the Light Heavyweight ladder for another crack at UFC gold. 

Nassourdine Imavov

Kicking off the summer with a superb win, France’s Nassourdine Imavov took home a hard-fought victory over the nearly unfinishable Jared Cannonier. After dropping to the 185 lbs division in November of 2018, the “Killa Gorilla” had since established himself as one of the top middleweights on the planet with victories over Anderson Silva, Kelvin Gastelum, Derek Brunson, Marvin Vettori, and Sean Strickland. He also had not been stopped in any of his fights since his move down, only suffering two decision losses to former champions Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya, which makes the “Russian Sniper”’s fourth-round TKO of Cannonier all the more impressive. Although many have questioned the validity of the victory due to the questionable nature of the stoppage, it still doesn’t change that Imavov earned the most notable win of his entire career.

Fight to Make: Winner of Robert Whittaker vs Khamzat Chimaev

While Imavov did call out Sean Strickland in his post-fight interview, the UFC might have other plans for “Tarzan” following his five-round thrashing of Paulo Costa at UFC 302. Fortunately for Imavov, he may not have to wait long to find a suitable opponent, as perennial 185 lbs stalwart Robert Whittaker will be taking on streaking Chechen powerhouse Khamzat Chimaev in Saudi Arabia later this month. Regardless of who comes out on top in that contest, a triumph over either strong contender could be the last push Imavov needs to put his name into the title picture.

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Hank has been a professional writer for three years. He has covered major tournaments for competitive video games like the Super Smash Bros. series and writes for two different esports teams. He just recently graduated from Hamline University with a Bachelors in Fine Arts in Creative Writing and as a member of Phi Betta Kappa.